As I sat quietly this morning, in my chair opposite the bed, my eyes landed upon the quilt on my bed. It is a white quilt with red branches, leaves, and wildflowers. Flying about are butterflies. I stared at one particular butterfly that had positioned himself particularly well so as to get me attention. I began to imagine myself in the same place he was, one of peace, fragrance, and quiet.
After wakening from my imagining, I stared at the butterfly and his wonderful world. The first thought to my mind was the scenes’ falseness. Everything was an unnatural, monochromatic red. Then, I asked why the scene had been put onto the quilt, and, why I had it on my bed.
I realized that I want pictures of serenity and beauty that will give a respite from a world that is conflicted and filled with turmoil.
So why don’t I want a quilt filled with scenes of hunger and strife? Because that’s not the world I want to live in. I want to live in the butterflies’ world.
But I don’t.
Now at the same time, I can’t ignore the joy and beauty in this world. There are flowers and vistas, art and beauty. How are we not to embrace and even to some extent, pursue those things? But we can’t get lost along the way.
A vision of attaining that place is at best an illusion, and at worst a denial. I think of the kid in Willy Wonk who gets sucked down into the vat of chocolate.
Let’s not forget that the meaning to our ends is not to live surrounded by tranquility or…by beauty. That is not our world. At least not yet.
We all want to live in a butterfly world. But we don’t. We strive to live there. But we can’t. Visit there from time to time. But remember that if you stay there, you are deceiving yourself. Escape from time to time, but not to escape your calling, and be willing to return at least for this time, to the muck that is ours.