Meet Pat

Video (Meet Pat) -

Friday, March 12, 2010

Butterfly project

Several weeks ago I read an article in our local newspaper, by William Denton, about a synagogue here in Connecticut that was collecting handmade paper butterflies to send to the Holocaust Museum Houston. The museum “is preparing an exhibit of 1.5 million butterflies to represent the number of children who perished in the Holocaust.” The exhibit is currently scheduled for spring of 2013 and according to the article the museum currently has 400,000 butterflies. The article went on to quote a poem “The Butterfly” by Pavel Friedman, who was born in Prague in 1921, deported to Terezin ghetto and concentration camp in 1942 and later to Auschwitz, where he died in 1944. In the poem he describes seeing a single butterfly.

The last, the very last.
So richly, brightly, dazzling yellow . . .
Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly way up high . . .
For seven weeks I’ve lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto . . .
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 here, in the ghetto.

I love butterflies, I always have. I think they show us just how beautiful and fragile life can be. So I am sending some quilled butterflies to the museum. The butterflies I made are from 2-4” across and I used ¼” and 3/8” strips. I did spray them with Stiffen Stuff to make them a little sturdier (is that a word?) since I don’t know how they will be displayed. I put a note in my calendar book to start checking back with the museum’s web site in spring 2013. I can’t even imagine how great this exhibit will be with 1.5 million paper butterflies, but more importantly those butterflies will help us remember the children they represent. Perhaps some of you will also be inspired to send some along as well, please let me know if you do. The web site for the museum is , here is a link for the Butterfly Project . The address for the museum is Holocaust Museum Houston, Butterfly Project, Education Department , 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004 If you live in Connecticut, you may send your butterflies (by June 30) to Temple B’nai Israel, P O Box 61, Willimantic, CT 06226 where they will be displayed at the temple and then sent on to the Holocaust Museum.