I thought I was going to be expressing a simple concept: detachment.

A friend at work told me yesterday that the key to not worrying about life, is to realise it is nothing and to be as detached from “good” times as from bad.

She told me the story of a butterfly landing on your finger. You delight in it. And you accept that it flutters away. Or that’s the idea.

It was still with me at night, so I drew. This is what came out at first …


But in the morning, there was more. In my morning pages, something that flowed out was that the pain of loss was not nothing. It was real and vivid and present. I want to honour all feelings. Especially those of small children who have no power over the trauma that can reign down on them from adults.

I want to celebrate the power to mourn. To acknowlege the sheer truth that there are painful moments when I want beautiful things to stay as they are. I want to feel those feelings, accept them all, so that when they arise I do not resist them. The butterfly is not nothing. She matters. We all do. She is rich and beautiful and vibrant and if I experience longing for her to stay on my finger, or if I ache that she has fluttered away, or sob that life has ebbed too quickly out of her bright body … Then so it is. It simply is. If I am attached, and that comes with moments of great terror or despair as well as delight and awe … So be it. I am attached! I love being alive. I love life thrumming through me.


With gratitude to Connie at #dirtyfootprints studio for her 10 day free online course, inspiring me to let images flow, whatever they will be.

I celebrate that each heart knows it’s own wisdom, and that art journalling helps me to discover what was true within me. My friend’s response to the butterfly story is as “true” as my own. And I celebrate that she shared it with me, from her heart, a gift from her experience to light up my own. Beats a boring old day in the office!

I felt moved to let this bright beauty flutter out into someone else’s heart, should they be moved by her. She’s up on RedBubble at http://www.redbubble.com/people/trulyoriginal/works/22991983-butterfly-butterfly-burning-bright.