When you talked merrily about your tendency to hoard, describing stacks of magazines you’ve acquired by dint of subscription, I didn’t laugh. I’ll tell you why. Suddenly grave, I thought of a close friend of mine who hoardes. Brilliant, but incapacitated and suffocated by all that he has held onto. Driving away from his disastrous home, I always believe that the right man could have saved him from this.
Isn’t it okay to rely on friends and lovers we do not wish to disappoint? To entrust to them our improvement? Isn’t it okay to do the right thing only at the urgings of friends and lovers? Isn’t that why we maintain friends and lovers, because without them we would drown in ourselves? Isn’t it not a source of shame that our friends and lovers resolve for us those terrible flaws that we cannot fix in ourselves? Isn’t that the design of human interaction? Isn’t that the one good lesson of Jesus? He needed friends and lovers! He called them disciples! They saved him more than he saved them.
Last night around 9PM, a large bee soared high enough into the ocean-slapped black sky to enter my open windows and careen about my place finally ending up in the glare of the inverted glass bowl of the ceiling-mounted light fixture in the kitchen. That bee was alone, with none of its hive to say to it, “You’re in trouble. This is not the sun. This is just a thing they call a light bulb. Do not go to it. Get out of here. You’re confused. You flew too high. What were you thinking? You need to come home.” What they didn’t tell that bee was that it was too late.
In the morning, when I got up out of bed and headed to the coffeemaker, I looked up at the light fixture, and through the frosted glass of the bowl, I saw the curled remains of that bee. I haven’t had the heart to get out the ladder, unscrew the fixture and dump it out. A year from now, it will probably still be there, over my head, like a sword. I expect to daily learn something from the sight of this, as do those who repeat rosaries. Or not.