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For my goddaughter Lara. A beautiful ray of sunshine. It was very early in the morning and Otto the Octopus was still sound a...

Sunday, 30 May 2010

The Beauty in Pain

In a former life I was an artist, the kind that paints...I know this because some time ago, I had the privilege of meeting a very avant-garde guru of the mind, a Praying Mantis, who, in exchange for a juicy caterpillar, helped me get a glimpse into the past, through an ultra-modern technique which she called past life regression.
If it makes any difference to you, I indicated the hideout of a Silkworm Moth caterpillar, instead, and not one of my own...You must understand that there was just something alluring about finding out who I'd once been and whether I'd been as beautiful as I am today as a Monarch butterfly...Hummm! You still seem shocked by my attitude, but if you think about it, it was a sacrifice for the sake of personal self-awareness and research into Beauty. I'm sure that as soon as you learn what I found out, you'll be able to understand, if not altogether forgive, my attitude.
Anyway, and moving on...What the Praying Mantis allowed me to access, made me feel that my current life as one of the most beautiful butterflies in the world is but the reward for the talent I was once endowed with as an artist, in that past life...and for a lifetime of woes. In fact, that artist's – myself at the time – best masterpieces were painted when he – or should I say I? – was going through painful existentialist crises.
He was obsessed with beauty and believed that real beauty could only come through pain. Let me stress that he was a sober, drug-free artist, who had simply accepted his role as a creator of beauty. In his early days as an artist he would, endowed with a generous, selfless and self-sacrificing spirit, actually inflict injuries upon himself, so that he could then put his gifted creativity to work for a greater good. And, my, were his paintings beautiful!
However, this technique did have quite a few drawbacks, as some of the cuts or other types of wounds would actually delay his effort to create something exquisite. That's when he began to muse about the relationship between beauty/pain, reaching the no less than enlightened conclusion that they were but two sides of the same coin, such as the concepts of light/dark, yin/yang, war/peace and so on.
It was a very hard decision to make, but for the sake of beauty and his artistic legacy to his community and to the world, he decided that he would have to stop hurting himself and shift the pain infliction onto other beings.
He started off with small animals like hamsters and gradually moved on to stray cats and dogs and finally humans... That poor man, the mental angst he must have gone through, having to do what he did just so he could share Beauty with the rest of the world. My heart goes out to him!
That was a long and fruitful life that I led, it was! Before being summoned back to the present by the admirable Praying Mantis, I managed to take a peek at that brilliant artist's last moments in life: You should be pleased to hear that he went peacefully in the night, probably dreaming of another scene he could paint once he woke up...
I felt ecstatic and was fluttering about with joy when I left the session with the Praying Mantis, certain that the painter who I had once been, was now immortalised and distinguished in one or even several world-famous museums. Yes, there was definitely a strong connection between myself and that artist: we were both drawn to and fascinated by beauty, believing that pain is but a small price to pay to achieve it. Here, of course, I'm referring to that caterpillar I mentioned earlier. I'm sure that by now you must agree that it was an inevitable – though worthwhile – sacrifice, don't you?
*
And it was floating carefree in the air that the beautiful Monarch butterfly was surprised by the swish of a net. It was trapped in the lightweight mesh and no matter how hard it struggled it could not set itself free...Not long after, the Monarch butterfly found itself in a closed jar along with a Swallowtail butterfly, who was sobbing uncontrollably.
'Hey, Swallowtail, can you calm down for a second and tell me where we are?' asked Monarch, with a nervous edge to his voice.
'I can only imagine...' replied the Swallowtail '...a cousin of mine was once trapped in a net and taken to a place very similar to this one. She managed to escape, that's why I think I know what's about to happen...Before she escaped, she saw the torture the other butterflies underwent and their agonizing wriggling before they died!'
'What do you mean? Why were they murdered?' asked Monarch in a panic-stricken voice.
'My cousin said that non-corrosive pins were stuck through their heads, into a foam board and then displayed in glass-covered boxes.'
'How awful! Why would anyone want to do that to us?' Monarch had hardly finished speaking, when he felt a tight grip on his body, which pulled him out of the jar.
'...to share our beauty with the rest of the world!' were the last words Monarch heard before a sharp, deadly pain went through his head.

- COPYRIGHT/Registado no IGAC

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