26 Comments

I love the floating ship Katherine. I always get a bit mesmerised by tankers that you can see in the distance, wondering what they are up to. You whole post has me thinking about wonder. Of nature, of illusion, of the elements. Whether what we see is ever actually reality. It’s given me my own sense of floating through time and space like an astronaut. Thank you! 💫🙏

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Our adaptations to our own marvellous often puzzling life changes are so layered and interesting . We are momentarily rattled then somehow we adjust . I love the concept of the doula - as sometimes we all need a little help with those big life altering changes .. thanks for this lovely thoughtful essay - and the imagery !

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Sep 10, 2023Liked by Katherine May

That was my favourite bit too. When you become disabled there’s a lot of denial, but also ‘am I?’ ‘Can I use that term?’ worries and trying to cope your new reality when everyone else’s expectations vary from ‘you’re back to normal’ to ‘why can’t / won’t you do that anymore?’ are really wearing.

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My favourite thing about caterpillars changing into butterflies via soup, is that they somehow retain some experiences from being a caterpillar in the process: https://theconversation.com/curious-kids-do-butterflies-remember-being-caterpillars-99508

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Sep 10, 2023Liked by Katherine May

I never knew those details about the metamorphosis of caterpillar to butterfly. So cool! And makes me wonder why anyone should be surprised or dismayed about any part of nature or a sentient being that appears to be one thing on the surface but is actually something/someone completely different on the inside or at second glance. All parts of the whole that may evolve at different times.

A kind of metamorphosis comes with late summer too, as we start to shed the heat and busyness of the summer, the growing season, and retreat inward.

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Thank you for this delightfully interesting article. I liked the story that “suggests that the space above our heads can be filled with either air or water”, which reminded me of an exhibition at the Wellcome Collection in London. It included the startling information that the weight of air would crush you if your body didn't also contain air!!!

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author

That’s such an unsettling thought!

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It’s definitely a changing season here. The changes you want or don’t want we really don’t get a choice. But mostly I love the new directions. It seems they are there for a reason to change. Thank you

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It’s 4AM in SW Louisiana USA. I open Substack and here you are. Speaking words that draw me into your world. As a sailor it all makes perfect sense. Floating drowning, change. I am not a poet, just think too much at times. Wasting time I think. None the less time slipping through my mind, never to be enjoyed, hated, or controlled again. Just wish to stop the passing of it at times. Tempus Fugit. Thank for the wake up today. Regards “Mon Neg”

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Thinking is never wasting time 🤔

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Stunning as always. I’ve also been fascinated by metamorphosis but never thought about them being two distinct selves. Incredible.

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Not a mirage but a vision in words. Lovely writing. And among it my eyes snagged on “...the idea that, to a caterpillar, a butterfly is a ghost”. On my walk this afternoon I watched a variety of butterflies enjoy the last of the sun, and then as the breeze picked up, they seemed to have somewhere to be. It made me wonder at the finiteness of their lives, and the improbability that their is such a thing as a butterfly bucket list.

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This was lovely. I love reading and hearing about medieval stories, their reality and everyday was so different than ours!! I also love reading about the Dancing Plague.

The topic of metamorphosis made me think of salmon (the salmon are returning right now in PNW!) which made me think of this article, which is lovely: https://emergencemagazine.org/essay/creaturely-migrations-breathing-planet/

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Have you read Gareth Brookes’ graphic novel about the dancing plague? It’s excellent!

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I have not!! It looks excellent, thank you!

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That Hirsch poem is lovely;

“I will walk home alone with the deep alone,

a disciple of shadows, in praise of the mysteries.”

Thank you.

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author

Isn’t it gorgeous?

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Katherine, you will love this Seamus Heaney poem about the ship over Clonmacnoise - at this link:

https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/1995/8424-poetry-1995-2/

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author

Ooh thanks!

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Sep 10, 2023Liked by Katherine May

But I also liked that bit about caterpillars and butterfly ghosts in Lorrie Moore’s book, which was some trip! It also reminded me that I read elsewhere that butterflies are considered by some as souls of the dead ... and given that the whole story seemed to be about dealing with death (of relationships, of people) and our relationship to / in the world ... seemed really deeply appropriate and also metaphorical. I also loved BTW the way the cover made loads more sense once I read the book; such attention to detail.

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Such a great book

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Great post. Lucille Clifton, Lorrie Moore, two wonderful writers, plus soupy insect transformations!

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Thank you, for the poem and all.

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"We are all, after all, apprentices in this world, forever managing change, and forever conscious of the limits of our knowledge. How do we manage it? We look for signs. We immerse ourselves in wonders."

Oh to be fully alive...thank you for all of this!

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