Iridescence

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

The butterfly’s loping flight
carries it through the country of the leaves,
delicately, and well enough to get it
where it wants to go, wherever that is …

Mary Oliver
From
One or Two Things

Reading poetry about butterflies in the same morning as more about neurosculpting has somewhat merged the two in my mind. I imagine neural pathways lighting up in my brain with much the same sort of iridescence we see in a butterfly’s wings. That we do imagine such things is miraculous. That a butterfly emerges from the tight discomforts of the chrysalis towards ‘loping flight … delicately’ is more than miraculous: it is a mystery beyond all adequate explaining. Anil Seth tells me that the colours I see are perceptions created by my own brain; that not every living thing is able to ‘see’ a rainbow as I can. I wonder what a butterfly might experience of itself? How much could a butterfly possibly appreciate about its own beauty? How much do we, about our own?