Saturday, April 16, 2011
A Spoonful of Honey
Last evening, I was invited to a screening of a documentary. I'm not your typical gal, for good or ill. I don't get excited about an invitation to the movie theater. Listening to a heavy breather eat popcorn with their mouth open behind me, and watching the twit text message away in front of me makes me want to punch people in the face. It's true. I'm a horribly violent person.
But, transport me to a swank arts center with beautiful and quirky things to look at and the cell phone doesn't bother me so much.
The New Arts Project in Santa Rosa created a space for about oh, 30 to 50 people to view a screening of a documentary. They provided ice cold lemon water in lovely dispensers. The chairs were a bit rough, but there were not any feet dangling over the back of the chair next to me. Someone's pooch was trolling around, particularly interested in my handbag where I'd forgotten I stashed a half eaten kid's cliff bar.
The movie was Vanishing of the Bees, and it was very well done. I've heard about the vanishing for several years now, and was eager to see something comprehensive on the subject. This piece was more than comprehensive; the cast of characters ranged from down-home bee keepers with great regional accents to an earth mother goddess admonishing us to worship the feminine half of the deity and a scientist in between.
There is, as of yet, no definitive answer to why colonies of bees are just disappearing. Called Colony Collapse Disorder, entire hives, thousands of hives at a time even, are found for all intents and purposes, empty. Millions upon millions of bees are unaccounted for. More than being unaccounted for, they are lost to our crops of fruits, nuts, flowers and vegetables that are pollination dependent. The Bible speaks of a promised land of milk and honey, not corn and soy, but some Big Business thinks the answer to this is to blanket our country in mono crops of genetically modified food and resources. Not only does that idea stun me for its lack of beauty and grace; the implications strike fear in my heart. I have a friend who brought home a parasite from Africa. He's living out the painful ramifications of eating something his body was not prepared to resist. When we rely on importing most of our fruit and veg from other countries, we are at the mercy of their cost and whatever pests come along with.
Right now, the smoking gun seems to be pointing at pesticides. Can we all exhale a chorus of "duh"? The research continues, as does the fight for protection of not just our bees, but our lives. The movie was very informative about the way the EPA operates, the art and craft of bee-keeping as well as the big business end. I must admit, there was a scene which made me want to run and hide. I kind of have an idea now of what men feel like when they see other men kicked in the baby-maker.
I am kicking myself for not pulling out my notes during the movie; there were some wonderful quotes. The one that has stuck with me, from none other than Martin Luther King Jr.:
"Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality."
I'm sitting with that thought now, as I contemplate not only the plight of the bees, but communities of people who come together in new ways to celebrate life, gain knowledge and spread goodness.