Thursday, August 17, 2006

# 176 (cont'd) PANDORA'S BOX II

The Nasties Revealed

My first feelings of utter violation came about ten years ago when I was gaily tripping down a sidewalk doing some last minute Christmas shopping. Humming under my breath “Oh Holy Night” with joy and internal reverence. Breathing in crisp winter air, feeling such happy anticipation of the Holiday Season. But then suddenly I found myself flat on my face on the sidewalk with smashed glasses, a scraped and bloodied face, and a broken nose. I was walking around the perimeter of a shopping complex when behind a spruce tree, in utter darkness, my foot caught on a four inch rise in the sidewalk that served as a door-sill to an unlit side-door. And that, my friends, was my first real sense of ‘violation’. It left me with physical pain, yes, but even worse was the emotional hurt. I felt as if someone had suddenly, for no reason, ripped and invaded my body and soul.

The second understanding of ‘violation’ came yesterday. I was in the front yard watering a potted petunia when suddenly I heard a hum in the distance as pure and defined as the hum of a jet at an airshow. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the flightpath. Straight ahead, full speed. Then a loud ‘smack’ as a Hornet (of the ‘insectia’, rather than the ‘militia’ kind), plowed into my left arm. His fuel tank exploded, flaming with searing heat the flesh of my arm. I dropped my watering can and scrambled out of there.

Now I have been on this earth for a half-century which is a long time, but despite that, this was my first unfortunate encounter with a hornet. And now I am worried. My family has a history of hornet-sting allergies. Serious allergies. The kind of allergy that made my sister’s throat swell until her chin met her chest in a straight line. Before she got to the Doctor people around her were taking evasive action to avoid what looked like a monster from another planet. Others in my family have suffered serious consequences when stung. So, it is possible, even likely, that for me, being stung could prove to be serious, even fatal.

But although I have been stung by other bees – honey bees, bumble bees, even something the local people call sweat bees (small black bees that look more like flies), I have never been stung by a hornet. Other bees don’t attack like this. In my experience, normally bees buzz about letting you know by a slight edge in their humming voices, that you are infringing on their territory. Giving you warning and a brief moment to gently back away. So I have never seen bees as a real threat. The ones that have bitten me were ones I stepped on in the grass or others that ended up trapped in part of my clothing. But for the most part, my past encounters with bees have been reasonably conciliatory considering what a gigantic beast I must be to them. But not this time. No conciliation in this particular circumstance.

Immediately I went to the Shop to tell Hub I had been stung and realizing my concern, like the Good Man he is, he escorted me quickly to the house and daubed the welt with vinegar and offered to apply some ice. I appreciated his sympathy but my bigger pain, my most enduring pain, was the sense of violation. How angry that bee was without just cause. How vengeful, and oh so vindictive.

The sting was now only a dull ache, but the emotional pain was still searing. I know that there is no quick fix for emotional pain. It can only heal with time, so I decided to retrieve my watering can and continue my day.

Scroll down to the next post about the violators’ return

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