What sort of light would a bee make if it blushed? This light recently burned out of my bee hive lamp. I got this lamp in university; one of the fellow fine art students had set up an exhibition. The premise was that the student was moving and had to get rid of some of her stuff, so the little broom closet studio was stuffed to the brim with some clay unicorn wall mounts and origami strings and blown glass and pottery, all items that she had made. It was so beautiful. The only way you could take an item was to exchange it for something that you had. It was suggested that you could trade for a coffee date or for a poem, or a hug, things that were smaller and a bit more portable for the venturing student. I forget what I traded in for them, but I think I got the better end of the deal. One was an absolutely beautiful stained glass wall piece of a little purple bunny family. And the other was the beehive lamp. The main structure of the lamp is a white translucent honeycomb, and spilling out of it are these tiny handmade glass bees. They are beautiful. Well the bulb of it finally broke after four years of glowing hot orange, and it’s now replaced with a bit brighter and lighter bulb, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to throw away this lamp’s first heart.
The turtle earthquake detector, that’s now missing a foot and its head doesn’t bobble anymore when someone so much as breathes past it. Back when I was an astute evangelical teenager it was the hot thing to go oversees to play white savior. And our church’s place of choice? Belize. But back then my immune system was incredibly terrible, so I got sick often and we decided that I was too sick to go (nowadays I very rarely get sick, I guess I grew out of it). Well I was devastated but it was my tragic cross to bear, and all my friends raised their two thousand dollars and went without me and had life-changing experiences and finally got their facebook picture posing with the natives (can you tell I’m still bitter?). And my best friend at the time came back and gave me this little Belize bedazzled earthquake detector, so when I moved to Alaska a year later and my best friend was never seen or heard from again, it really came in handy. So yeah this little guy gives me a lot of conflicted memories, but I hold onto him, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s because I enjoy being bitter. It makes me feel superior. But hidden underneath the sadness is still there, because now while I don’t agree with a lot of my childhood indoctrination now, I really did always have a good time. I loved going to church and my youth group, and participating in See You at the Pole and the 40 Hour Famine that I threw up during approximately 23 hours later. It was when I first got my period. When I first learned to be confident in myself. When I sang in the choir and did the Living Christmas Tree show during Christmas. It was all so fun. Wow, I’m rambling on way too much. The turtle really just reminds me of all the fun.
And the coins are from New Zealand, the land that stole my heart—even before I ever stepped there. It’s so magical and beautiful that I probably won’t have too many words. That place really calls to me. I always dream of the next time I can return. Life is far too short and wonderful, and I just want to see and feel as much of it as I can.