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Letters from the GR 11 – Free as a butterfly

Letters from the GR 11 – Free as a butterfly

Repairing my wheel turned out a bit more complicated than anticipated. It had been a while and it showed. Because it is a tubeless tire, the trick is to get it off and back on the rim without using anything else than the strength of your fingers. You guessed it, I have none ! But, with a lot of patience and a lot of perseverance, I finally managed. Hoping now I won’t have to do it again anytime soon.

It’s not like I had a choice anyway. Nobody is here to do it for me, and it’s not like I can call AAA. I can’t call anybody for that matter, my phone is out of battery. I need to find a Mc Donald or a Starbucks before someone gets alarmed by my silence.

There is something great however about not having a phone, better yet, a smart one. Now disconnected from the network that gathers everything there is to know about me… Tracks my every moves, actions, thoughts, moods, opinions, conversations, purchases… Monitors, records and saves all my “data”… Observes, analyzes, classifies, and summarizes it, before feeding me back with appropriate stimuli, for the sake of a bigger agenda.

For a few moments I am free to roam, alone on a narrow single track in the middle of a dense forest…. Unleashed, de-socialized, forgotten…

My only witness is a butterfly leading me like a scout, zigzagging through the morning rays of the sun. But being care free like him in this beautiful environment can be very treacherous, and for whom ignores the many obstacles dressed upon the way, a large spider web is often the end of the journey. Luckily my guide is big enough to pass through this time, but as a result now sports a cumbersome Halloween costume he can’t toss away, forcing him into an hazardous emergency landing on the nearest available leaf. Having witnessed his ordeal I come to a stop, put down my bike and carefully walk towards the poor fellow to see if he is ok. To my surprise, he is not trying to escape and doesn’t seem to consider me as a threat. Immobile, in a state of shock, probably wondering what just happened to him, as he rests buried under the remains of the broken web.

Paon du jour
Paon du jour @

The bottom of his wings, now closed up are dark, almost black, just as the rest of his body. The threads are all over the wings, his legs, head and front antennas. I begin pulling gently the biggest strings, waiting for him to jump and escape at any moment. But no, he lets me proceed without fear, despite the risks of me ripping something off his thin and fragile body ! Then, suddenly, full of confidence, he jumps on my hand, and rewards me with a rapid opening of his wings. What a sharp and beautiful contrast with the darkness of the outside. Four multi-colored bright “eyes” decorate the inside of the wings. It went so fast I can’t go into further pattern details, but the simple glimpse of this beautiful “design”, motivates me to save this charming insect even more. Painstakingly, I proceed with the removal of every silk leftovers, until my “patient” is completely freed. A few more flapping of its wings just to make sure that everything is back to normal, or maybe as a way to thank me for the precious attention, and our friend finally takes off.

I found out his name later, browsing the net while recharging my phone. A “Paon du Jour”. A beautiful little creature, so precious to our environment, (but unfortunately decimated by our pesticides). Good luck to you little one. You made my day !

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