The Bees Knees

Okay. I’m having a moment.

I’ve journaled about my trip to Italy and some of the lessons learned. Every day home I’ve figured out more and more about myself because of my time spent in nature and through the season shifts. I’ve mentioned the bees and butterflies and sunshine and there are tons I’ve not had a chance to journal online about just yet… but it’s coming. Today was about understanding me and the bees. And the sunshine.

I haven’t slept well for a few nights in a row. And while I told my friends just yesterday that “nope. I don’t miss Italy yet… I’m good…”  Well, today I can definitely say I miss Italy. I miss the villa. I miss sleeping in that sanctuary on top of the Tuscan mountain. I can’t remember the last time I slept so well that many nights in a row. Honestly.

I woke up quite tired today.  (I had some interesting dreams and I have to say I’ve invented things in my dreams that I don’t believe have actually been made yet, so there may be something to the sleep deprivation and creativity.)

Alas, I’m getting off track.

So I’m in the studio and I’m having my first struggle since being back. I’m feeling like I’ve outgrown my studio space on different levels and that it’s too social there and distracting. I’m having a hard time concentrating and meditating. I had to leave and take a break and so I went to see a friend of mine for a couple of drinks and a chat. Upon my return to the studio it was quiet and it was a good time for me to tap into the first thing that came to mind re: being happy and peaceful. The first thing that came to mind was me, sitting outside in the sunshine at  the villa with the bees buzzing all around me. Never being scared of them and always enjoying the sound and just “bee-ing” (I know, bad pun, but I can’t help myself) around them. They made me feel so peaceful. (I’ve actually written about this extensively in my sketchbook and just kept coming back to it.)

Next thing I know, two of my paintings already in progress have become all about the flight of the bees. They were so significant to me during my time at the villa and when I started painting the pattern of their flight on the panels today I felt excited. I was recalling the feelings and thoughts going through my mind and body and it changed me today even further.

This evening I kept thinking about their significance, so I finally googled the symbology of bees. And this is when I started having my moment of WOW!

Here is just a sampling of what I found and identified with completely. Some of it may seem a little “out there” to some readers, but this is deep soulful yummy nectar for my artwork. You want to know what goes in to my artwork? What I’m thinking? How I come up with my ideas for paintings? What inspires me? This is all part of my connection and experience in and to nature and the transformation I am going through. This is the stuff. This is just a little taste of the honey. Bees are magic creatures. Pure magic.

As organizers of the universe between earth and sky, bees symbolize all vital principles, and embody the soul.

When a bumblebee buzzes you it is asking you to follow its lead. In so doing you will arrive at the destination most appropriate for your new life awakening.

In the texts of ancient Egypt, bees were born from the tears of Râ, the Sun God. When the tears fell onto the soil, they were transformed into bees that built honeycombs and produced honey.


Among many other things bees & honey symbolize, like hope… Check this out:

In modern psychoanalytical thinking, honey symbolizes the “higher self” , the ultimate consequence of work on one’s inner self. As the result of the transmutation of ephemeral pollen into a delicious food of immortality, honey symbolizes the transformation by initiation, the conversion of the soul, and the complete integration of the person. 

I’m just gonna have to say “yummy” to all of this.  I felt so calm and happy when I was around them. I was seduced by the sunshine, true, but it was more than that. I felt different and calm in a way only one other person in my life has ever made me feel before. I felt like I was “home”. I felt safe. I felt whole. These kind of things go so deep it’s always hard to put into words, but I’m trying.

One of the things that sticks out for me as well is when I’d first arrived at the villa and it was storming so bad… I watched a bee on my window screen hold on for three days without moving. He wasn’t going to budge for anything. He held on during the intense strong winds, the freezing rainstorms and finally made his way out when it was safe. I was so worried about that one little bee.

Never in my life have I given so much thought about bees until I was in Italy. And it’s really stuck with me. The ones around me were big black bumble bees and black and gold bees. Not once did they ever land on me.

Oh, and one of the highlights was that a woman named Stella (meaning the stars) gave me a jar of honey the evening of my most stressful night in Italy. I dunno, but the more I think about all of this… the more it seems to make sense.

I probably just need a few nights of solid sleep, but I’m hoping it will bring more clarity and help me complete these paintings in the next few days.

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One Response to The Bees Knees

  1. Brit Hammer says:

    “Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.” – Mary Kay Ash

    Jen, what beautiful symbolism how you were so concerned about that bee holding on for dear life. In other words, you were so concerned to hold on to your soul during a personal storm that was sweeping all away that is “not you”.

    Our lives are really poetry in motion – pure beauty and full of potential – and only when we stop to smell the roses do we notice that. Thanks for sharing your inner garden with us. ❤ ❤ ❤

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