Sunday, July 3, 2011

Imprisoned Bees and the Terror of Mercy

I see metaphor everwhere I go.

I just released a bee trapped inside the coffee shop. There he buzzed and buzzed, constantly hitting the window, desperately trying to get out. He could see the other side, but to get there? He had no idea how to go about it. He just repeatedly threw himself into the glass. Occasionally, he would rest on the sill, ever staring out at where he once had been; separated unwillingly from the place he belonged.

He was trapped. No matter how hard he tried, he could not break through the pane.

So finally, I rose from my seat, retrieved an empty cup from the barista, and confined the poor thing inside. I placed a thick piece of a newsletter under the cup between rim and window. The bee now found himself in total and complete darkness. A darkness he neither asked for nor desired.

For what I imagine to be terrorizing and agonizing seconds, an eternity in bee-time, the bee remained in this strange new petrifying new environment. You know, because I’m sure bees can consciously feel and comprehend human emotion. ;) His life was over. It was only seconds until he was squashed, he was certain.
Then suddenly, the temperature changed. It was surprisingly warm inside the cup and somehow less dark. Light was trying to sneak through the thick sides. In a single instant, all at once, the paper cell door was flung from place, light and the warm July air flooded in, and the bee found himself flying in the brightness of the sun. No longer crashing into his glass prison, this strange gigantic being that his bee friends had said squashed so many, had instead see him free. The terror was all for naught. 

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