Butterfly in Retrograde

“Those who claim to prefer solitude or placelessness are usually the greatest romantics of all. They have too often been disappointed by humanity and have chosen to retreat into themselves like a butterfly in retrograde, shedding its wings and descending into its cocoon once more.” —Cody C. Delistraty

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Butterfly in retrograde’—ever since I came across the phrase in Cody Delistraty’s The Eroticism of Placelessness (one of my most favorite blog posts ever), it has not left me.

Maybe it’s because the imagery so poignantly captures how I often feel. The metaphor is so exact.

Or maybe it’s because I could relate not only to the inclination towards solitude, but more so to the real reason behind it.

People are disappointing.

Now, it feels to me as if the word disappointing is not appropriate to use in describing others. Because really, what leads me to describe them as ‘disappointing’ is not what they are in actuality, but rather my expectations of them and what they should be, how they should behave and how they should treat me. So in effect, that people are ‘disappointing’ is not their fault. It is mine.

Given that, I often do retreat into myself and ‘descend into my cocoon once more’ every time I make the mistake of expecting again and finding myself disappointed. It is an exhausting cycle. But I do not even have it in me to blame or be angry at anyone or at the situation, because I understand that I am the cause of my own disappointment.

Little girl, do not be silly.

It was your fault.

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