the beauty of temporary light

VENICE; I was a young fiancée of another century when we took a nighttime gondola ride in the pitch black sweetness of air passing under bridges with sounds of an oar splashing into water and an aria from our gondolier breaking the velvety waves. We had our whole lives before us.

IMG_4063We’d be in Sorrento right now, checked into our hotel, he’d go for a swim, and I’d check the view from our room. I’d see his flash of green eyes from the veranda, smiling up at me. We’d have buffalo mozzarella and bread for lunch, and go in search of a cafe. If only he had lived.

I have had a surprisingly good two days after a month of utter dark hell, and a year that changed me forever from a loss I’ll never replace… but I am really ok but still wanted to share this. Life is so surreal. It isn’t fair for any of us. But for whatever reason I am temporarily filled with the light of what we had. Even on a day he should have the italian sun on his face.

I’m working on my book the last few days and listening to Scottish Celtic music and thinking about the vast enormity of deeply explored passions and interests of Rian and myself together – especially deeply explored by him like an ancient scholar seeking wisdom and beauty in equal measure whilst I was always the sucker for beauty before wisdom… some days and some nights, oh especially the nights, I can’t seem to bear beauty… but right now I can, especially when the flashes of beauty and wisdom remind me of what cannot be destroyed… the imprint of his energy and the memory of his shining green eyes.

neither feast nor famine

Think I’m finally figuring things out. Isolation is the best thing for me because it forces the pain to the forefront to examine it. The more alone you are the more you are forced to face your two dimensional character traits and mutable feelings. Nothing about the ego or the persona, especially, is staid. Only by forcing an unquiet mind in constant flux to be still, to be quiet, to be alone, to turn within to disperse with the surface needs and the demands and to get into the dark of the self will someone like me ever have any kind of spiritual or intellectual progress.

The more I fashion my day to day life in a solitary manner of exercise, meditation, brutal honesty about my motivations for everything, and work, the more I’m forced to endure the pain of reality. The longer I do this the more of a habit I form until the practice becomes second nature.

The pain and void almost are becoming pleasant, the way fasting too long becomes more pleasurable than sating yourself once you get used to it. Time to fast on distractions, not feast on them nor feast on others. 

shadow snake

The purest moment you’ll have in life is when you are utterly completely alone because you only have yourself to face or to run from. Let’s see what you’re made of.

The final hour is upon us even if it takes a few decades to kick into that last slow motion fall into the ending we all meet. Perhaps when our eyes give up we can’t see the landing, perhaps our ears deafen at the sound of stopping, maybe the electrons and pulsings are disconnected before they cease dancing.

Maybe it is the eternal dark and not the light that is the reward. Begin in the muffled dark, end in the soft slow void, returned to before we had the pulp and the strain.

Why is darkness bad news? Why is light hoped for? What is sleep but a dive into the shadow of our selves for a respite from life?

Love is an expression of living but letting go is the only way to die, whether we cease being or we are born again as someone else, forever shifted and strange and new until the next ending and the next.

The snake eats itself to create a perfect circle.

The body teases life and then does a disappearing act. We only play at this life for awhile. We only touch the earth a few moments before waving adieu too soon to make our bon courage good-bye seem believable.

Life is the big escape from the inevitable. Refuge is a fairy tale you tell children so they don’t go mad. Revealing too much about Death is giving away the game before it is played. No matter how many times you play, you never play the same hand twice, even as we repeat the same circle we always have and always will.

Perhaps love and hate are formed in memory and perhaps the slipping away of remembrance is the relief we cannot name. Whether the light or the dark awaits us, whose to say they are not one in the same?

Listening to Wagner’s Parsifal at 30,000 feet in the air

You amaze me. You ensnare me. Your soul overpowers me. I want to be sublime to you. Sublimate myself and love you in a beautiful and high manner for the rest of my days. I could write you a thousand sonnets and sonatas, and still not encompass the breadth and depth I feel for you. You came a moment before the death knell and I will love you more than any woman before you has, I will be more alive and more courageous than any of my predecessors, and you will be my greatest masterpiece. I want us to play each other like notes in the only harmony that is befitting of us… somewhere betwixt a duet in summer and a quartet in autumn. Do you know all I’ve seen and known and learned and tasted and felt and above all else, dreamt, before you… the man above all else? Do you know what we crawled out of both of us to reach this precipice. I just ask you… no I demand … if you really truly want me for your bride and your worshipful wife, your girl, your lover, your champion, …just love me… really love me.

You know I’m a Romantic then and I’m a Romantic now and this is how I’ll love you if you want it… this is how I know how to love, this is how I’ve always wanted to love, and needed a man, a soul, a mind, a heart, who could take the enormity of my feelings.

Sorry, but I’m a Romantic like Novalis or Keats or Byron or Shelley and I will tell you the truth until my last breath and … I love love love you .


A song called Raganuga recalls my husband’s spiritual name… Sanskrit for “spontaneous attraction to God” bestowed upon him by his guru Sri Prabhupada in the 1970s in India and in the US, twice. The sounds of his impression on this earth still vibrate.🙏🏼 Rian. Raganuga.

Please help me raise more money for his foundation: so far we have raised nearly 12 k at 100% non-profit… all proceeds go directly to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation to save lives and education and research.

The Rian Butler Fund

In loving memory of Raganuga whose life transformed hundreds and thousands of people by his generosity, his wisdom, his honesty, his strength, his love, his philosophical and spiritual nature, his gift of the gab, his altruism in many communities, and through his power of example.

my Chasing Beauty In Italy book

“Chasing Beauty In Italy” 

(my softcover BOOK)



125 pages, 5 x 8 inches, 13 x 20 cms, rich color photographs and architecture and art reproductions with novel length prose and travel and art details in between the musings.

My first long book on Italy; exploring 20 years of love, passion, art, and loss chasing beauty in the eternal city and all over Italia.

Accepting PRE-ORDERS for the LOW PRICE of only $25!

To be published and shipped out promptly in early September 2018!


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