Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Butterfly Effect

I was watching a documentary on China a couple of days ago and the narrator mentioned the butterfly effect. Mentioned and explained it, the beat of a butterfly's wing on the Pacific Ocean capable of causing a hurricane on the other side of the ocean. This was news to me. I had previously considered it in terms of a transformed being taking flight, striving for sublimnity: the beating of wings must never cease or the being will fall.

I think that idea may still have value, placed beside the original. Inspiration placed beside exhalation; one brings the world into the individual and invigorates him or her with an ever changing environment. The other communicates that environment to the world at large, permits the butterfly to become an agent for further change.
Thing is: I see that butterfly as an expression of talent and I am no longer convinced that talent (or genius), no matter how great, is sufficient. The butterfly effect is a fatalist concept: the idea is that a little talent in a big pond can wave its arms a moment and the pond itself will magnify that feeble twitching and amplify the butterfly to the world. This, like a hurricane, or American Idol, or any mighty wind, is a destructive force and not beneficial to butterflies. They too will be blown away and destroyed in a force no longer in their control.

I firmly believe that such change and impact is only detrimental unless the butterfly also learns how to fly under his or her own power. That flight requires a constant flapping; a sustained effort continuously perfected, shifting as the weather shifts. Cease flapping and the butterfly falls into the sea and vanishes. I like the idea of being butterfly. The exercise is good.

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