bees in my bonnet
When grandmother would use the expression "you've got a bee in your bonnet," I would giggle at the image of some little girl in an Easter Bonnet, frantically hitting herself on the head trying to get rid of the bee. I realized later on what she meant by that phrase, particularly when the bee landed in my own bonnet.
I seem to have not one, but a whole colony of bees nesting in my head this week. I think they might be having some kind of family reunion and the yellowjackets and hornets and wasps are circling and buzzing around as well and together they make a sound like a storm brewing.
I get these bees from time to time and normally I can swat them down with a few well chosen words, perhaps in the form of a blog post, or a few lines in my super-secret WordPerfect file, or some silent soliliquoy I act out in the shower.
I can't seem to stop writing this week. Every time I put my words down and hit save and send my thoughts out into the cable wires and phone lines, another bee comes along and starts humming in my head. Each bee represents something different; death, destruction, cruelty, bigotry, moral outrage, bad memories. And then there's the queen bee, the mother of all buzzers that feeds the smaller ones: September 11, 2001. It's always there, dripping bits of nutrients into the mouths of its offspring, making my urge to write and scream stronger, making my indignation bolder.
Sometimes I don't know what makes me angrier; the constant droning of the bees or what they are droning about. Sometimes I wish they would just shut up and leave me alone, but then I think that the silence would scare me more than the noise.
The buzzing seeps into my dreams and forces them to become a mural of everything that exists in my head. Last night there was a car crash; an amusement park ride that dropped us in frozen water instead of on the ground; Indonesian women trying to steer a boat to safety; bugs the size of dogs, hopping over lilly pads on a stagnant lake. My dreams are too complex to decipher, there's no underlying theme, no thing that ties all the scenes together. They are merely a result of the bees in my bonnet refusing to be quiet, even in my sleep.
As much as I complain about the buzzing and stinging, I would hate for it to stop. So I will just keep writing, just keep discarding the bees one by one even though they don't stay gone for long, and I'll learn to live with the noise in my head. In fact, I should learn to embrace those bees in my bonnet. They are, after all, me.