“Across my dreams with nets of wonder, I chase the bright elusive butterfly of love.” —Elusive Butterfly by Bob Lind. 1965.
Quite often, while I’m deeply engrossed in a news article or a gripping novel, I’m confronted with a word that derails my train of thought and causes it to sidetrack into that great stockyard of song titles from my past. It happened twice with the same word today. First, reading a New York Times article about the “elusive” goals of a certain political party. Within minutes, a “one-word prompt” message shows up in my email, devised to inspire writers to create a story around today’s word, “elusive.”
I took that as a sign. Both times the word appeared, my wandering mind sped like an out-of-control locomotive to the song Elusive Butterfly by folk singer Bob Lind. I was in high school. It wasn’t one of the “cool” songs I was supposed to like. But I remember seeing Bob Lind perform it on Shindig or Hullabaloo, one of those 60s television teen shows, and pictured myself sitting on a stool, guitar in hand and stage lights all around as I watched Lind play and sing.
I still do that. I did it again today. And all it took was one word. “Elusive.” An apt description of my thoughts and how they’ve been shaped by music. Now, back to my regularly scheduled thinking.
(This could have been the performance I watched so long ago: Elusive Butterfly by Bob Lind.)