A Butterfly for Brian

  • el
  • pt
  • And so when my attention is drawn or pointed often I yawn. The Monarch butterflies dancing about the tops of the Jerusalem artichokes out the back window hold more interest for me. But I have a glance, think neat, and move on. I don’t really think about it. Maybe I should. Maybe there’s something there, about connnectedness.

    I want to meet Brian Moffatt someday… just shake his hand, look him in the face and grin complicitously. Golby too. Ray. I’ve had that pleasure with some of the blogging crowd. Almost makes me want to quit quitting drinking if only to have a beer with them. We’ve had our ups and downs here, together — writing and not writing, railing and raving, shouting truths to the deaf, illuminating a path for the blind. And yes, we’ve had the occasional yawn. I respect these men among others, and rather than call out a litany of writers around the world whom I also respect, I’ll trust that you know who you are, most of you, and there are others I’d call out who won’t be reading here anyway.

    Oregon’s Cascade mountains — from Mount Hood to Mount Jefferson — are exploding with bright orange butterflies that pulse in massive swarms through forests and meadows.

    Thick clouds of them are slowing cars on Santiam Pass and swirling like snowflakes on the road to Timberline Lodge, in some locales splattering windshields, in others producing near-whiteout, or orange-out, conditions.

    The boom of California tortoiseshell butterflies is not rare, but it is mysterious. Many are probably offspring of a monster swarm that started in California in early summer and later swept into Oregon, said an expert who tracks them.

    The tortoiseshells appeared around Santiam Pass about 10 days ago, said Joe Harwood of the Oregon Department of Transportation. They’re not implicated in any accidents, but Harwood advises drivers to have plenty of windshield wiper fluid.

    Think of the butterflys, floating on the breeze, a chaotic jumble of diffuse airborne intent, ignorant perhaps, and certainly not unhappy. Think of the bloggers and their intentionality, and their off hand inter-referential allusive community. It’s better for a butterfly to collide with his neighbor than with the windshield of a random oncoming car.

    Sometimes when I try to be funny I’m not, and sometimes of course I make a fool of myself without really trying, but in Toronto there’s a community online and a web industry that includes the likes of Miss Chickie and Brian Moffatt, Jon Husband and Elliot Noss, and dozens – yes hundreds and hundreds of creative people drifting like monarchs on their way to Mexico, enjoying the breezes of a summer day, and bound for a goal we needn’t comprehend.

    I’m sorry I caught you when you were feeling fragile, Brian.

    * * *

    No butterflies were harmed in the making of this post.

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    1. Posted September 1, 2024 at 10:58 | Permalink

      Fragile. That’s very perceptive fp. I was thinking I was completely broken, but there you go. I think you are right as always. How does he do it? Now, I’m not going to speak to everyone on your list, but we’re all not in Toronto. I know I’m not. And Jon Husband lives in Vancouver. I’m not nit picking. But I am.

    2. Posted September 1, 2024 at 11:13 | Permalink

      Really? I thought all you guys were from Toronto. This isn’t just a lower North American’s obliviousness to Canada… I REALLY thought that you and Jon and Elliot (and certainly Miss Chickie) hailed from that beautiful city NNE of Buffalo, NY.

    3. Posted September 9, 2024 at 8:18 | Permalink

      let me know when you guys are in atlanta!