‘There is a difference between a life of width and a life of depth.
‘Deep in the wintry parts of our minds we are hardy stock and we know there is no such thing as work-free transformation. We know that we will have to burn to the ground in one way or another, and then sit right in the ashes of who we once thought we were and go on from there.’
‘Non magna loquinur, sed vivimus-we do not talk great things, we live them.’
I read a story recently, a documentary of sorts, on the life and times of the caterpillar.
You know-that creature that has the most amazing ability to turn into a butterfly?!
That caterpillar, when ready to tuck itself up snug in its cocoon,
does so and actually turns to jelly. Amorphous goo.
I’d always imagined they sort of sprout wings in there and just develop into a butterfly.
I’d no idea it was a complete tear down and rebuild.
As well, within this goo,
this primordial snot
there holds predictably the imprint of the disintegrated caterpillar,
but get this, also that of the soon to arise butterfly.
All the stuff and bits and bobs that pull together in that goo to become the beautifully transfigured butterfly
There in the goo,
and therefore in the caterpillar before.
There is a story in the bible, Acts 9:36-43 of a woman named Dorcas
Because it’s so painful to envision a woman by this name, I’m going to hereafter refer to her by the second name they give her, Tabitha.
Tabitha lives a regal lifestyle in a town called Joppa. Note, she was well to do.
Yet she did not languish in her wealth as certainly others of this income bracket would’ve done in that day.
She spent not only her wealth but her talents clothing the poor
widows and orphans
whom in that day wouldn’t have had the means to provide for themselves without a ‘man of the house’ about~
Tabitha fell ill and died.
Those around her in mourning were hard pressed to see her go; she’d been such a force for good in their lives-
if not actually keeping them alive-
through her generosity of spirit, skill and compassion.
Peter, you know the one Peter? The disciple?
the crucified upside down disciple?!
That Peter is called from a nearby town
and because of the faithful exhortations of Tabitha’s devoted
he sees fit to raise her from the dead.
So far nothing too extraordinary as biblical narratives go…
What gets interesting,
what has me intrigued and has caught my eyes in this,
is that once revived
Tabitha returns to stitching garments for the poor and destitute.
YET! Because of this miraculous revival,
she did so in a whole new light
and many were called to believe-
live a new way of life-
see through new eyes-
because of her rejeneration.
Tabitha died, came back to life, and lived again as a new creature.
She had the imprint of this fully rejuvenated self within
in her fingertips,
through the needle and cloth,
The butterfly rises to new life from that of the caterpillar who carried the bits and bobs within all along.
beautiful and admirable
because of it’s transformation.
but so different.
went through transformation
let go and let happen-
and came back again.
Both of them.
They came back to life
to their transformed new form
than the former self.
While the same,
so very different as well.
it gives you pause as well?
I ask myself what to me is the obvious question in aligning these two stories as I have:
What imprint of something greater is stored within me
my primordial goo
if I were to die
and come back to life?
I reckon I’m due to find out.
I’ve got a great imprint on my life
reach more, teach more, inspire more~
I wonder what it will look like
if I die to it
and let come
‘You do not climb up to your true self, you fall into it, so don’t avoid all falling.
Ironically it is there you are finally found.’ Richard Rohr
‘No one takes it from me because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me but I lay it down of my own accord.’ John 10:17-18
*this is my final blog post before disappearing-going cocoon-for three months. I”m taking time off to listen, be with family, reacclimate to whatever home is, and perhaps even learn to use a closet to hang my clothing once again…..I will see you in February, surely fluttering my wings to dry in the sun~