Sunday, June 28, 2009
a fairy tale
Once upon a time, there lived an old man in a strange land. Strange because he had never felt at home there. And something else peculiar about him: he had always suspected that some dark wizard had cursed him at birth...and the curse was this: he would grow old like all other human beings, but his heart would remain young and passionate. The old man knew this had to be true, because he felt things that only a young person should feel. The curse would torment him, because it made him young inside an old body. And an old man feeling certain things...well, that just won't do.
And one thing he felt strongly. He knew deep inside that there existed, somewhere on the far side of dreams, another land. And in this land, a beautiful princess lived. He could picture her so vividly and forcefully. So strongly, in fact, that sleep could find no purchase. It reached a point that the waking world took on a quality of dreaminess. He became lost in this bizarre world of waking dreams...and on the surface of those dreams, the face of that princess swirled.
He decided to make a butterfly in his mind and send it to her across his dreams. (See...by this time, our old man was pretty far gone.) He thought that creature could fly on the wind of his dream. All he wanted was for his “butterfly” to gently brush against her heart. He simply wanted a measure of communion before his time ran out. So...it flew, colorfully, out of his young heart and disappeared into the blue.
Time went by. He was in his garden, and a large, beautiful black butterfly alighted on a flagstone. Its back was bejeweled with delicate blue markings. It stayed on the stone for quite some time, then began dancing around in delirious circles...then it lifted off the ground and began swirling about in the air before him.
And he knew. He knew that his princess had magically sent this creature. In defiance of time and space. Just pow, there it was! A fairy spell. And as it swirled and waltzed, it seemed to be etching out feelings on the air. And the old man could read this “language” of the butterfly. And this is what it said:
“Yes, I know you. And to be finally known by someone is the gift I give you. But we live in two worlds, and in my own world, I have found my prince. I have sent this creature to dance for you my dance of sadness. Sad because you are cursed to feel too deeply and too dreamily...unbecoming for an old man. But this butterfly I send to bring you peace. You will always remember its dance, and your own sadness will be turned into bittersweetness. Goodbye.........”
And the black butterfly with delicate blue markings flew away on the warm breeze.
The old man sighed, then smiled. And the young heart beating in his old body was glad. She was really real. And she knew him. And that is more than even he thought might possibly come true.