Friday & Butterflies

Happy National Grilled Cheese Day! This was another holiday I was shocked to learn about on Facebook (courtesy of Whole Foods, my favorite grocery store), and I couldn’t resist celebrating it. You’ve probably already deduced that I LOVE holidays (including NaPoWriMo!) more than most things, but what you may not know, unless you know me personally, is my addiction to cheese. I’ve never tried a cheese I didn’t like (unfortunately), including all the *weird* kinds. I get extremely excited about cheese. Allow me to share this unflattering example.

Really excited about this grilled cheese truck in Boston!

Really excited about this grilled cheese truck in Boston! Apparently, grilled cheese is a staple food there. I felt like I’d found home.

So when I heard about this holiday, we just had to celebrate.

I visited Jeremiah’s farm after work this week, and we went to our favorite diner. We always get the same thing, and I would say our items are grilled-cheese variants, so, we considered this sufficient celebration. I love this place, because they make all their food–including their pita bread and gravy–from scratch. It’s simple but delicious. I know this seems like blasphemy for a health nut, but…at least it’s all-natural…and it’s only once in awhile, as a treat. 😉 I always get the turkey pita, which has mozzarella cheese, green peppers, and onions (bottom), and Jeremiah gets the chicken or patty melt.

Delicious comfort food made from scratch at Gene's

Delicious comfort food made from scratch

On my way out of town, I stopped to get gas at Tiana’s station. She was just tickled when I told her I’d written a poem about her. I told her that was a relief, because writers sometimes have to be in hiding about their craft. People start to recognize themselves in your stories and poetry, sort of like the Taylor Swift syndrome I mentioned in a previous post. Tiana told me more about her past, and I was shocked to hear the sadness she’s overcome, because she is such a sunny, radiant person with a beautiful perspective. She told me she feels God put her there, at that gas station, to help people, even if it’s just a smile to brighten someone’s day. She was taken aback when she heard about my poem, and she said she was so proud she’d helped to inspire me. This is one of the best rewards a writer could want. 🙂 I think Tiana will find herself in more of my poetry in the future.

By the way, I thought you might like to see a picture of the gas pump I use at that station. All the grades of gas are separated into different pumps, and you have to use a lever to start the gas flow. You can’t use a credit card outside. Even the sign on the edge of the road uses manual printed digits, not electronic.

Old gas pump at Tiana's gas station

Old gas pump at Tiana’s gas station

When I got home tonight, Jennifer gave me this beautiful present:

Silver angel bracelet with diamond accents

Silver angel bracelet with diamond accents

I was so touched! Angels have a very special meaning to me, after my spiritual experience with my traumatic brain injury (TBI). I will explain that more at length in a future post.

This was today’s prompt for NaPoWriMo:

Today’s offering comes to us from Charles Bernstein’s list of poetry experiments. In particular, today I challenge you to “write a poem consisting entirely of things you’d like to say, but never would, to a parent, lover, sibling, child, teacher, roommate, best friend, mayor, president, corporate CEO, etc.” Honesty is the best policy, after all, so get it off your chest! And if you’re interested in the complete list of experiments, you can find them all here.

I hate to be a spoil-sport, but…I felt like I couldn’t do this one. I’m one of those people who always says what they’re thinking (often to my awkward and hilarious detriment), so I literally could not think of one thing I’d like to say to someone but haven’t already, except for the post I made a couple of days ago. And if I could think of something, I think it would defeat the purpose to post it online! Haha.

Trying to keep at least a little in the spirit of the prompt, I did take a list at the list of Bernstein’s poetry experiments they posted. I settled on this one:

17. Alphabet poems:  make up a poem of 26 words so that each word begins with the next letter of the alphabet. 

I liked this prompt because it reminded me of word games my family and Jeremiah used to play with me while I was recovering from my TBI. They were designed to strengthen short-term memory when you repeated back the alphabetic list of story items. (One example: pick a category, go around the circle listing an item within that category from A-Z, and everyone has to repeat the entire list up to that point. Another example: make up a story about a person with a name starting with that letter, put them in a town with that letter, give them a spouse with the same letter, pick their favorite food with that letter.) They were silly games, but very effective! I still enjoy playing them whenever possible.

I also started backwards with this poem, starting with vocabulary. I wondered what animals started with “b,” and I immediately thought of one of my favorite animals: butterflies. Butterflies are also special to me because of my TBI experience. Jennifer used to play a little game with me in the hospital where she would make her hand a butterfly and flutter it around my face. I had severe palsies in my eyes that made my vision cross-eyed and weak, in addition to the near-sightedness I’d had since being a kid. Without even knowing it, Jennifer was helping to train and strengthen my eyes again. I also felt like the whole experience was a metamorphosis for everyone involved, but especially for Jennifer and me.

In thinking about butterflies, I also recalled a memory about a pair of butterflies my family saw in Hawaii. They would flutter around by the bushes right outside our  hotel room every afternoon for a long time. They were so pretty and heartwarming. Tonight’s poem is about them.

“Butterfly Sweethearts”
By: Amanda K. Fowler



That was really hard! I think I found a new game to play with my family. 😉

I will leave you with this song; it’s one of my favorites ever, for all of the above reasons about butterflies. I was surprised to discover I love the “band” (one-man) Owl City, because it’s not the usual style of music I listen to–but his lyrics are so gorgeously poetic. Here is the song “Butterfly Wings” to listen to; you can buy the MP3 on Amazon or iTunes.

Now, I must get to bed; we have an exciting day planned tomorrow! I don’t want to give iT away, buT here is a small hinT in This senTence. 😉

4 thoughts on “Friday & Butterflies

  1. Pingback: Phoenix in Boston: A Tribute | Jelly-Side Up

  2. Pingback: Sweet Sounds: Taylor Swift Concert & Pediatric Musical | Jelly-Side Up

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