Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Grief Is a Bee in a Basement

John told me that his new girlfriend accused him of being a scrooge because he said he was dreading Christmas. He said he's not a scrooge, he just knows he'll feel bad because his father died on Christmas a few years ago and he always feels bad when that time rolls around, no matter what.

Grief is like that, I agreed. It enters the body's memory bank at a certain time, and when the earth is once again in the same alignment to the sun, it activates itself. (Though its intensity usually wanes over time.)

It's like a bee study I read about once.
Some scientists took a bunch of bees from North America and put them in a windowless basement in Great Britain, where the bees had no clue what time of day it was. Nonetheless, the bees changed their schedules to be active when the sun was out and to sleep when the sun set. Seems they have some internal compass that orients them in space no matter where they are.

So if grief is like that, is happiness too? Does that explain the inexplicable feelings of joy that sometimes arise? Are the bees in the basement dancing?

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