Running. With a Red Butterfly.


I run. I write. I post. In that order. With few gaps. Typically. But not Saturday. No. No. No. Disbelief. Fatigue on overdrive. Just not real. 

I marinated in it for days.

And then Rilke prods: “ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: ‘must I write?’ Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple ‘I must,’ then build your life according to this necessity.”

So I must.

And I write.

A series of interlocking coincidences which only rose to consciousness after a replay of events played forward from daybreak.

5 a.m.

A short reading. It was Leonard Bernstein, from Dinner with Lenny: The Last Long Interview with Leonard Bernstein:

I am frequently visited by a white moth or a white butterfly. Quite amazingly frequently. And I know it’s Felicia. I remember that when she died, her coffin was in our living room in East Hampton … and just a few of us were there—the family and a rabbi and a priest, because she’d been brought up in a convent in Chile. We were playing the Mozart Requiem on the phonograph. Everyone was absolutely silent. And then this white butterfly flew in from God knows where—it just appeared from under the coffin and flew around, alighting on everybody in the room—on each of the children, on the rabbi, on the priest, on her brother-in-law and two of her sisters, on me … and then it was gone … though there was nothing open. And this has also happened to me here, sitting outside in my garden. … White.

The appearance of a white moth. Or white butterfly…White.

7 a.m.

From somewhere, an unbeknownst longing for a punishing trail run. It had been months. I’m in the car.

7:20 a.m.

I pull into the parking lot at Mianus River Park. As I walk onto the trail, a Pet Owner with two Vizslas.

“Beautiful dogs!”
“How old?”
“He’s 2 years and she’s 8 months…”
“We had a Vizsla.”
A long pause.
“Yes, his name was Zeke. We just put him down.”

8:10 a.m.:

I’m 4.5 miles in. Exhausted, and finishing with a light tailwind. I turn up an incline on the last mile.

There’s a heavy rustle of wings in the woods.  There’s its wing span, lifting, rising. There’s its distinguishing mark, its tail.  Same color palette on its tail feathers.

A flash, perhaps 3 seconds.

A red tailed hawk

A red colored Vizsla.

A bird hunting dog.

Visited by a Red Moth.

Or a Red Butterfly.



Inspired by:

This above all — ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: must I write? Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple “I must,” then build your life according to this necessity; your life even into its most indifferent and slightest hour must be a sign of this urge and a testimony to it. […] A work of art is good if it has sprung from necessity. In this nature of its origin lies the judgment of it: there is no other.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet





  1. very possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not only possible,mbut probable. Those we love are never far from us…I’m certain of it. Hoping you have a new running companion soon, pal…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. There is nothing quite like puppy love. It swells the heart with joy. Zeke would like that too, but I’m only guessin’. :0)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I believe….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. And now it occurs to me …Zeke would probably enjoy running with you and a pup. You know…the two Vizslas you saw.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Red Tailed Hawks are a powerful presence.

    One tiny edit,
    This is a series of interlocking events, not coincidences.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is very early. You, your words, have made me cry this sunless morning. Those pesky butterflies or “muths” (but only if you are French speaking Inspector Pink Panther Clouseau) capture the truth. Capture and steel our heart. Every. Single. Time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think you will miss Zeke for along time.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this. I think all writers want to write — all times of the day or night. But reality what it is, we are tired, busy, booked, and … dare I say it … sometimes uninspired. But writers also know inspiration comes in the strangest ways at times. My in-laws used to have a couple of Vizulas..long, lanky, and fast. Loved them just as much as my labs, or my friends’ corgys. Pet love is pet love. And sooner or later we will write about that, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You are amazing!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Love the story of the white butterfly around the coffin. It does happen. You are the only one who has to believe Mr K.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Messages of love…and they are personal yet universally relatable. Maybe the universe is getting you ready to welcoming me more love.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Red. The color of love. A sign of love. Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I believe. My brother who passed at the young age of fifty seven always said he wanted to come back as a bird when he died. We (the five sisters) used to laugh an kid him about it. Since his death I have noticed so many birds one in particular a Morning Dove with it’s partner land in the palm tree outside my window frequently for many years now. I always think about him at those moments and wonder. I still miss him.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Definitely possible. When I sit outside on our deck in summer, it’s a multi-colored butterfly that dances in front of us that I always makes me think of our English Springer Spaniel, Tucker, now departed 16 years…I’ve been a delinquent follower…so sorry to hear about Zeke. Find him anywhere you can and let those red butterflies make you smile and fill your heart up full.

    Liked by 1 person

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