Queen Bee

Queen Bee CatherineI am the Queen Bee. You know how I know? My friends tell me, and I also have a pair of blue bikini panties with a queen bee on them that proves it. I have been known as the Carrot Juice Queen, the Dance Floor Queen, and the Queen of Curb, Gutter and Sidewalk. I don’t like to show country property. For one thing, it wrecks my high-heeled shoes, and for another, there might be something out there that could get me. I am Her Highness in my family, Her Oneness in class, and Her Eminence at my work.

I am the Queen of Complaint and the Queen of Control. And why not? This world would be a much better place if everyone would just do it the right way. Besides, if I didn’t try to control everything, well who would? It might just all fall apart. I am clear it is up to me to be in charge. It’s the Queen’s job!

I am the Queen of Funny. Every once in a while though I hang out with my sons—just to make sure I don’t get too queenly. You see, my sons don’t think I’m so funny. I just think I have what you might call a “timing problem” with them. I gave my younger one a cartoon and in it this therapist is slapping his patient upside the head telling him to: “Snap out of it!” The caption in the corner reads SINGLE SESSION THERAPY.

“I suppose,” he said, “you think that’s funny.” I thought it was hilarious. Apparently he didn’t. He takes after his father.

I am also the Queen of Confusion. I know right from left because I salute the flag with my right hand. But in dance class my teacher would say, “Now come forward on your right foot” and I’d do that and my partner would lean into me and whisper politely, “Your other right foot.” I do know up from down however. Look, there are plenty of gas stations out there if ever I need more directions than that.

Last week I went to see a healer as my bones have been aching so much. He told me, “Your bones are fine, it’s your mother. She hasn’t passed over yet, and she needs your help to get to the other side.” They must not have any gas stations where she is. I’m 53 now—the same age she was when she killed herself 33 years ago. He said she was my spirit guide, said I had a lot of work to do soon and would need her help, said she couldn’t help me until her journey was complete. He told me to put food and water for her on my altar every day, to pray for her and my ancestors before I went to sleep at night. “I’d be willing to do that,” I said, and thought, “I’ll place some there for Michael too, just in case he’s still wandering around.

Cathy Clemens, age 11 6th grade, La HabraAs a kid, I knew I wasn’t a queen. I was invisible and it didn’t seem to matter if I was there or not; sometimes I’d sneak a look in the mirror to see if I really existed. I thought something must have been wrong with me, and if I could be perfect, well, I might be able to fix what was wrong. It’s been a big job.

But I’ve been making up for all that these last few years—and what I know in my regal heart is that everything is perfect, and that surrendering is my work. I’ve wired it up for almost fifty years to protect this Queen of Hearts and it’s taking some time to undo these bindings, piece by piece. I have to be careful as I think my heart might be cracked as it hurts so much sometimes. I have help, too. I have honeybees in my heart, making honey from my fear, shame, resentment and guilt.

I now know I have the heart of a queen, filled with courage and love. You know how I know? My friends tell me. And sometimes, when I take a peek in the mirror, I can see it too.

Catherine Sevenau
March 26, 2002
Queen Bee: original version

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  1. Juliette andrews says:

    You are smart. You are beautiful. You are human.

  2. The photo of your grandson Satchel looks exactly like the last photo of you only without the curls. How did that happen?

  3. Rebecca George says:

    Cath, Yep, you are funny. I forgot how good “Queen Bee” is. What a wonderful piece of writing. I like the additions of your photo (what a sweet pea) and the cartoon.

  4. You are the Queen Bee of writers Catherine.

  5. Doug Hill says:

    I think the cartoon is funny—and so are you. Great stuff; I didn’t realize you have been doing this for so long. Much love, Doug

  6. You are a queen in your heart along with those honeybees, Catherine. I love this piece. It makes me want to paint it ~ not that I exactly would know how to do it. Do you sense your mother ever made it over?

    • Hi Carole, I hope so, for her sake. I don’t have a sense though. SOMETHING is blocking this book from getting done, but I don’t think it’s my mother. My money is on my sister; this October is the tenth anniversary of her passing. You’d think by now she’d be willing to give me a get out of jail free card, but it doesn’t look like it. We don’t let go easily in this family.

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