The Butterfly Effect

13 Feb

Is Rachel McAdams only in movies about time travel? Usually I would not pick this movie, but on a 14 hour flight, you take what you can get:

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“The Time Travelers Wife,” and “Midnight in Paris,” were also about time travel, therefore all of her movies are about time travel also. That’s how science works, right?

The main point of most romantic movies about time travel (and don’t worry, this is not a whole article about those) usually goes something like this: traveling through time makes one realize the importance of the million tiny things that had to add up to make the present what it is.

This was the idea behind the surprisingly okay movie "The Butterfly Effect."

This was the idea behind the surprisingly okay movie “The Butterfly Effect.”

Time traveling movies wants us to appreciate (and not go back and try to change) the bad things, because they’re just scenes on the train to something better.  Like in Candide: all this terrible stuff happens to the main character, but right afterwards, something really good happens because of it.  And then something terrible happens because of the good thing.  The point is supposed to be that sometimes annoying things really do have no payoff (unless you count “getting wiser at dealing with annoying things”).

I don’t believe this.

Irrational as it might be, I agree with those emo time travel movies and what the internet quotes Marilyn Monroe as saying: things fall apart so better things can fall together.  So after a string of delays, flight changes, and 20+ hours of travel, I was figuring that the universe had its bases loaded and had just nodded a reliable slugger up to bat.  It delivered:

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This is exactly what it sounds like: a room with thousands of colorful butterflies swarming you.  At the airport!

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Look at how close to my head they are! Some landed on me but I couldn’t make them pose for photos.

 

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Those are Kallima inachus, whose wings look like leaves.

If the planes hadn’t been grounded in San Diego and made me miss my connection, I would have arrived in Singapore in the middle of the night, when the garden was closed.  I felt like that “Double Rainbow” guy (see below for facial expression), standing wide-eyed and incredulous and thinking that nothing could be better than tons of butterflies sitting on your shoulders and head:

Now that I see this picture of myself, the “best thing ever” right now might be a tie between said butterflies and having a shower.

Now that I see this picture of myself, the “best thing ever” right now might be a tie between said butterflies and having a shower.

I am not married to Rachel McAdams, so I can’t go back in time and change the weather or any airline policies to have made my travel more seamless.  I’ll just have to believe that I was meant to take the butterflies.

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“Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.”
― Antoine de Saint-ExupéryThe Little Prince

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One Response to “The Butterfly Effect”

  1. johnson February 13, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    Beautiful post! India magic already happening for you!

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