the Persistence of Memory


Here you go, Randal.

I painted this the year after Chimpy came into Office.

The Painting isn’t so great, but the image turned out to be rather Prescient.


This one still needs a lot of detail, but you get the gist.

I’m thinking of titling it-

“Chimpy of II- The Aftermath”


This one is almost finished.

After seeing this painting, the teacher in my art class said, “You’re really Weird, but that’s okay because so is your painting, and it fits.”

I’m not sure what it means when an Art Teacher tells you you’re “Weird,” but I don’t think it’s a Good Thing.


The Butterfly is a very important symbol in my life, as the two woman I truly loved were both Butterflies.

Being that one of my Totem Animals is the Wolf, this doesn’t necessarily bode well.

Wolves are obviously predatory animals.

Butterflies are difficult to Know/Approach, as they tend to be Aloof, Constantly on Guard, and Fragile.

When you try to touch a Butterfly, 99% of the time it will Fly Away.

Wolves actually share many qualities with Butterflies.

We too tend to be Aloof, and Guarded, and like the Butterfly, Wolves are often Misunderstood.

Many people view Butterflies as objects because of their Innate Beauty. We want to Possess it, and this is why people stick pins through them, and put them in Boxes.

Wolves are often viewed in the same way by Humans. What makes Wolves beautiful, in part, is the fact that they seem unapproachable, and this spurs our Desire for control.

But in moments of stillness, it is Possible to not only Approach them, but to have them approach you.

A Butterfly landing on your hand, for example.

What made my relationship with the Ballerina so Beautiful were these shared Qualities.

We were able to see one another.

Truly see.

And for a time, we Danced a Wonderful Dance.

But in the end, what made us Strong is what Tore us Apart.

Somewhere, during our time together, we became Lost or maybe we were already Lost, and our Love kept it at Bay, if only Briefly.

Each time I’d step Forward (Predatory), she’d take a step Back (Fragility).

The more this happened, the more I’d want her to Hold Still, but a Butterfly must Choose.

The time came when, at last, she did hold still, but by then I was the one Stepping Back, and was unaware, until it was Too Late.

I wrote this a few days after we Broke Up-


I do not know much about butterflies

I watch their wings flit in the sunlight

And as they jump from blossom to blossom I wonder if they have a home

A place to rest their wings and to protect them when the days grow cold

Or do they keep their beauty only for themselves?

Offering just a brief glimpse before they flutter away

Never letting anyone touch what only they possess

Or is that butterflies carry those they love with them and that

No matter how far they may seem to fly they are always there?

Because beauty cannot be held against its will

And the fingers at the end of your extended arm look too much like strands from the spider’s web

For butterflies must choose to love

And once they do they will always return

And only then will you know what it’s like to soar among the trees or across fields of red and yellow flowers

To at last be free

No, I do not know much about butterflies

But if you are ever willing to teach me

I would like to…

I’ve learned a Great Deal about Myself, and Life over the Last Two Years, and One Day…




~ by fairlane on March 14, 2008.

17 Responses to “the Persistence of Memory”

  1. What you wrote about butterflies and the wolf was amazing.

    I also loved your paintings. The third one showed tinges of Vincent Van Gogh. You’re art teacher is “weird”.

    Oh…and I left you a present on my blog, if you get a chance, take a look.

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

  2. This is beautiful, the writing and the artwork.

  3. Beautiful and sensitive man! Did you use a ghostwriter?

    The butterfly imagery really is well articulated. Thanks.

  4. There I was expecting another hilarious, mocking piece of political commentary and you surprised me again. I like your paintings and the fact you allow the mystery and wonder of shape and color to define themselves. Are you sure you don’t have a little of the butterfly under that wolfish exterior?

  5. Now who’s the sensitive mama’s boy, ya bastard. Dude, those are some fine works of art, seriously. No qualms about hanging them chez Randal. And your words? You’re a poet, too.

    Concerning your teacher’s commentary, I can’t say I’ve ever had a teacher say that, especially an art one who, by default, are weird themselves, no?

  6. There’s something wrong with being weird? Someone I used to know said there are freaks of art and freaks of nature. I like to think we are freaks of art here. The Shrub would be an example of a freak of nature.

    I love, love, love the colors in your paintings. Mesmerizing. The first one has some interesting contrasts: beautiful and hideous at the same time. The third one is my favorite, though. After reading the rest of your post, I see there’s a lot of Fairlane symbolism in that one.

    How do you decide someone is a butterfly or a wolf? How does that come to you, I mean? NOw you’ve got me thinking about these things. I might be a chameleon or a cat. Not sure.

    Lovely post, whoever you are, and what did you do with my Emperor?

  7. ME- She is weird, that’s why I thought, “Damn, how weird does a person have to be to have a fucking weirdo tell them they’re ‘weird’?”

    Thanks for the present. I’ll work on it tomorrow.

    Freida- Takes one to know one.

    Gary- This is the Internet, we’re all “Ghost Writers.”

    Susan- Maybe just a little, but don’t tell anyone.

    Randal- For you, a discount- $40,000 a piece.

    Scarlet- You’re definitely a cat, but you may have some Butterfly in you as well.

    Cats and Butterflies are also similar.

  8. fairlane – people called Picasso weird, too. Wonderful artwork. Touching story about you and your ex-. I can’t imagine how hard that was to write. All the same, the imagery was as vivid as the drawing. Thanks.

  9. For creative people weird is normal. You should see some of the butt ugly depressing shit that sells these days. At least your stuff is interesting.

    and isn’t there a saying that goes something like “Those that can’t, teach” ??

  10. Fairlane, thou must check out the “Butterfly Gallery” in Old San Juan in Puerto Rico … it’s quite amazing. Visit it in real time if you can, but if not … you can do so virtually:

    Now, I have always considered myself a butterfly because I am, on the surface (and, admittedly, as I’ve come to realize, deep down as well), extremely, extremely fragile. But my flightyness, or rather flittishness, is a well-honed defense mechanism which has (mostly) served me well and allowed me to survive thus far (albeit becoming extremely isolated) despite having been devoured by a wolf or two over the years … one in particular that pretty much left me for dead. But like the phoenix, this butterfly used her broken wings and arose from the ashes.

    Your paintings are lovely by the way. Keep up the good work. In art, what the “common people” consider “weird” is just your expression of your universe in your own words and symbols. As someone above just said, people thought (and still think) that Picasso was weird. He was of course, but that was (and is) his genius. Not to mention that Van Gogh was (literally) crazy.

  11. Oh, and a butterfly song:

    “Catching The Butterfly” (by The Verve)

    As though you were born
    And so you thought
    The future’s ours
    To keep and hold
    A child within
    Has healing ways
    It sees me through
    My darkest days

    I’m gonna keep catching that butterfly
    In that dream of mine
    I’m gonna keep catching that butterfly
    In that dream of mine

    In my lucid dreams
    In my lucid dreams

    Walking now
    Through life no fun
    I want to feel
    I want to run

    I’m gonna keep catching that butterfly
    In that dream of mine
    I’m gonna keep catching that butterfly
    In that dream of mine

    In my lucid dreams
    In my lucid dreams

    In my private dreams
    In my private dreams
    In my private dreams
    My lucid dreams
    My forgotten schemes
    I see through you
    You see through me
    I see through you
    You see through me
    Be with me
    Be with me
    I see through you
    You see through me
    I see through you
    You see through me

  12. Hello, Fairlane.
    Some damn fine artwork there, buddy.

    In my experience (ahem), those art major chicks tend to be really kinky.
    Maybe she was coming on to you by noticing that you’re “weird.”
    I think she wants some of that.

  13. Sparty (Is alright for me to call you “Sparty?”)- She actually called me “Van Gogh” one night.

    Apparently, people like to compare me to crazies.

    The ballerina story is something I think will always be with me. I’ve had more than my share of female companions, but she was the only one I ever wanted to be the last one.

    Did that make sense?

    Nunya- Honestly, I don’t mind being called weird, I just thought it was “Weird” for her to say that, but then again, the first time I went to class, within ten minutes she said, “You’re one of those perfectionists aren’t you?”

    She really is a talented artist, and came highly recommended to me by two of my aunts who are both incredible artists themselves (I can only hope to be half as good as they are).

    She makes big money painting portraits (Real portraits, not that cheesy shit you see in malls), and just had a show at another gallery here in Louisville.

    I think part of it is, like me, she has ADHD, and we tend to blurt out things without using our filter.

    Anita- I’m comfortable with who I am. At times, I resist, but for the most part, I’m fine being “Weird.”

    There’s no doubt that “Butterflyness” is a defense mechanism, so too is the “Wolfishness.”

    We all learned ways to deal with life, specifically other people. Generally, our defense mechanisms center around our personalities. I have a very strong personality, and use that to keep people at a distance.

    The ballerina’s “flittishness” was her way of maintaining separation.

    At our core, she and I were very similar, but our defense mechanisms were polar opposites.

    One step forward-two steps back, two steps forward-three steps back…

    Speaking of Butterflies, your damn blog is like a Butterfly.

    It’s gone again, what happened?

    Re: Your song-

    You can’t catch a Butterfly without killing them.

    PT- You know, I actually thought about that, but she’s 65-66, and is married to a fucking millionaire.

    At the end of my first class, she put on a full length fur, and then climbed into a brand new Chevy Suburban (Her BMW was at home).

    What would she want with my broke ass?

    I hope she doesn’t want me to help her whack her husband.

    If anyone reads about a married woman, and her young lover being involved in a murder for hire, I swear it wasn’t me.

  14. I deleted my blog again … too much stress.

  15. You can learn a lot about a person by their artistic expression. When I saw the butterfly, it touched a soft spot in my thoughts. They have a very special meaning to me.

  16. What would she want with your broke ass? Something she can’t get from the millionaire, perhaps?

  17. Nabokov’s Butterflies … a must read.

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