Part mind map and part photomontage. Stream of consciousness writing and intuitive associations to “butterfly” diagrammed as an illustration.



The words flutter and stagnation behave like homonyms in the context of a butterfly. Each carries different meanings that diverge. That divergence mirrors a butterfly’s symmetric shape with the separating line at the center.

Flutter can mean having “butterflies in your stomach.” This fluttery feeling is commonly associated with nervousness in a social situation—quite the opposite of what a socially fluent “social butterfly” experiences.

A social butterfly is a socializer: a dynamic and charming addition to any particular group. However, like a butterfly, they carry a lightness about them and are prone to travel, or flutter, from person to person without establishing deep connections. To travel is to go from one place to another, and so is to transition.

A butterfly is the emblem of transition and continual change. Its metamorphosis from a caterpillar to a winged insect symbolizes resurrection and transcendence, the rising of the spirit and soul over earthly selves and the material world. In Ancient Greece, butterflies represent immortality.

Immortality is the indefinite continuation of existence, living forever without dying. Immortality is stagnation because it slows down and eventually ends evolution. The quest for immortality is closely related to and often confused with the quest for eternal youth. It is worth questioning what is more desired: living longer while aging or living longer only if forever young. Coincidentally, youth ties back to a butterfly; the famous The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a classic children’s book.

The shape of a butterfly is like the number 3. Cartoon butterflies have wings with exaggerated curves that look like a 3, and the butterfly looks like two 3s facing each other. 3×3=9. 9 is a number symbolizing completion. The decimal number system starts with 0 and ends at 9. Therefore, 9 is the biggest number: the largest 1-digit number is 9, the largest 2-digit number is 99, the largest 3-digit number is 999, and so on. The number 9, meaning finality, is also Christian because Jesus died about the ninth hour.

Every ending is a new beginning...