The Butterfly Effect

I Never Saw Another Butterfly
The last, the very last,


So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow
Perhaps if the sun’s tears would sing 
against a white stone…. 


Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly ’way up high.
It went away I’m sure 
because it wished 
to kiss the world good-bye.

 For seven weeks I’ve lived in here
Penned up inside this ghetto.
But I have found what I love here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court.

Only I never saw another butterfly. 
That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don’t live in here, in the ghetto. 

Written  by Pavel Friedman, June 4, 1942 




I don’t remember the first time. I heard about the butterfly effect. Was it Jurrasic Park? The movie of that name was not a favorite. But the concept made complete sense to me. The smallest things effect everything. The flick of a butterfly’s wing in my garden effects the weather in China. 


Is it true? I’m not a scientist. I don’t know. But I do know that much of my life is made up of tiny interludes with people as I travel. Moments, really. I don’t get years with people except for a few rare and dear friends. Those are also celebrated in moments. So, true or not, I believe in butterflies.

Trudi Sissons from  Two Dresses Studio  has joined with the Holocaust Museum in Huston to help bring to flight an amazing exhibit. There were 1.5 million children killed in the Holocaust.


Think about it. I really quite can’t. I have no idea what 1.5 million looks like as a number. So they are collecting 1.5 million butterflies from artists, one for each child, to exhibit there.
What did we lose with those children?1.5 million symphonies, lullabies, amazing stories, astonishing art………… 


We can never know. We are in a 
way, as much a victim to the hate that killed them as they. Our world cannot afford hate. Each child is a treasure house, and hate is a vicious thief.
If each child were a butterfly and the wings of their life change the world, what have we lost?


So I’ve made my butterfly to be sent off. To remember what was lost and to hope we can learn the evil math behind hate. And my job today is to take someone I truly fear and hate and find why I’m wrong. Hard as it is, I think it better than Christmas shopping.  And after all, it’s what I really want for Christmas,  both to give and receive.



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3 Responses to “The Butterfly Effect”

  1. Trudi says:

    Thank you Ellen. For giving us all several of your moments to focus on this project. In Memory of the Lost Children, their Dreams and their Potential we shall never know, nor shall we ever forget.

  2. Createology says:

    This is such a poignant and beautiful post. My butterfly has joined the rest that Trudi has and I am truly grateful to be a part of this museum memorial. Thank you for this amazing project which remembers the children.

  3. tina says:

    Ellen, you have touched my heart once again. Truly, how much have we lost with the loss of those children. I guess I had never thought about it in that way.
    Love and hugs, Miss you!
    Tina in San Diego

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