🦋 Look For Butterflies
Greetings friends and welcome to issue #2! (I'm not going to always announce issues but why not today?!),Today, I have a reflection on my grandmother and butterflies that I think you'll find interesting, along with some great articles and upcoming events this weekend for Juneteenth and the Poor People's Campaign that you'll want to know about.Thanks for reading and if you enjoy the issue will you share it around to your friends?Wess
Look for the Butterflies
Anne-Laure Le Cunff, a neuroscience researched and founder of Ness Labs recently reflected on the death of her grandmother. This got me thinking about my own grandma Daniels who was very special to me.
I've been aware of butterflies since I was a child because she loved them and I loved her. Her interest made me more aware of butterflies and made me think of her when I saw them. Now that she has passed, every time I see a butterfly I immediately think of her and imagine that Grandma is visiting me.
Strangely, or maybe not, I have often glimpsed a butterfly in a moment when I really needed to be reminded of my grandma, her love, her grace, and generosity.
I shared this story back to Anne-Laure after reading her post, because I wondered if she had things that helped her remember her grandma. The same is for those of you reading this - for those loved ones that you have lost - what are the serendipitous things that remind you of them? The things that gently surprise you in moments when you need a reminder of that person you loved?
What I didn't know was that butterflies may be a very useful symbol and metaphor for the dramatic changes we are undergoing in this time. Not only are they symbols of positive transformation transformation and interconnectedness as Anne-Laure wrote to me over email:
Butterflies are considered a symbol of hope, positive transformation, interconnectedness (because of the Butterfly Effect), and love (because of the butterflies in your stomach).
But even more, as you can read in this tweet below, they demonstrate physiologically something very similar to what we are going through right now. The more the caterpillar resists the initial change (fighting it off with its immune system) the stronger the emergent butterfly becomes.
Leandro summarizes it like this:
The caterpillar tries to destroy the butterfly, until the imaginal disks multiply to such an extent, then grow and overwhelm the caterpillar. They become imaginal cells, that eventually build the butterfly, that then feeds on the soupy meltdown of the caterpillar’s body.
It's mysterious and amazing isn't it?
Finally, this is what Augusto Cuginotti writes in Imaginal Cells | The Caterpillar’s Job to Resist the Butterfly:
It is the job of the system in place to resist the emergence of a new system – this resistance supports the strength and validity of the new system for the time when the shift happens. During this transformation, one is constantly challenged by the old system – acknowledging that this is at service of the new invites to a place of understanding rather than a place of opposition or duality.
The system emerging will, at its own turn, be build to last and to resist following emergences. We are stepping into this flow that will continue beyond us in the future. We are at the same time aware of our vital importance at this time and our transient influence at the no-time.
I think this process and metaphor from the more-than-human world of the butterfly reminds us to see things in process and transition, to look for the places where the emergent system is now at work, and to help bring people along and work in service to these new systems? The resistance of the old system is only going to make the new system stronger and better.
Therefore, how might we "Co-create the language of this new system requires a space of exploration both of the self and while relating in community" (Augusto Cuginotti)? How are we working in service to the new world being birthed (rather than our own self-interests)?
May we see more and more butterflies in the coming days.
Twitter Thread (on Butterflies)
Dress Down Friday Links
“My Daughter Died Giving Her Heart Helping” | The Nib — thenib.com Part four in our interview series "In/Vulnerable" – the mother of a COVID victim in Maryland.
When Christians won’t acknowledge racism, protest becomes church — religionnews.com LOS ANGELES (RNS) — No cars can get through the traffic light at Colorado Boulevard and Fair Oaks Avenue in old Pasadena this afternoon because a handful of black Americans, led by a preteen named Sebastian, are dancing to “Wobble” in the middle of the intersection.
The Evil List — slate.com Maybe it was fake news, Russian trolls, and Cambridge Analytica. Or Travis Kalanick’s conniption in an Uber. Or the unmasking of Theranos. Or all those Twitter Nazis, and racist Google results, and conspiracy theories on YouTube.
Juneteenth Event: Slave Narratives with James Shields and William Andrews (7-8pm EST June 19th, 2020)
Scuppernong Books here in Greensboro is hosting this conversation with James Shields and Bill Andrews (I'll be moderating the conversation). Here is a link for more information.
June 20, 2020 - A Digital Mass Gathering and "March on Washington" with the Poor People's Campaign
On June 20th (10am EST and 6pm EST), we will hold the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-income people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in this nation’s history. A global pandemic is exposing even more the already existing crisis of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. Learn more and participate here.
Please Read: Consider Signing and Sharing
An open letter with 5 action points or demands for how we can change the systems in our country that are costing people their lives.
🧠💚 Final Thought
"It’s the caterpillar’s job to resist the butterfly and the butterfly’s job to become stronger because of the opposition to its advance." Imaginal Cells | The Caterpillar’s Job to Resist the Butterfly
Thank you for reading, stay vigilant, and resist empire,
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