Le Journal


Le Journal 2021


LE JOURNAL
From the Editor:
Printemps, 2021
Spring, 2021


“Handle With Care,” “Fragile,” “Do Not Bend” — ever feel like those care labels apply to you? After months of Covid-related confinement, week upon week of limitations to our regular routines, and deep uncertainties about our future, it’s not surprising that many of us feel pretty breakable right now. Very simply, we could all use a strong dose of comfort and assurance that new paths really do await us, whatever our pursuits and hearts’ callings. One of the creatures that means comfort and lightness of spirit for me is the butterfly, as those who know me well can attest. My mother loved them all of her life, and since her passing in 2015, the sighting of butterflies never fails to touch a chord in me and to remind me of my mother’s continuing and loving presence in my life.


Recently someone very dear to me gave me a copy of the book, The Girl Who Drew Butterflies, by the American author and poet Joyce Sidman. An award-winning children’s story, it’s based on the life of Maria Sibylla Merian, a remarkable 17th century German girl. With no formal education, few opportunities to develop her talents, yet a brilliant intelligence and determination, Merian reached her goal of becoming a scientist, artist, and adventurer. Her passion? The study of butterflies — where they came from, their stages of development, their beauty and grace. Without training, Merian relied on keen personal observation and thorough note-taking. Although little known or appreciated during her lifetime, Merian is now regarded as the world’s first ecologist, a woman who changed the course of science forever. As the author suggests,
“Maybe, as an outsider, she (Merian) could see a bigger picture, take more risks. Maybe she was sending a message to the future.”


Maybe so. Besides the humbling experience of realizing how much I could learn from a book written mainly for children, I found myself taking a second or third look at these winged creatures that make me smile. A butterfly’s journey through so many distinct phases includes nothing short of a complete and total metamorphosis — releasing and shedding one form of existence to allow a new life form to emerge. What a perfect analogy for our own possibilities in 2021! Have you ever asked yourself, and most of us have this past year, “Will life ever be the same as before?” My answer is a resounding, “No, it won’t, and it can’t be.” It will be different because we are different, and hopefully, we’re shedding some old patterns and constraints that no longer serve us. Time to remove those cautious care instructions and emerge stronger, kinder, and truer to what matters most in our lives.

“The rain comes, and the blazing sun. I must find a safe place to become who I was meant to be,” Chapter 7, “Molting, 1678 Nuremberg, Germany,” The Girl Who Drew Butterflies, by Joyce Sidman, (c) 2018


Best,

 


Le Journal 2021


LE JOURNAL
From the Editor:
Printemps, 2021
Spring, 2021


“Handle With Care,” “Fragile,” “Do Not Bend” — ever feel like those care labels apply to you? After months of Covid-related confinement, week upon week of limitations to our regular routines, and deep uncertainties about our future, it’s not surprising that many of us feel pretty breakable right now. Very simply, we could all use a strong dose of comfort and assurance that new paths really do await us, whatever our pursuits and hearts’ callings. One of the creatures that means comfort and lightness of spirit for me is the butterfly, as those who know me well can attest. My mother loved them all of her life, and since her passing in 2015, the sighting of butterflies never fails to touch a chord in me and to remind me of my mother’s continuing and loving presence in my life.


Recently someone very dear to me gave me a copy of the book, The Girl Who Drew Butterflies, by the American author and poet Joyce Sidman. An award-winning children’s story, it’s based on the life of Maria Sibylla Merian, a remarkable 17th century German girl. With no formal education, few opportunities to develop her talents, yet a brilliant intelligence and determination, Merian reached her goal of becoming a scientist, artist, and adventurer. Her passion? The study of butterflies — where they came from, their stages of development, their beauty and grace. Without training, Merian relied on keen personal observation and thorough note-taking. Although little known or appreciated during her lifetime, Merian is now regarded as the world’s first ecologist, a woman who changed the course of science forever. As the author suggests,
“Maybe, as an outsider, she (Merian) could see a bigger picture, take more risks. Maybe she was sending a message to the future.”


Maybe so. Besides the humbling experience of realizing how much I could learn from a book written mainly for children, I found myself taking a second or third look at these winged creatures that make me smile. A butterfly’s journey through so many distinct phases includes nothing short of a complete and total metamorphosis — releasing and shedding one form of existence to allow a new life form to emerge. What a perfect analogy for our own possibilities in 2021! Have you ever asked yourself, and most of us have this past year, “Will life ever be the same as before?” My answer is a resounding, “No, it won’t, and it can’t be.” It will be different because we are different, and hopefully, we’re shedding some old patterns and constraints that no longer serve us. Time to remove those cautious care instructions and emerge stronger, kinder, and truer to what matters most in our lives.

“The rain comes, and the blazing sun. I must find a safe place to become who I was meant to be,” Chapter 7, “Molting, 1678 Nuremberg, Germany,” The Girl Who Drew Butterflies, by Joyce Sidman, (c) 2018


Best,