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Written By: Orlon Braem
I’m alone here today with my memory of fears, and my realization of what appears. But I’m thankful for all I’ve received in goodness, yet I’m also traumatized by all I’ve known as evil. And to add to my confusion, recently the leader of a supposed free world told mankind that he wished God would save the queen. Well, yes, but doesn’t that phrase usually refer to British monarchs? She’s dead I thought. Oh, maybe he meant we wish her immortal soul will now be saved, after all, royalty and peasants will all be treated the same before the judges of eternity – right?
And God forbid I would ever say I could truthfully know of the peril many have suffered for seemingly accidental reasons. Yet, I do know every mortal must somehow continually advance through all impending time frames. But, I feel somewhat ashamed to admit I don’t exactly know what all that’s been said in this disclosure thus far really means. I only know it’s visited my mind; thus, it must be confronted.
And, for some reason, I’ve been asked to answer the reactions an unknown someone evidently garnered as a result of his or her encounter with a beautiful butterfly. But I don’t know how to do that! I don’t know him or her, and to my remembrance such a fluttering entity has never appeared to me. So, I suppose all I can do now is state my impressions of the apparent impressions captured by the writer of Butterfly Beautiful Part One.
Oh, and here’s a challenge! My suppositions in this piece (Butterfly Beautiful Part Two) will be, I’m thinking, grounded in what I’d term “basic reality.” Yet, I’m also thinking that the truth, or more likely truths concerning the butterfly are possibly esoteric. And therefore, perhaps the unknown writer of Part One of this discourse would like to return in a Part Three to shed more “light” upon the puzzles and uncertainties raised by his or her sighting of a winged insect.
Nonetheless, as I said as I began this piece, my current setting (with setting referring to state of mind) is one of solitary reflection. And I guess it’s one of those times to again ponder if indeed I’ve fulfilled all the failings which years ago I was prognosticated to achieve. But, now I find myself trying to guess someone else’s impressions. Yet today, in my cognizance, I find my own personal experiences to be of more importance to myself than any of those of any other mortal. And it seems that usually when I think back to all the things I’ve seen, heard, and been part of in my city, I become fearful of their past, present, and future ramifications. Still, I know I always did what I believed I needed to do at the time. And, I always tried to ward off self-pity.
But I must admit that a few clichés remain with me constantly, and haunt me constantly; but never more than when I’m called upon to express opinions via the written word. And yes, clichés denigrate modern writing, yet, in my opinion, also usually provide a sort of synthesizing clarity which offers an unquestionable orderliness to modern living. And here are some relevant examples of such trite phrases: The past has passed, we can’t go back in time and change it. Many people, things, and occurrences are gone, but not forgotten. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. What they don’t know, won’t hurt them.
But, despite the apparently inherent lack of focus which seems to underpin this writing, as I’m undertaking it now, I feel free physically, but lost mentally. And at this time the beautiful butterfly has still not visited me here, where today my mind wanders backward. And thus, as I’m sitting here now, I know not of the butterfly or of its story teller. All I know is of this city. And I’ve struggled for a new ordering of lifestyles here. Yes, I’ve struggled for that within this city for many years.
But my overall mood improved recently when I received a phone call from a friend whom I always refer to as “the man from the green city.” And he told me that a number of well known people had recently left the green city to become part of a clique of New York jet setters. And after we discussed that topic for a while, we then spoke about our similar opinions concerning what’s currently happening in our Native American states And we found we’re both fearful that America’s present older generations aren’t protecting their birthrights as they should be. And we shared our concerns that someday their heirs will be left with nothing – the wealth of America having been transferred to so-called refugees. Gosh, I wonder if our ancestors fought those horrific wars just to have their descendants give away their freedoms to people who should remain living to their south? But, my discussion with the man from the green city ended then.
And then I could see that beautiful butterfly! Somehow it entered an imaginary control room, and pushed a button with the word “ACTIVATE” upon it. And then, before me, seeming as real as real could seem, I saw a dance floor full of impeccably dressed ladies and gentlemen! And they were dancing across the floor, holding one another in somewhat (it appeared so to me at least) tight embraces. And it looked to me as though some of the couples were most likely lovers – but, then over an unseen loudspeaker an unknown voice stopped the beautiful waltzing I was seeing before me by saying “Mr. Braem, please deactivate this fantasy, and get down to your real assignment,” So, alright, I’ll try to do so. But I should probably say that my mind seems burdened today. It’s reliving many events beyond believability.
And, oh yes, I’ve lived here now, in this city for between fifty and sixty years. And I’ll never leave here. And I knew a long time ago, as a child, that such would be the case. It’s a difficult concept to explain, yet this city is, I guess, in some respects a prison. And those who must remain here, must stay here to confront all city, county, state, national and world controversies. And no, Christ’s mother has never appeared here, but according to numerous people, both Christ and Lucifer have.
And I always think back to Joseph Same’s account of the time that he and Christ, with all of earthly time stopped, were walking down what had been a busy street in this city. And with all of the traffic stopped, Joe noticed a little girl about to be run over by a car; but before he could go out into the time-stopped street to remove her from her apparently probable death, somehow he first needed to mentally relive many incidents from his past. And I’ll never forget Joe’s soul shattering verbal summation of those events: “Isn’t it strange how memories from years ago come back to haunt one when one finds oneself involved in other situations even more troubling than they?”
But Joe grew up on the south side of the city, while I was born on the north side. We became friends because he spent so much of his youth “hanging about” on the north side. Indeed, he was one of a very few south siders who were welcomed on the north side. And some very wealthy people liked Joe, but that’s another story.
Personally, I and some of my other north side friends used to like to harass some of the most destitute of the south siders. And as an adult today, I’m sorry for those actions, although none of them were really serious, except perhaps for the prank we used to pull against an elderly homeless man who used to sleep in a south side Catholic church whenever he was allowed to. Sometimes, if I and my friends were “cruising about” on the south side, and saw him slowly walking down a street there, we would throw empty beer cans toward him as we drove by.
So, now you know we used to drink beer on the north side, but believe me, no one I knew there ever did it to excess. Nevertheless, that wasn’t the case on the south side. And I’ll not burden you with the numerous examples of how I know that to be true. Drunkenness and drug use were common there. And when I was in my early twenties, I actually had a south side girlfriend who died of an overdose. And, over the years, there were a number of serious car accidents there – on the south side. And crime was a problem there. And there were also a few murders.
But of course there was crime on the north side as well, although a fair portion of it was committed by south siders looking for trouble on our side of the river. So, there was contention between the two sides of the city for many years, but that started to change when someone got the idea or directive to start settling “creative type” individuals along the near north side – very near the river. And to this day no one knows (no one that I know at least) how those people managed to acquire properties along the river, or how they managed to support themselves, or what went (and still goes) on in their area of this city. The streets are open there of course. And sometimes I drive through there. But there’s not much to see or learn there – I guess. The whole area is like an enclave onto itself. Maybe in some respects it resembles a college campus.
And when I think about my city of controversy, with its actually three areas now, I’m reminded of how all the residents of it, no matter the area of it in which they reside, live lives apart from “normalcy,” although most of the time their lives are what most would consider quite normal. Yet, the chance of the most bizarre and unbelievable events occurring here is always a possibility.
Yes, the realities of life in my particular city are on my mind today. And although it may be somewhat of an improbable mental leap, thoughts concerning the differences between the residents of the two sides of that city are now making me wonder why there seems to be an assumption that human beings are to live their daily existences in service to, and in care of one another. And, as I admitted earlier, I’m somewhat confused now. And now I’m praying that the unknown author of Part One of this discourse will first be allowed to, and then will write a Part three for it. I feel I’ve covered the down to Earth aspects of the Butterfly Beautiful phenomenon, and now it’s left to he or she who supposedly either mentally or actually encountered that butterfly to supply the symbolic.