Believe it or not, this is the same butterfly with its wings closed and opened. It is the American Lady butterfly, though this one is male. It spent most of the past two days flitting around on this blooming oregano in my garden. The topside and underside are totally distinct, as if this butterfly couldn't decide who it wanted to be when it grew up. I understand this entirely. For twenty two years, as a nurse I squashed myself into white uniforms, then pantie hose and business suits. On my days off, like Superman in a phone booth, I tore away my suits revealing my true self. Wings closed, wings opened to ripped jeans, T shirts and muck boots. I too, frantically shed the professional garb as if it were life and death. It was, indeed. The live kernel of my creative, primary brain would have perished completely had it not been able to bust out. Come to think of it, this sounds more like The Incredible Hulk than a switch-er-oo butterfly or a more noble superhero. But then, I could be all of them; I no longer have to choose between my multiple personalities. I can just breathe - wings in, wings out.
To find out more about The American Lady, or Hunter's Butterfly, see the May 6, 2009 posting in the archive of this blog.