My dear friend Nan and I were recently discussing wristwatches, the demise of butterflies and, of course, time. Salvador Dali’s painting of melting clocks, The Persistence of Memory, came to mind and I thought how some of the clocks resemble butterflies and all the obvious implications of that.


I don’t care much for Dali — unlike most of the surrealists, he does not seem to have been much of a thinker — and that painting is so dulled by cliche, then later strangled by commercial kitsch, I’ve never found it compelling, so I was completely surprised it even popped into my head. I haven’t suddenly grown fond of it, but its appearance, associated with endangered butterflies — and our perilous environment — made it a little more solid, more grounded, and strangely, more interesting. (Uh oh…I may just have piled another layer of banality onto it…)

"Dead Butterfly," by mutarjim

“Dead Butterfly,” by mutarjim

Meanwhile, I’ve seen only three butterflies in my garden and veryveryVERY few bees.