The Practice of Lepidoptery in the Long 20th Century

by practicalspactical

The early artist’s essential dilemma is at once both inevitable and tragic:

Specifically, his¹ desire is to seize the very atomae of being, which dance their dances erratic and haphazard in the fullness of their innate wild, inscribing against the carbon of his mind their rising and falling circuits (who helplessly misses the changes of shifting  instantaneous velocities that continuously confound the hapless observer’s already-too-late attempts to record their movements), his desire is to seize them and stop their dancing to study their beauty —

The writer sees the world, in all its gushing, flowing, and wishes to command it to stop, and array itself in a simple stillness he wants to take for beauty — but in fact, is just an artificial stasis that helps him to see –

So too the scientists who must kill the specimen to examine their structures –

The mature artist moves past that, and takes life in situ, realizes that these are moving pictures he is made to dance with, realizes that life cannot be stopped, corralled, realizes that the tranquil reflection he longed to realize is not life, or anything like it, but merely its report —

And thus, learning to craft, not mirrored still waters that portrait being, but great torrential flows of the very matter of living, the thoughts and feelings that swim and orbit beside those great dark pockets of being — himself, and other minds, like great sea creatures upon the waters – and provides those attendants to other unknown minds, to give the others a momentary taste, not of quiet, but of Life, in all its incalculable Fire.


1. Because, yes, it is always, archetypically, a He, a Narcissus, seedlayer, even when the He wears paps and a womb.