Lovers (1933) by Konstantin Somov
bodies and somebodies
I read an article that it can take up to 100 years for a butterfly to fully decompose.
And I thought about how something very beautiful could come to feel like a shell of something that might have been something once.
Something that ants were slowly picking apart and carrying back to their families, back to their homes. Something that was white washed into the fresh concrete at an old park or just some organic matter meant only to serve a purpose by disappearing into the earth people stomp on, roots feed upon.
And when they tell you it’s something to be something when you’re growing up, you shouldn’t listen but you do, and you think, someday, I’ll make tears in the eyes of my loved ones and I will be able to feel their warmth from a room’s distance. But no one ever tells you that when you think you’re growing up you’re really just growing down.
Growing down into the realities of life instead of growing up into the expectations you’d previously had.
You can’t be special, you can only feel it.
And eating all of your broccoli won’t make you as tall as your father because you probably got Uncle Rob’s genes.
And if you ever thought for a split-fucking-second that you’d meet more than one person who would love you, really love you, the way you’re meant to be loved then you’re a fool.
The truth is simple. Not many people are special, your lacking in life will almost always be predestined and true love only happens once. The truth: not special, lacking, only once.
So the lessons become: recognize the word “special” as existing in moments you may be lucky to exist in, learn to love what you are whatever that may be, and don’t let go or give up on what’s good for you.
Because while butterflies may take decades to fully leave this world, human bodies can take as little as 48 hours to decompose.
All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, ‘Oh, why can’t you remain like this for ever!’ This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end.
Illustration by Maxin Mitrofanov
Peter Pan and Wendy illustrated by Gwynedd Hudson (1931)
Einar Nerman, from Fairy Tales of the North.
from Hildilid’s Night (1971)
written by Cheli Duran Ryan
illustrated by Arnold Lobel
Finally finished colouring this one.
Inspired by a visit to Montréal’s insectarium and botanical gardens. Such a lovely place.