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Monday, August 20, 2007

black butterfly - a letter to joe simpson

a letter to joe simpson, mountaineer and writer of, among other things, his auto biographical account - 'touching the void'



20th august 2007

hello joe

i heard you on the radio and i thought i would let you know, i too have a black butterfly on my shoulder, just there, winking away in the blindspot

when death catches us up on her needle and thread to swing us out over the precipice, we are never able to be truely 'alive' again, at least not in the same way, by this i do not assume you to be a 'depressive' or malfunctioning, i've just found in my own experience that something like this fundamentally changes the excepted and apparently 'learned' understanding of a so called 'life', perhaps it nudges and flicks away at our dna, goes quantum with worm holes, i don't know

but with the waterproofing gone, the cold thumb of death pins her down and gashes her open with a nail, spilling the sodden meat for the gulls, a trembling fleck on the lip of a collosal wave, the tiny glinting eye of creation witnessing itself, forever suspended in that cusp moment, a meniscus, the tiniest fraction of a second looped and forever on replay, never reaching but prior to the inevitable, terrible fall

i lived on a boat as a child/teenager, with infinity above and six miles of water below, we encountered pirates, sharks and storms as we sunk deeply into the beauty and monotony of endless days at sea, and now as a so called 'adult', terrafirma folds away (collapses) beneath me and i cling to my string with the black butterfly fluttering just above my left shoulder, somewhere in the blindspot

perhaps i am talking gibberish, careless i take the risk because you struck a chord with me

i send you my love and wish you well in all things

yours in appreciation

katiejane garside

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11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Katie,

How do you do it?

How do you write so beautifully? Your thoughts, memories, all there for the crafting, and always they are a gift. I am forever trying to understand other worlds, other people, out of curiosity/awe (amongst other nameless things).
Yours is a world I have no doubt many have wished to know, myself included amongst that number... but conscience warns me against forgetting myself in such a matter. I would not wish to deify you, though it is hard sometimes to keep one's head when it comes to admiration. I have digressed, but I wished to say that your writing enthrals me, as does all else you put your hand to. Thank you for sharing.:)

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Mani said...

The black butterfly never leaves. The problem is when it becames something familiar, and it became familiar a long time ago. There´s no way you can return. Is there a way?

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not always a butterfly. At times, it is a voice, others, it is a mirror image. It will hang off you, cling to you and try to absorb you. You will think that it *is* you. At least, these are the things I have found. But you can converse with it, argue with it. If you do so for long enough, it will tire or lose its resolve, and retreat for a while. It likes to come back when you are in doubt, so therein is the key.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, your words are beautiful my dear. That black butterfly of your. The terifying beauty that be death, We so called humans live for death, so it is always good to welcome that old friend. Cause we all know we will come back Or maybee live in a propper world, the world we wish to beleive in, world we reunight with those friends and family that have gone from our "human" lives.

That butterfly, it's an interesting little thing to talk to.

Love The Woodnymphxxx

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Ebb said...

Much of life can be denied, but as for ordeals:

“Few people can survive arbitrary, meaningless changes in their situation”

Peter Wessel Zappfe, also a Mountaineer, writer & philosopher *with lines so much more compelling than the above, but not nearly as concise or relevant to your thoughts.

Many tacit social experiences and interactions are never actively acknowledged, so implicit are they to the communally shared experience of reality. What happens when that isn't there?

If I feel askew from life, I suspect it is because the empathy of others falls afoul of its own dependency on that old order. It feels exotic and intangible; the part undiscovered has the impression of being unknown pressed upon it. That sensation is often fleeting but I doubt that people could ever be known in the way others believe themselves to be. Identity seems to depend more greatly on contrasts in the differences people unwittingly exhibit than on some definitive sense of self. For me, there lies the ineffable conundrum; unspeakable impressions reduced to the trivial in a foreign land. A stranger amongst friends.

Ironically I am just as guilty..

Thankyou for your thoughts, and forgive my own.

~E~

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for reviving the journal.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous julian said...

its 5.42 ..my eyes are tripping out at the glow from this laptop..24 hours ago i was a writer...now..in the dim.im stunned and changed..for i have become a performer...i do not understand the nature of my art.if it is even art.im just confused more and more by my souls outpouring complexity...now the spot lights on me..i have in a week become a product to be sold.
..i was told today..dont let a growing light obscure my night..for it is darkness that creates the engine i think ...
driven yet again to distraction..
i just felt the need to express thoughts to you...like your a fellow suffering one...how fucked am i....anyway delete this comment...its just the expression of a displaced heart..though your posting and the butterflies must in some way have started this train of thought...
ill end this here...to many ideas...too little time and not enough words..now im a media slag.and already i hate myself...


jx

4:52 AM  
OpenID lonesomedays said...

I love you. You are wonderful.

But please update?

xxx

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will there be a new post?!

12:58 AM  
Anonymous ColeMarie said...

*thinks you're a faerie sent from who knows where to alleviate the sorrow of the heart with your beautiful voice*

6:18 PM  
Anonymous markj said...

who is the one who pulls the butterfly to and fro and flaps her wings . . .

you observe and see so much . . .

see even more, widen your landscape . . .

see from the ether . . .

beyond . . .

9:41 PM  

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