Saturday, 28 July 2012

Bicycle Butterflies

Reading: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Listening to: "Touch, Peel & Stand" by Days of the New
Weather: Eh, not bad.

From my rather semi-distant vantage point of the London 2012 Olympics - I swear I could almost hear the chorus of Arctic Monkeys from all the way up here, a good 300 miles away, in Doncaster - I found the Opening Ceremony to be a combination of wierd, fun, and unexpected beauty.

The person who actually organised the techno effects, the actors and dancers, and the bicycle-riders (!) really deserves a big applause. I would give them a big high-five. Whoever thought that up must be slightly deranged, certainly hopped up on lots of coffee, and a roll-with-the-punches Facebook "liker" and Twitter "tweeter."

My favorite bit, though, had to be the Bicycle Butterflies.

With an eerie luminescence, they swoop in and weave through the dark.

Which puts me in the mind of fiction. Especially writing it. (I know, pretty much everything puts me in the mind of fiction, which is a bit ironic, don't you think? Considering everything around me is real, and yet I want to make a story out of it? Huh.) But really, I loved those butterflies. They were graceful, smooth, and just bright enough to banish the dark. Like diamonds shining on velvet.

It made me think about the ability writers must have to create a picture of their ideas, no matter how bizarre or unacceptable by normal social standards. No matter that those ideas may not tie in with the typical precedents set down by scientifc laws, like gravity. Or if those ideas pan with what their friends would like. Writers must make the darkest corners of their dreams come to life.  Along with the silent prayers a few moments before the gunshot, and the Olympic swimmers dive off the blocks, they swallow down the very taste of possibility.

"They breathed the fumes and ate the stew" Marvin Bell says in his poem "Prodigal?":

They lived among the heroic
who did not want another life, and if
they erred in creating bigger-than-life characters,
they broke bread with the unspeakable,
and that is worth something.

So, let us all dare to dream of bicycle butterflies - who knows what we may see up there?

Happy Saturday, all, and good luck to all those participating in the London Games!

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