The wind chime lay on the cool patio floor, nylon strings entangled around the necks and bodies of the metal chimes as they lay drowning in a pool of tears as an origami butterfly struggles to stay afloat.
There has been a change of weather that blew through the screen windows of the patio that overlooks the garden, an early spring wind that brought with it the scents and sounds of life.
Change, a simple word you might think. But six letters, a failed marriage and a broken wind chime later, I can tell you, it’s never easy.
The women in my life, including myself, have been trying to adjust and modify who we are. We spend years hoping and attempting to fit into someone else’s jeans and fill shoes that just don’t fit us. We convince ourselves that it will just be a tweak here, a nip and tuck there, until we no longer recognize who we are. Painless, right?
If I have learned anything in life, it is this: the simplest of things often involve the most intricate of procedures. Take for instance the origami butterfly.
She started out as a simple piece of paper, spotless and untainted. Then someone decided to use the best of handwriting, with perfect curves and beautiful words until they began to form a story. But just when the story was beginning to get to the best parts, they scribbled out some of the words, replaced them with their own and started to make folds and creases. Some were big and some were so small that she didn’t even notice that she had begun to take a new shape. It was only later that she could no longer read her story that was hiding underneath all those pleats. She had become a piece of origami art that was left to dangle and revolve around the ringing chimes that swung with the sounds of the wind.
I used to think it was enough, to be hidden away, wrapped in the cocoon that someone else had built. I thought I could be content being an actress in someone else’s play when all I really wanted to do was direct.
I began to understand that the best part of being a piece of paper art was that you could transform it into something else. So I began to unfold the creases, smoothen out the folds until I discovered the story hidden within.
It was I who decided where the new folds would go, and the words that would be written down. I was the director of my own play, a play that I would write on the tips of the wings of the butterfly.
I have begun picking up the broken pieces of the wind chime, and untangling the nylon strings of my life. I am letting the chimes fall into place. I am cutting the string of the butterfly so she can spread her wings and take flight into the night sky.