The Butterfly Effect…or Just Great F*cking Writers

Edward Lorenz and the Discovery of the Butterfly Effect

“It used to be thought that the events that changed the world were things like big bombs, maniac politicians, huge earthquakes, or vast population movements, but it has now been realized that this is a very old-fashioned view held by people totally out of touch with modern thought. The things that change the world, according to Chaos theory, are the tiny things. A butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazonian jungle, and subsequently a storm ravages half of Europe.”
                                                    — from Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

If you’ve been following ‘the challenge’ initiated last week, you hopefully experienced the magic that happens when people break out of their comfort zones and inspire others to do the same.

If you missed out on some of the action, Tanya, our Incurable Dreamer, summed it up perfectly in “the losing of my poetry virginity

Last week, she [that’s me] wrote a poem [inspired by George Ella Lyon’ original ‘Where I’m From’], and what has transpired since then has been nothing short of extraordinary.

The poem she wrote was inspired by a prompt – Where I’m From.

Her idea was to post it on her blog and challenge someone to write a poem about where they are from, and then hopefully they too would pass it forward. Well, that is what she did, and that is exactly what happened. She challenged Tom who challenged Wulf who challenged Susan who challenged Bojana.

Inspired by Brooke’s words, Brad and  LLY1205 didn’t even wait to be challenged, they both just got right to it and wrote and posted their poems.”


                                                                                                                          * image from

This wasn’t a competition, by any means. But we were all nervous to try something that isn’t exactly our strong suit. Even our celebrated poets expressed some anxiety about presenting their piece. I suppose it’s because we are all following the same model- one that requires us to reveal some of the most intimate parts of our stories- and create something on the heels of the previous person who blew us away…

But no pressure…really.

So, back to the whole butterfly thing. Yes, I will acknowledge that I set this in motion…flapping my wings if you will. But, as Edward Lorenz, creator of the chaos theory postulates: (Cool article discussing the butterfly effect here)

“Subject to the conditions of uniqueness, continuity, and boundedness … a central trajectory, which in a certain sense is free of transient properties, is unstable if it is nonperiodic. A noncentral trajectory … is not uniformly stable if it is nonperiodic, and if it is stable at all, its very stability is one of its transient properties, which tends to die out as time progresses. In view of the impossibility of measuring initial conditions precisely, and thereby distinguishing between a central trajectory and a nearby noncentral trajectory, all nonperiodic trajectories are effectively unstable from the point of view of practical prediction.”

Simply stated, the noncentral trajectory of my challenge was effectively unstable and wouldn’t have unfolded the way it did if you all had let it die out

Okay, enough of that. In short, it was not I who accepted the challenge and wrote something brilliant enough to inspire the next person, who wrote something brilliant enough to inspire the next person…

Maybe I did initiate a breeze. But you all gave it the momentum necessary to make the next person’s words take flight, compelling them to dig deeper and soar to heights that took our writers and readers by storm and left us all spinning. 

So Tanya, thank you for finishing off this whirlwind week of words with such grace, depth and courage. And thanks to the rest of you brave souls who gave us an enchanting glimpse intowhere you are from.


See where Mirian, from Out an’ About takes us next…

48 thoughts on “The Butterfly Effect…or Just Great F*cking Writers

  1. What an incredible week this has been and how many beautiful poems we have read! And what a unique way to find out more about each other and connect better!

    Poems are not always beautiful but, as sb put it nicely, as long as they fulfill their purpose of being as closer to truth as possible, they serve their purpose.
    And yet, we had both beauty and truth here. So, aren’t they the same?

    “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
                    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

    Thank you dear Keats, you couldn’t have said it better.

    Thank you all for making my life more complete. I couldn’t have asked for more.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. What a beautiful wrap up to this week of inspired poems based on your prompt! Thank you Brooke for flapping your butterfly wings so that we could fly. 🙂 I’ve been inspired to experiment more with my writing which has gotten a little stale, at least for me. I was very moved by the potency and rawness of the poems shared. May we continue to inspire and uplift each other.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Brooke…this was such an amazing experience. You blew the breath, that caused the butterfly to take flight…which stirred the winds that blew to Tom…and the rest is out there for all to see.

    Just so fucking amazing. Here’s the thing…maybe it’s just the positive part of me, but I sense change, positive change, has occurred because of what you started. I sense souls too long in darkness are at least admitting there is still light out there…somewhere.

    What a thing to be part of…to witness…to live.

    Thank you to all!!!

    Liked by 5 people

  4. This inception of beauty, of trust, truth and courage, had to come from you Brooke, it had to begin with your beautiful and inspiring poem. It has been an absolute privilege to be a part of this celebration of words, this coming together of hearts and minds. It is an amazing feeling to be inspired by people you care about and admire. It has been particularly exciting for me to read the unfolding of such varied and spectacular voices in a medium which has, at times, been vital to my existence. Poetry is in my blood, it is how I see and interpret the world, and I am so grateful to all of you for sharing yourselves through your extraordinary poems, and for allowing me to be a part of something truly great.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. This has been the most fulfilling and meaningful experience I have ever had as a writer, and to share all of this magic with people I hold in such high esteem has truly been an honour. To all of you, thank you for daring to expose the shiny and broken bits inside of you. You are all beautiful people. My heart and soul are full, and I am feeling more inspired than ever to reach for the stars. Thank you, Brooke, for leading us down this unforgettable path.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. My raging weekend has me running behind in the conversation, but you summed it up magnificently, dear Brooke! 👏👏👏

    I haven’t had a chance to read Tanya’s entry yet, but I will today (if the work day doesn’t steal my intent 😉 ). Looking forward to THAT! And to getting caught up on the conversations that I’ve missed. This has been wonderful, illuminating, exhilarating and awakening. Don’t stop. Nobody stop. Once set free, the spirit cannot be contained again!

    Liked by 4 people

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