Reminder: the purpose of the design is to unsettle the bee…

I am about to embark on a very personal journey revisiting a time in my past I need to process in depths in order to fully move forward into the next chapter in my life.  I’ll share more about that later.  Until then, I will revisit an old post on the bee and its relationship with anxiety- a good reminder for all of us!


ANXIETY is part of life.  It can beneficial.  It can hinder.  When I am overwhelmed by it, to the point of distracting me from enjoying my life and making it hard to live in gratitude,  I pull out my copy of A Slender Thread- rediscovering hope at the heart of crisis by Annie Dillard and read the following quote.

The purpose of the design is to unsettle the bee…

Copy this quote down in your journal.  Refer to it time and time again and I trust you will find solace in it too.


One rarely notices the uncertainty of the bee, wallowing and sliding, or how flower petals are delicately balanced so that they will appear firm, but waver and flex suddenly without actually breaking off.  The purpose of the design is to unsettle the bee.

The purpose of the design is to unsettle the bee, I remind myself.  The bee isn’t supposed to be comfortable, secure, or happy, it’s supposed to get smeared with pollen- whether or not the bee suffers is irrelevant.  So it goes with the evolution of anxiety, worry, grief, depression, and other states of emotional distress…

Shedding the centuries, falling backward down a time well, I picture the small bands of humans from whom everyone on earth descended.  Our terrors are their terrors, our hungers their hungers, our pleasure their pleasures, our worry their worry.  We speak the same emotional language.  Only the details have changed, as our vocabulary evolved to cope with everyday life, but our emotional grammar did not.  We carry many of the same psychic burdens, only the satchels are differenent, how we fill them, and where we lay them down.  We’re prepared for their world, not ours, and the strain doesn’t begin to describe how emotionally off-balance, misfit, and cramped we sometimes feel, as we try to improvise with outmoded tools.   – Diane Ackerman

Ackerman, D. (1997) A Slender Thread- rediscovering hope at the heart of crisis, New York, NY: Vintage Books


I am thankful for the unsettling irritation that forces me to keep moving forward!

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