For those of you unfamiliar with the story, it’s about a young Japanese woman who falls in love with an American, marries him, bears his child*, and then waits three years for him to return to Japan.
Of course, he does return…with his new wife. Oh, and he wants to take the child back to America, too.
Everyone in the show knows that Pinkerton will break Butterfly’s heart.
Everyone, of course, except for her.
The singing of Cio Cio San was exquisitely heartbreaking, but the line that will stay with me from the show belongs to Pinkerton:
“I am seized by a wild desire to pursue her, even though I should crush her fragile wings in doing so.”
When we are children, we chase innocently after butterflies, blissfully unaware that we are likely doing permanent damage to the object of our desire.
When we are adults, we chase with our eyes wide open, yet wilfully blind to the repercussions of our actions.
The caught butterfly trembles almost as much as the hand that encloses around it.
If you hold onto it, it will die.
If you let it go, it will never fly again, not as it did before.
* As if the little guy who played the son (named Sorrow, of course) wasn’t adorable enough, he clearly had the hiccups during last night’s performance. Watching his little shoulders go up and down while the adults sang on stage was hilarious.