Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for Caterpillar

The letter C introduces an array of interesting words and subsequent topics, such as conversation centered on the meaning of civility, or cowardly choices vs. those that might be considered courageous. Then, there’s my cranky cat whose life seems centered on uncivil commandeering of my calm intents, corrupted by her grating, un-tuned violin insistence that every version of cat food I feed her is unacceptable.

More interesting, perhaps, is “caterpillar” and “chrysalis.” Both represent change, as well as perseverance, faith that withdrawing from a known life will lead to a new life direction or purpose. That caterpillar also becomes vulnerable to intentional or unintentional destruction without an ability to defend itself.

While the caterpillar’s life cycle prevents the choice of turning away from that time of vulnerable withdrawal in order to fly free, humans hold choice in their hands. While not every shift in life requires withdrawal, most demand at least some time alone. I’ve run many scenarios through my mind, including professional team sports, and don’t find a single endeavor that doesn’t include a strong “I” factor.

Personal skill develops from focused hours of practice. This could be physical, mental or both. Hours spent developing intricate skills are necessary for even a modicum of pleasure and certainly if one dreams of mastery. Some of this might not seem like withdrawal the way a caterpillar exchanges one lifestyle for another, but I think there’s a strong similarity. In order to become more proficient, to understand, to own the skills needed to contribute to a team, the world, a family, even your own well-being requires a moving within, to the core of self. Here the seeds are planted, nurtured, established and from here the fruits flow outward.

While I love sharing music with others, a practice that enhances music pleasure ten-fold, for me there is a different kind of magic and energy found when I’m immersed in play and practice in isolation. For my writing, while I glean inspiration and knowledge from interactions with other writers and poets, my soul is fed when I’m immersed in my characters, my muse leading me to worlds unavailable elsewhere.

I guess that says I get to build a chrysalis every day, accepting a kind of faith in where I am headed, perseverance pushing through or climbing over obstacles, challenges and frustrations. Eventually, I believe, the wings of my efforts will break free of the cocoon and fly free.

Cycle of Life

such a  short life
spent in search
of food;

here, there,
all day long,

your purpose clear,
cycle completion
to chrysalis

one set of clothes
into more elegant

and escape
from grounded hikes;

sky waits,
fields of flowers
soon yours –

fly quickly now,
time also flies
and the hour approaches
for the laying of eggs
and letting go,
your plan and purpose

by judy Beaston
April 3, 2012


  1. Love the phrase "escape from grounded hikes" - beautiful imagery!

    Good luck with the A-to-Z challenge, which is how I found your blog!


    1. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post, Lynda. Hope you drop by again. I'll visit your blog now, too

  2. All I can say is that someone who enjoys music, enjoys life :-)

  3. What an amazing post! The un-tuned violin insistence of a cat...love it!

  4. Great post. This ABC thing is fun. I never paid attention to the fact the “caterpillar” and “chrysalis" both begin with the letter C.

    Happy A to Z-ing!