through your life like water through a sieve. It refuses to conform or compromise. You cannot
catch it with a net because it has no shape.
My grand-daddy used to catch butterflies with a net. He bounded through exotic jungles
with my mom and waved his wooden-handled net as if he were speaking semaphore to the wind.
I do not know if his net was actually wooden-handled: I have never seen it. I have only seen his
collections of colorful butterflies, caught many years ago in Malaysia, or Liberia, or Kenya. For
each butterfly, my grand-daddy inscribed a label with the date and slipped a pin through the
thorax. He pinned the delicate butterflies and their scientific epitaphs in rows along the bases of
slender boxes. The boxes are wooden: this I know. They have smooth glass lids and little metal
latches that hinge open with soft clicks. They smell like cedar.
My grand-daddy caught butterflies as a hobby—to kill time, you might say. He liked
looking through his medley of flying colors, which he kept in a back room under the stairs. The
room had no windows, but its walls were lined with rows of shelves of wooden butterfly boxes.
When I was young, I sat in the room and whispered to the butterflies, asking them where they
came from and why they had so many patterns. It never occurred to me that the room was a
Although most of the insects my grand-daddy collected were butterflies, the graveyard
held other colorful corpses as well: smooth iridescent beetles and fluffy brown moths, which
looked like the butterflies except for their thick woolen bodies and furred antennae. They are all
gone now, and the shelves of the back room...
... middle of paper ...
...es out and brushed off their auburn fur.
Sometimes their legs or antennae were broken off, and sometimes they were a little squashed,
but I took them anyway and put little pins through their desiccated thoraxes.
I still have my collection of fuzzy bumblebees, and my mom still has Peanut. We do not
have my grand-daddy. He is in a jar in a church in Tucson, Arizona, lined up with a row of other
jars that hold the ashes of people who ran out of time. The jars are hidden behind stone plates so
that you can’t see the ashes. The date my grand-daddy died is inscribed on his stone, but instead
of an epitaph there is a carving of a butterfly.
We try to pin down time with a date, like a collected insect in a wooden box. We end up
with a desiccated exoskeleton, a jar of ether, a wooden-handled net. We end up with a carving of
a butterfly. We end up with nothing at all.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Heroin It was eight a.m. and she had been up for hours at this point. The diarrhea was uncontrollable and her stomach was killing her. She felt like she needed to vomit again. Her bed was covered in sweat. Her body felt hot, but she was freezing cold. Her hands were shaking because she was a nervous wreck. Her legs were restless and her entire body ached as if she had been run over by a semi. She felt weak, both physically and mentally. She had been crying all night because she hated herself. Her addiction was the reason her daughter was taken from her and given to her mother.... [tags: Heroin, Drug addiction, Addiction, Morphine]
2270 words (6.5 pages)
- Summary and Analysis of The Squire's Tale (The Canterbury Tales) Epilogue to the Merchant's Tale and Prologue to the Squire's Tale: The Host laments the Merchant's tale, praying that he would never find such a terrible wife. The Host admits that he also has a wife that he laments marrying. He advises the Squire to tell a tale next. The Squire's Tale is not complete, ending after only six hundred lines. The Squire's Tale: The Squire tells the tale of Cambyuskan, the king of Sarai in Tartary. With his wife Elpheta he had two sons, Algarsyf and Cambalo, and a daughter Canacee.... [tags: Canterbury Tales The Squire's Tale Essays]
604 words (1.7 pages)
- Book Summary War of the Worlds starts with off as a normal day in Woking, England, but that night astronomers observe flares of light and energy on the surface of Mars. This continues every twenty four hours for ten days. Later on, the first of ten pods land nearby in the pine forest and the narrator is one of the first to see the cylindrical capsules. Out of these capsules five Martian tripods will arise, straining against the greater gravity of earth. These tripods send the narrator on the run across England only stopping to take refuge at night, to find his wife in Leatherhead.... [tags: Book Summary, Science Fiction, Analysis]
1722 words (4.9 pages)
- “Today you are you. That is truer than true. There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” ~Dr. Suess Who am I. Growing up on the creek banks and living deep in the woods, you would assume that I am a country girl. Whether in a book or in a song, I will always find a place to escape. Although I enjoy the outdoors, my heart lies elsewhere. “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”~Dr. Seuss Let me start here with something that means the world to me: family.... [tags: Knee, Anterior cruciate ligament, Dr. Seuss]
1347 words (3.8 pages)
- Brave New World opens in the Central London Hatching and Conditioning Center, where the Director of the Hatchery and Henry Foster are giving a tour to a group of boys. The boys learn about the Bokanovsky Process, which allows the Hatchery to produce thousands of nearly identical human embryos. During the gestation period the embryos travel in bottles along a conveyor belt through a large factory building, and are conditioned to belong to one of five castes: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, or Epsilon.... [tags: essays research papers]
1461 words (4.2 pages)
- Chapter Twenty-four Present Day Christmas 2014... The cramps let up with some ibuprofen, but it had been ten days since the IUD was removed, and Kylie really had to admit that not much was different. She knew she was hoping for a miraculous, life-altering experience, but she would have taken any improvement at all. She took her freshly made cup of coffee and sat down on the couch. She curled her feet under her as Maisy snuggled up on her lap. The quiet was wonderful if a little bit unnerving.... [tags: Christmas, Christmas tree, Tree, Christmas lights]
1586 words (4.5 pages)
- 48 hours is a surprisingly well crafted action comedy that has often been recognized as being the first, “buddy cop” film. This genre developed throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, with hit features such as Lethal Weapon, Stakeout, Rush Hour, Beverly Hills Cop and Tango and Cash. Released in 1982 and directed by Walter Hill, it teamed veteran actor Nick Nolte with a 21 year old Saturday Night Live comedian, Eddie Murphy. Murphy plays Reggie Hammond, a quick thinking street smart convict who is released from prison for 48 hours into the custody of Jack Gates, a hard drinking, no nonsense, San Francisco detective, together the two set out to catch Albert Ganz (James Remer) a convicted robber who... [tags: review, 48 hours, movies,]
720 words (2.1 pages)
- Joseph Conrad was an author whose life was as equally amazing as the stories he wrote. In many cases, he derived the situations he wrote about from his many experiences as a seaman and adventurer. Born Teodor Jozef Konrad Korzeniowski on December 3, 1857, of a patriotic Polish couple living in the Polish Ukraine, he did not have the average childhood of the time ("Bibliography" 1). When Conrad was five years old, his father was arrested for alleged actions in revolutionary plots against Russia and was exiled to northern Russia with the young Conrad and his mother.... [tags: Heart Darkness essays]
2315 words (6.6 pages)
- While writing a fiction novel, I would think that the writer would have to dig deep into their mind and into their heart in order for them to convey realistic emotions through their characters. This process could almost be related to hypnosis where the writer relies on his or her inner thoughts and feelings to effectively add depth to their novel's fictitious characters. In the novel Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf used a technique called stream-of-consciousness in which she attempted to write the novel in the same patterns as her brain's thought process.... [tags: Cunningham Hours Essays]
1950 words (5.6 pages)
- The Hours The Hours is a novel that deals with the various cultural aspects of life. Michael Cunningham's writing reflects the various nuclear families, the different economic conditions, and the social issues involving the three women in the novel. The Hours begins with Virginia Woolf who is married to Leonard. They do not have any children of their own. Woolf lives in London in 1923 battling mental illness and struggling to write a book, Mrs. Dalloway. She struggled and finished the book according to Tony Peregrin "at the age of 43".... [tags: Cunningham Hours Essays]
627 words (1.8 pages)