Wednesday, May 20, 2009
A Flight of Butterflies
"Hoping to see the spring violets, I walked out into the fields. The wind had died down and I could hear nothing but the sound of bees. I began to make a poem in the warm sleepy atmosphere, when down the hill where dandelions were blooming came a group of girls.
One was dressed in dark violet; another in patterns of red, blue and yellow; still others wore white, black, brown, pink, navy or green. They were coloured as exquisitely as flowers in the field. They came closer and danced in a flock under a blossom.
As I drank another cup of sake, they came and said,'You are watching the flowers all alone! Do come where we are dancing. We thought we were the only ones who delight in the flowers of spring. We are pleased to know you enjoy them too....'"
Yesterday Nadine let me borrow a much cherished book of hers called "A Flight of Butterflies", one thousand kinds of butterflies by Kanzanka Sekka originally published in Japan 1904. Part of the preface by Yoshi Zo is quoted above. It's a beautiful facsimile of the original and is printed and bound in the original Japanese album style.
Within, every page is an oasis.....What scents of perfume waft up to colour the subtle senses?...What string is beginning to hum along its length into the distance? The symbol of the butterfly keeps lighting ever so gently upon my shoulder...let me not move too awkwardly, disturbing its fragile heart.