Death Of A Caterpillar
People like to compare themselves to the Butterfly. They look at the beautiful wings sprung forth by growth, and flap around with confidence. “Look at me,” they boast. “Look at what I am!” But, no one ever talks about the process of becoming. I want to do that. I want to talk about what life is like inside the cocoon.
First, let’s think about the life of the caterpillar. She inches along, eating dirt, leaves, and rotten berries. She can’t think, can’t dream, can’t jog in certain neighborhoods. She can’t dress a certain way or talk to people. She keeps her head in the dirt to keep the arguing to a minimum. It’s not a life worth living. So, the caterpillar tries to find a way out or some way to protect herself.
Now, the caterpillar, by instinct, will do one or two things. One, she may lynch herself. She may have to hang herself from the branch of a tree. Two, she may have to bury herself in a shallow grave. So, what does that feel like? Imagine a rope around your neck, a knee on your cervical spine, or a lover’s hand around your throat. Think about what it feels like to buried underground. You can’t breathe, and all you see is darkness. There is no future, only memories of a life too painful to keep living.
She cries. The insect oozes out a glue-like substance or fluid. She bleeds and has to cover herself in the snot dripping from her nose. She doesn’t want to. She doesn’t enjoy it. But, she’s afraid. She has to hide to protect herself. She’s trying to play it smart. She feels powerless and knows that no one else, no other insect can save her from the life that she is meant to live.
Let’s skip ahead. Now, the cocoon is formed, and she’s inside. Hiding, waiting, unable to breathe, unable to see the sun or feel the wind across her cheeks. She’s already at the end of her rope. Then, it starts. Her cells begin to break down. Her body, her heart, her mind begins to eat away at itself. She screams from the pain. She wants out but can’t break free because she’s already barricaded herself inside.
Her protection is now her prison, and she’s dying a slow and painful death.
Everyone wants to be a beautiful butterfly, not realizing that to become something…the nothing, the caterpillar inside you must die.