#howIwidow basically science blogging geek celebrate my inside voice

liquified inspiration

This was drawn by my sister-mouse, Jill. The reality of it is even prettier than the picture. She can be found at Mind of a Mouse. Stop by and say hey, alright?
This was drawn by my sister-mouse, Jill, and sent to me while I was still behind bars. The reality of it is even prettier than the picture. She can be found at Mind of a Mouse. Stop by and say hey, alright?

It was a dinner party joke.  His go-to response when someone felt the need to point out how incredibly different we were.

“Yep,” he’d say, “My wife is like a fluttering butterfly, and I’m like…”

He’d stop here on purpose, holding his glass like he held his silences– fearlessly, steadily.  Sometimes people would try to fill his space.  (A cactus.  A rare orchid.  A bee. A bird.)

But no one ever guessed what he’d say next.  No one ever could.

“Well.  I’m like molten lava.”

They’d laugh.  Everyone always laughed, because it was a ridiculous analogy, and because it was true, and because never had they ever imagined a butterfly could be so dazzled by lava.

And they’d never seen molten lava love anything more than her flutter.

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

On a quiet Friday, I curled up on my fire engine and worried about how different I would be when I finally came home after a year away.  I flipped my book of trivia open to a random page, and read about the transformation of caterpillar to butterfly.

Apparently, caterpillars almost completely liquify in the cocoon.  An organ or two remains, but they ultimately have to restructure themselves from their basic building blocks in order to become a butterfly– so they do.

How inspiring, I thought– I’ll tell my husband all about it on our first day back together.

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

He was molten lava.
And one day, I might become the butterfly he thought I was.

But right now, I am liquified like the caterpillar, resting all my inspiration in my deeply-rooted need for wings.


What does inspiration mean to you?
For the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.


    1. Yeah. Inspiration is. Inspiration is a toddler who has already learned to celebrate everything– even his dad successfully removing cat poop from the litter. Inspiration is a mamasaur turning a failed tortilla dough into the best flatbread ever. Inspiration is hundreds of blogger lighting candles to see another blogger home.
      Inspiration most certainly is.
      And we are lucky to be so surrounded by it.

      Liked by 7 people

  1. I hope you know you’re not alone in that cocoon, but realise that it is your husband who is sheltering you. My deepest sympathies to you Rara on your sad loss. Some day you will emerge, but not just yet. Take your time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tric. I think knowing that I’m on the verge of something entirely new is scarier than being liquified. You know me and change.

      It’s good to see you around. *hugs* Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Inspiration is the old and familar: words from a friend, colors in the sky, music in our ears

    Inspiration is also the new and scary: new beginning, new location, new job

    It all depends on what we are looking for the inspiration to do, find or become.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Inspiration is dreams, and nightmares, reality, and fantasy, it’s all around us. We just have to open our eyes.

    It’s ok to rest in our cocoons for a while. But oh, what a beautiful butterfly you are already becoming. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I worked a summer in a butterfly farm, and STILL only learned that bit about liquification about a month ago! I felt like a right numpty!

    Inspiration is…

    ^^^ says it best. WTG Jester 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did you learn about how the outside of the environment affects the colors of their wings? I went on a bit of a butterfly research spree.

      A summer job in a butterfly farm sounds awesome! A definite example of “Inspiration is.” 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did not! Wow!
        We got the cocoons in the post, and super-glued them to bamboo twigs and kept them in mesh cages til they hatched. We had to mist them with water a bunch of times a day. It was usually about 100F+ in there, so mostly I remember sweating 😉

        Liked by 1 person

            1. I didn’t know ANYTHING about bees until I went to jail and the lovely girls Behind The Willows kept me updated on their bees. Then I was nearly obsessed. One of my Instagram videos is putting their harvested butter on english muffin bread… and sometimes I just stare at the honey. It came from… bees. Crazy!

              Liked by 3 people

              1. LOL I KNOW! Isn’t it all so strange when we start thinking about it too deeply?! That said I remember reading about a man who managed to spend an entire afternoon lost in contemplation and wonder of his own thumb, so…I think the lesson is that wonder and an open mind can sometimes induce catatonia, and to be careful of that stuff! 😉

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. Well, not just thumbs! Lewis Thomas (a favourite of mine, in fact, I may email you his book in a mo) was a WONDEROUS writer (and I mean that in full sense of the word) and he once suggested that we should stop building bombs and missiles until we completely understand just ONE creature. He suggested we start with the ant. And then he rhapsodised beautifully and scientifically and surmised that we would never ever need to fund weapons again, due to our unlikeliness in ever having sufficient knowledge about the ant.

                    Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks. I’m still achey but not as bad as last night. Might be starting on the ‘sore throat and generally crap’ portion of it all now. Have co-codamol and have been loopy on it for the last coupla hours, so there’s that 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Inspiration is when something outside me resonates with something inside me and I can see a pathway that was not previously visible.

    That’s a pretty amazing analogy of the liquefaction of the organs Rara. Very thought provoking. You know Plato (through Socrates) believed that we never actually invent anything, we simply discover it. That all knowledge already exists and we just have to find it – rather like those word search puzzles. If that is true then even though you may be liquefied right now your final beautiful form is already in existence and you will arrive there as soon as you and the universe decide it is to be. What you have set in progress has already determined that you are beautiful Rara. Have you ever been bowling and thrown the ball and just knew it was a strike? So sure that you just turn and walk back to ball dispenser? Well, your liquefaction is just like that – you will be a butterfly and it is already determined.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. A predetermined butterfly fate. I think that’s a very comforting thought to hold to my heart today, Paul. Thank you.

      I love your description of inspiration… a wonderful combination of insight and hope. How powerful!

      Thank you for popping by and filling my mind with more possibility. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I love the way you think, and the way you tell stories. My best friend is my lizard and I her butterfly. I don’t remember where we came up with it but we’ve been using it for so long it’s just part of who we are now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 I really don’t know what created the butterfly/lava explanation in the first place, but we ran with it, too. Hurrah for taking interesting things and hoisting them up a flagpole with pride! 🙂 I’m a little bit lizard (rawr!) and a little bit butterfly (goop!) so I think I’d get on perfectly with you both. 😀

      Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. You so inspire me Rara. I think I finally have a couple of blog posts brewing…it’s been too long. I am amazed that you can just pop our magic. You will be the most spectacular butterfly anyone has ever seen. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. For me inspiration often comes in the form of a record album I’ve owned for a long time, but never sat and listened to all the way through…. Or maybe I have listened to it before, but never really heard it, and suddenly it clicks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Exactly. The moment you’ve seen all along suddenly becoming the moment you’ve never actually seen. Inspiration is most definitely the click. 🙂

      Also, I’m pretty fond of your blog title. 😀

      Liked by 3 people

  9. I love butterflies. And caterpillars. Your post reminded me of an aria. Un bel di verdromo from Madame Butterfly by Pucinni

    One good day, we will see
    Arising a strand of smoke
    Over the far horizon on the sea
    And then the ship appears

    Then I thought of Lao Tzu ‘be like water’ and I thought he’s a sweetie. Be like water and then fly ❤

    Now thinking of what inspires me.. a bit the same as naming all the things I love.. oh noes.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Naming all the things you love inspires you… and inspires me. 😀 “Be like water and fly” is the most imperfectly perfect mantra I’ve ever heard. It’s starkly beautiful and I’m a little bit in love with the words. 😀

      So are you participating in the Inspiration challenge? All your art is an inspiration, you know. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha a former lover hated my English. We’d often have fights about it. He’d say you can’t make your own words or change grammar. Oh yes I canz!! 😀

        You mean the weekly photo challenge? I am but it’s giving me a headache right now. There was a point when all was a dark haze and I wanted to throw rocks (the big ones) at the universe but right now hunger is kicking in and I’m slowly munching the world around me. Maybe inspiration is having the munchies for magic. 😀

        It’s a poopy world but phantasmagorical too. All your art, you, and those who love you are an inspiration. you know ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Can’t make your own words? Had he never read Lewis Carroll? Like Humpty Dumpty, I am the master of my own words. I control them, not the other way around, and words mean what I tell them to mean!

          Liked by 3 people

  10. Wow. thanks for stopping by my blog, because returning the favour I find I’m very inspired by yours.

    I’ll have to find time to keep reading more before I comment more. Riveting reading, love your positivity.

    thanks for blogging, your words are inspirational.


    Liked by 1 person

  11. Inspiration is found in the comment section of your blog:
    “If you don’t think “poopy” and “sparkly” go together, try eating more glitter”

    Inspiration is reading great writing, and wanting to be great as well. xo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The comment section of my blog has always been one of my favorite places to go. The people here– and the fish, and the mice, and the dinos, and tookles, and the cupcakes, and the bears, and … well… and everyone– are just Wondrous.

      It’s good to see you here, chica. *hugs*

      Liked by 1 person

  12. WOW, YOU’RE BACK! YOU’RE BACK!!!!!!!!!! What wonderful news to me….Sorry for the seemingly late reaction, but I’ve been away from WordPress most of the time lately. But now that my laptop’s working semi-well, I might be able to visit more regularly again….

    Hope you are having the grandest time here outside 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Might be” – no, no, we’re going to need you to return, too. 😀

      The reaction isn’t late at all. It still feels like I came home yesterday. Thank you for the warm welcome back!! I hope your hiatus from WP is at an end and we’ll be able to spin around each other once more.

      😀 Thank you for reading!!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Inspiration for me is in old tales well told, Dragons if all goes well, and music through the mountains…do not know why, but there it is.
    Love the butterfly, a beautiful gift 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Jill is a treasure-trove of perfectly-timed words and images. The link to her site goes to a little garden image that I kept coming back to on my first real day online. It wasn’t until my 4th peek that I realized the post was a welcome home for me, too. 🙂 She’s my sister-mouse.

      Old tales well-told … that’s one of my favorite things of all time. And, you can never really go wrong with dragons. 😀

      Thanks for reading!!

      Liked by 2 people

        1. It always smells like that here. I think there’s s secret ninja baker living in my side bar. Either that… Or, as I’m always tellin’ people to take off their shoes…. Someone has bread-scented feet. Clearly.

          Liked by 2 people

  14. Saw this and thought I would share it with you. With peace across the net, I watch and admire your progress!

    When I Rise Up

    Georgia Douglas Johnson

    When I rise up above the earth,
    And look down on the things that fetter me,
    I beat my wings upon the air,
    Or tranquil lie,
    Surge after surge of potent strength
    Like incense comes to me
    When I rise up above the earth
    And look down upon the things that fetter me.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Inspiration is so many things. Inspiration is opening my eyes everyday and seeing the possibilities. Inspiration is visiting with Dancin’ Dave – an 88 year old man who influenced many during his years of living. Inspiration is being. Inspiration is YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so right, Beth Ann– inspiration is being. It’s a part of almost every single thing we experience and perceive. How … inspiring. 😀 Thank you for reading and for adding to our definition! xo!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I do believe that the diferences between two people can yield more benefits for a relationship than we usually though. However, the diversities of our characters must based on the same background like culture, family, belief… in order to qualify all conflicts in some creative ways. Love to read your words, molten lava and butterfly do share the same feature: they make us admire the miracle of nature 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dave and I were different in most ways, even culture/faith/family… but we loved the same things in a big big way, and I think that made all the difference.

      Thank you for reading, and for your kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. What a beautiful, and heart breaking fact/analogy. Having to restructure yourself after a debilitating event/loss? That about sums it up. I wonder if the percentage of caterpillars who remain liquid and never become butterflies is equal to the number of people who fail to change after trauma?


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d like to think– even though I know better– that all the caterpillars and people make it. 😀 That’s just me, though… rootin’ for the impossible thing! 🙂

      Thanks for reading, E!


  18. I’m inspired by synchronicity and coincidences and occasional psychic phenomena…I like idiosyncrasies and naturalness and big hearts. Good writing inspires me; but what really inspires me is real-time introspection transforming into healing. So I was thinking about cocoons and how helpful it is to build a healing cocoon. Randomly then I thought, “I have to check on Rara.” I wish I could tell you how strange it is to get to know someone through blogland first by their reputation for awesomeness and certain unfair hardships 😦 😦 , and then to see her take amazingly courageous steps into her new life. You are inspiring! Yes, life is inspiring! You are all right, and they were right, Rara… Thank you for sharing your courage. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Synchronicity is one of my most favorite things and I love how often it interplays into my life. Thank you for letting me see it in effect once again… it’s rather reassuring! 😀

      As to my blogland reputation, I think they got a little carried away. 😉 But they are loved, and you are loved… and apparently so am I, haha. 😀

      Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. In some ways I think inspiration is the polar opposite to jealousy. That thought has only just occurred to me so I haven’t thought it through properly, I might change my mind about that, we’ll see…

    Love her artwork, so beautiful!


  20. Yes…thank you, for this post, personal and beautiful and for sharing your illustration…I’ll be thinking about this transformation more now and I will send you a warm charge of energy now and then if you like. ♥


                    1. *giggles* So true. I keep explaining to people that even walking through Target makes me tired. I’m used to sitting still now. 🙂


                    2. Well. I was, but not by choice… for firefighter training. Once I was put in my job, I just sat… the last 4 months, really. 🙂


  21. Inspiration? You are inspiration dear Rara–even in your semi-liquified state. But then, as you emerge from your cocoon, you will gain strength, the sun will warm your wings and you will soar again. Blessings on Jill for sending you such a sweet gift to encourage you.


  22. Metamorphosis! The ability to change, as we all do everyday. None of us are who we were and yet we carry the DNA of all of our ancestors all the way back to EVE! How absolutely amazingly wonderful we all are. Each one so special and unique.
    May we all learn to dance with the music of our hearts and flow with the ever changing river of life.
    Love ya!


  23. I’ve never been able to look at the word “inspiration” the same way after picking it apart into it’s language roots. It’s breath. Just breath. It’s hauling one thing in and pushing another thing out.

    It’s taking the common, the abundant, and the necessary, and transforming it into the things that move us, fuel us, carry us.

    It’s taking the thing closest to hand and understanding it’s exactly what we need to keep going. It’s grabbing hold of something as slippery as air and using it to build something as magnificent as life.

    (and this post was beautiful, Rara. 🙂 )


  24. Well these days I am inspired watching a little rarasaur crawl out of the ooze towards the sun, cheered on my her community that she built with bricks of love.
    Oh and Olivia and Lucy, they are inspiring me this morning so they might do so for you. Now wp won’t let me post it here so I’ll go over to fb and do it there. ❤


  25. Inspiration is seeing how shadow and light changes your perspective. It can be something dark and scary but also something beautiful and cheerful.

    Inspiration sometimes appears even though it was the least you were expecting in that certain moment…. It comes unexpected like a “summer rainshower” to cool off the heat of the day.


  26. Butterfly is definitely right for you. Apart from when you’re being a dinosaur, of course! And lava seems to fit Dave too, in that it’s always changing and is somewhat unpredictable.

    I think as humans we have many cocoon times, without realising it. Each one makes us that bit more ourselves.



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