Friday, September 21, 2007
Look up. The monarchs, those tiny flitting kites, are all about. Hovering at the edge of the land, as if daring to launch themselves south over the water. Those little things, and that great distance: it seems improbable, like a leaf in a maelstrom. Emily Dickinson’s hope was no bird, for a bird is a Jumbo jet compared to the balsa toy that is the butterfly. Hope, that thing with wings, is quite obviously a butterfly. I saw several along the Promenade this afternoon, utterly insignificant against the bristling palisade of Manhattan. Or is it precisely the reverse? That Ozymandian exercise across the strait versus the butterfly’s wings? And yesterday, under a big Gowanus sky pinking with sunset, three were feasting on a fragrant butterfly bush on Union Street along with a bumblebee. Probing deep into the penetralia of the long little blossoms. Consider the butterflies, thou sluggards. That late-day Hopper light was slanting up the moraine to darkly brighten the top stories of the row houses.