Finding the Missing Bee… er, Word

The bees are busy around here this week. There is a very fragrant lilac bush at one corner of our back deck, and I can hear the buzz whenever I approach it. They like the new columbines, too, and the rhododendrons. I get that. After all, the fragrance of lilacs, rhoddies and columbines is appealing. But garlic chives?

Chive Closeup

Apparently pollen is pollen, and the bees aren’t put off by the garlic smell. They’re fuzzy, but not fussy. (Sorry… my brain is running on coffee, Diet Coke and hot chocolate. Too much caffeine!) For whatever reason seeing this bee reminds me of another one, and the ludicrous scene from the movie ‘Best In Show‘ where Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock get into a screaming match over who’s responsible for losing their show dog’s stuffed toy, named (you guessed it) Busy Bee.

In searching for a replacement, Parker is shown assorted toys by a bemused clerk who can’t envision that a dog would be fussy about the colour or shape as long as it’s a stuffed toy. But by then Parker is rabid and irrational.

There are occasional moments of writing when I sense the edge of reason that she clearly passed. I’m driven to exasperation by words I can’t reach. I know them. I’ve used them before. But at the very moment when they are most desired, they disappear. When that happens I am beyond frustrated. I know it’s not reasonable to fuss over a particular word or phrase, especially since it can be added during later revisions, but for whatever reason the storyteller in me wants That. Specific. One. Right. Now.

Yes, I’m talking about a moment of writing despair yesterday. Need I say that I didn’t find the word? Like Parker Posey I snatched at an inadequate substitute and will have to make do for now. But it’s maddening. Absolutely maddening!

Tell me I’m not alone in this! What do you do when what’s on the tip of your tongue is stuck there and refuses to slip off onto the page?


~  ~  ~

6 thoughts on “Finding the Missing Bee… er, Word

  1. Judith Robl says:

    Yesterday, at lunch in a restaurant out of town, a lady spoke to me by name. I knew her. I’ve known her for forty years. But I could not, for the life of me, say her name. My only excuse is that it’s been several years since I’ve seen her. But it was just a few days ago that I was remembering being in her home when friend-husband and I were first married. I had to ask friend-husband “tell me her first name.” The human mind and memory is a strange and wonderful, if erratic, thing.

    When I’m searching for a word or turn of phrase, I generally sleep on it. It comes eventually. Just put in a place holder and move on is my method.

  2. What do we do when facts we know we know escape us? Wait. Apologize if we must.

    Send loving messages of gratitude to our amazing brains, understanding the huge job they must do in mimi-seconds to access countless millions of memories. Parts of each memory are sent to different sections of the brain. Sometimes we can bring it forward by thinking of events sounding the words we want.

    Feel free to apologize to others for a memory lapse. We all have them! Sure, more often with aging, Nothing to be ashamed of.

    PS: If anyone has access to PBS stations, look for a program presented by Rudy Tanzi. It will keep coming back. Fascinating stuff. There is a difference between our minds, and our brains. Proven by physics and science. Have fun!


  3. You are not alone !! I’ve had the elusive word or phrase pop into my mind while I’m fixing dinner and in the time it takes to grab a tablet and pen it’s gone again.

  4. I don’t like introducing people because I invariably have to stretch for both their names. I think being on the spot freezes my brain.

  5. Carol says:

    I’m smiling at some of your responses and thinking how alike we are in this situation! The “erratic” brain, the “frozen” brain… yup, I can use those terms to describe mine, too.

  6. Katt says:

    I hate to say this, but I think it’s age! 😀 Not you, but me. I stumble around all the time trying to remember one thing or another. I used to tell my hubby when I was younger and forgot something in the kitchen I could walk back to the family room and quickly remember what it was I was looking for. Today, I walk back to the family room and just sit down in my chair, forgetting that I forgot anything! So maybe old age isn’t so bad! 😀

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