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 Post subject: TDB&TB Question #15 ~ Butterfly Hearing
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 7:45 am 
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Pg. 97 The chapter ends with this passage after Bauby comments on the noises he hears around him.

“Far from such din, when blessed silence returns, I can listen to the butterflies that flutter inside my head. To hear them, one must be calm and pay close attention, for their wingbeats are barely audible. Loud breathing is enough to drown them out. This is astonishing: my hearing does not improve, yet I hear them better and better. I must have butterfly hearing.”

What is he saying to us?



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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 12:47 pm 
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I first took his statement as him holding still and not breathing so as to not drown them out. (On second tought he could not do that with a ventilator.) He says his hearing does not improve yet he hears them better and better, so to me they are one of those six senses we develop in response to the loss of others. I think his butterfly hearing is part of his escaping into his thoughts. A relief valve of sorts compensating for other forms of communication and experiencing life.



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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 12:54 pm 
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"Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul...

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings...

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy."

And...

"Place in matter and flesh the least of the values, for these are the things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines"



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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 1:06 pm 
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suec wrote:
"Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul...

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings...

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy."

And...

"Place in matter and flesh the least of the values, for these are the things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines"


If memory doesn't fail me I hear a bit of Deserida. Is there a bit of something else there? Regardless, very fitting!



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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 1:58 pm 
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Maybe he's expecting his other senses to compensate, now he is so cut off from what he thought of as normal. And maybe, just maybe, they don't. They just stay the same. Maybe he's just imagining he can hear things (like you say, gemini, the respirator sucking away outside his control).

People always look for the up side of a disaster, don't they. Maybe there isn't one, so we invent it.

I have my own counterargument to this, but I'll leave it til later.



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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 3:25 pm 
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gemini, the first is indeed from Desiderata. The second is from The Time of Your Life.



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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 3:29 pm 
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gemini wrote:
suec wrote:
"Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul...

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings...

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy."

And...

"Place in matter and flesh the least of the values, for these are the things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines"


If memory doesn't fail me I hear a bit of Deserida. Is there a bit of something else there? Regardless, very fitting!


Very fitting! :cool: The first stanzas are from Desiderata, the last from The Time of Your Life prologue.

Endora, I think we do invent positive ways of looking at tragedies. It is a protective mechanism.



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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 4:28 pm 
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Very fitting quotes. :cool:

gemini, my first interpretation was like yours. That he was either learning to go deeper or falling deeper inside his mind, learning to concentrate on his ability to escape into his imagination. I also wondered if it was him falling into a coma (which it wasn't) or becoming more incapacitated.



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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 5:01 pm 
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Suec's quotes are perfect for this passage. :cloud9: I definitely thought Jean Do's butterfly hearing was a good thing; I had a big smiley face drawn by that paragraph. Butterflies made me think of something natural, beautiful, gentle....good thoughts. I felt that with the recognition that most of his external life was gone, he was cultivating his internal life. I think he was saying that he was hearing something peaceful, and I guess we'd all be better off if we could do this. :cool:



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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 5:38 pm 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
Very fitting quotes. :cool:

gemini, my first interpretation was like yours. That he was either learning to go deeper or falling deeper inside his mind, learning to concentrate on his ability to escape into his imagination. I also wondered if it was him falling into a coma (which it wasn't) or becoming more incapacitated.


That's what I thought. It didn't even cross my mind he could be referring to actual hearing, to an actual sound. Just like the title, hearing the butterflies is hearing his own mind, and so doing nothing at all, being infinitely still and ignoring all outside noises or disturbances helps with the "butterfly hearing", helps him get in touch with his inner discussions and memories. I think that's why he says that his hearing doesn't get better for him to hear the butterflies: he doesn't develop any new senses, he just pays closer attention.

Beautiful appropriate quotes, Suec



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:46 pm 
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Late on the take here.

While reading the book, the impression I took was one of heightened "inner" senses. Perhaps that he'd denied or ignored for many years because of his busy lifestyle.

Nevertheless - I'd not trade off my old lifestyle for the new one, even if it were to bring me inner peace. I'd prefer things to go back to the way they were, with a reminder from time to time to stop and smell the roses.

I didn't take the time to read all the responses yet, I have to catch up. I hadn't finished watching the film and was away during the major discussion of it. I am dedicated to catching up!

Don't want to mess up the first time around with ONBC!!



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:13 pm 
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Inthezone wrote:
Late on the take here.

While reading the book, the impression I took was one of heightened "inner" senses. Perhaps that he'd denied or ignored for many years because of his busy lifestyle.

Nevertheless - I'd not trade off my old lifestyle for the new one, even if it were to bring me inner peace. I'd prefer things to go back to the way they were, with a reminder from time to time to stop and smell the roses.

I didn't take the time to read all the responses yet, I have to catch up. I hadn't finished watching the film and was away during the major discussion of it. I am dedicated to catching up!

Don't want to mess up the first time around with ONBC!!

No worries, ITZ. Take you time catching up. :sailboat:
I for one have been in a state of withdrawal since this discussion officially ended - although the drop-dead gorgeous coverage of Johnny at the MTV awards has been providing some much needed distraction! :thud:

Still, I'm all for a bit of review - particularly on a question I apparently missed too. I agree with you about the butterfly hearing being a reflection of Jean-Do's heightened inner sensitivity. And you pose (and answer) an interesting question: if we knew of a way to attain inner awareness or a higher level of consciousness that would give us inner peace and/or would allow us to have an idea of the Bigger Picture, but we also knew what we'd have to give up in order to get it, would we??
Hmmmm....? :eyebrow:



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:45 pm 
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That’s a heavy question, Parlez. I’ll have to think on that.

And, Inthezone, as Parlez said, no worries about catching up. I’m glad you are both keeping this going because it could be a while before we start up again. Both DITHOT and I are having to deal with “real” life right now with our families, work and school. So I love that this discussion is continuing past the final date.

As far as our next discussion….we haven’t had a chance to decide on the start date, but it WILL be later than we originally indicated…..by maybe a month.

Back to the butterfly…..I think that it represents both a higher awareness but also freedom.



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The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:31 pm 
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Liz wrote:
Both DITHOT and I are having to deal with “real” life right now with our families, work and school. So I love that this discussion is continuing past the final date.
As much as I like the ONBC, Liz and DITHOT, I know real life comes first. I hope everything goes well for both of you and your lives.
Take your time; we'll be here waiting. :wave:


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:42 pm 
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fansmom wrote:
Liz wrote:
Both DITHOT and I are having to deal with “real” life right now with our families, work and school. So I love that this discussion is continuing past the final date.
As much as I like the ONBC, Liz and DITHOT, I know real life comes first. I hope everything goes well for both of you and your lives.
Take your time; we'll be here waiting. :wave:

Thanks for the support, Fansmom. It's hard when real life hits us both at the same time.

But youse guys may need the extra time, too. TCD is not a quick read. So the extra time might be a relief to some.



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The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.
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