If ‘butterflies are too fragile to hold’ (*), then why do we treat our fellow humans so roughly?
Why does the woman, seeing her lover’s eyes glance at perceived beauty, find herself accidentally brushing against a protruding elbow, causing a spillage, and an ensuing scene? Why doesn’t, she too, make eyes and smile with wonder?
Why does the workmate, seeing his boss start back in recognition of another’s talents, find himself accidentally spilling out false tales of that talented person’s ill-intentions. Why doesn’t he too, recognise the talent, ask about it, and learn from it?
Why does the sibling, seeing a fellow-sibling, wrapped up in a mother’s embrace, call out, demanding an explanation for a missing bar of chocolate, a missing sock, or an absent phone charger. Why doesn’t she too, consider the embrace, be patient and await her turn?
Why does the schoolchild, seeing a classmate’s essay held up by the teacher, read out and praised to the hilt, feel the need to take a pen, steal that essay from the marked-work pile and doodle upon it a bird dumping out labelled ‘shit’? Why doesn’t the child remember that they too had their work read out in another lesson, and arrange a swap of ‘How to succeed in Maths and English tips?’
Why does the author, seeing a fellow-writer sitting in Waterstones and signing copies of her latest publication, join the queue, make his purchase and proceed to ridicule the clichés and plotlines? Why doesn’t he just read the book, feel awestruck, and find himself inspired?
When will it be time, the right time, to recall the fragility of all our lives – of the envied and the envious? When will it be time to hold onto each other, keep each strong, and lift ourselves up together?
Why, instead, like silver teaspoons, gripped tight in the arms of factory robots, do we just keep batting – on and on and on – at the heads of pre-cracked eggshells?
Copyright owned by Jay Cool, April 2019
These questions are not intended to be rhetorical, i.e. pleasant responses welcome!
*Quoted from the poem ‘Holdfast’ by Robin Beth Schaer, as featured on the website poem-a-day.