A Dysfunctional Life in the Sticks
OCTOBER 22, 2011 9:14AM

God Takes Up Beekeeping

Rate: 17 Flag

Well, I'm sure some of you reading this are thinking mumbletypeg has gone over the edge. I've never engaged in a protracted OS skirmish with anyone. It's pointless, I know. But there's something about this one that irks me more than usual, and I'm quite sure that it's because it issues from my beloved Vermont, and offends me beyond rational thinking. A similar writer in Wyoming wouldn't bother me nearly as much (my apologies to Wyoming).

I love bees. I have gigantic flowering locust trees that hum with bumblebees to a near roar in June. I have four acres of goldenrod that keep the honeybees from the hives in the next field over occupied for many weeks in August. I feel privileged to have the resources to feed them. Albert Einstein supposedly said something along the lines that the extinction of bees would mean the extinction of mankind within a matter of a few years. Whether he said it or not, it's probably true. Bees are very precious.

LK Walker, she of the

With my grief, I was transforming death. I somehow knew instinctively that I had to praise too. That praise was the resurrection of grief. So as I massaged, I praised the rabbit for what a perfect life he had led. I praised him for his beauty, for his simplicity and elegance. I praised him for running through the fields, and through the snow. I apologized for killing him, for taking him from his beautiful world. I told him I hoped his death had been quick and painless. I sank to my knees in the living room, and prayed over this one dead creature so fervently and for so long, it was impossible not to work. With my praise, I was creating life. Not his life, mine.
When the torrent of tears was done. When the hide was soft, and warm, and dry, I sat very still and held it to my heart. I could feel my heart beat, and in the stillness I could feel a very tiny and soft whisper of joy.
That whisper said to me that I had found my path through the mourning. I had found my understanding of what it means to die, what it means to grieve, what it means to praise. And at last, what it means to live. This was what I had to do to find my own thread of life again. In order to live fully, I had to die fully. And in order to die fully, I had to kill something. That something was not a marten or a muskrat or a squirrel. That something was the fear in myself that life held no meaning. And through the ritual honoring of the dead bodies that I found myself in possession of, I was able to face that fear and transform it. I was the chevra kaddisha for the animals that I killed. It was a strange role, I admit, because I was the person who killed these animals. On some level, it made no sense at all. I couldn’t explain it if I tried. But on the deepest level, it made perfect sense. The work of a chevra kaddisha is referred to as - chesed shel emet – a good deed of truth.
This is what I learned.
These animals would die, whether by my hand, or by another. Every person I loved would die, whether by my hand, or by another. All I could do, to make sense of my world, was a good deed of truth. I would grieve, and I would praise. I would spend my time with death, so that I could spend my time with life, truly alive.”
[quote from the deleted EP cover post of September 22, 2011]

has taken up beekeeping. She's a busy girl, what with yoga and play-writing and daily trapping and, apparently, livestock keeping. But her world of influence is too small. She must keep conquering new territory. So now she's going after the bees.


I didn’t research the bees at all before I got them.  Not like I researched the chickens.  Or the sheep, the cow and the horse, which I’m still researching.   The bees I just bought.  Two hives of Russians from an apiary near Lake Champlain, about halfway down the Vermont coast.  Too late in the season, according to some beekeepers in the know.

But I was not in the know.  I wanted bees.  I wanted honey.  And I didn’t want to wait.”

Of course not! Because when you're god, every living thing “beneath” you is at your beck and call. God knows best. And if she doesn't, what the hell. It's only bees. So she's experimenting, disregarding the advice of experienced beekeepers, because – she's god! She deals in life and death as she sees fit.

[I suppose Emily thought this was a really cute account of picturesque rural life. It certainly has gotten a lot of views, but I expect that's because of the original psychopathic trapping post, which was riveting in that trainwreck kind of way]

I hate to write this here, as my organic mentor and staunch non-interventionist is likely to read this and be disappointed in me.  But I took my three different answers to my one question, and decided to feed my bees.

I reasoned that I’d rather add a little non-traditional food supply, than come to my hive in February to a starvation death annihilation of my hives.

So I mixed up a batch of organic sugar water and put it out.  Within a week I noticed a marked increase in bee activity.  I finally put on my first ‘super.’  And then I found that mite.

Now it’s October.  I’ve found a handful of dead bees.  Lots of earwigs and ants.  I’m told that the bees will kill them and remove them from the hive and that takes more energy.

In the old days, beekeepers would wrap their hives in tarpaper, or put them in the basement for the winter.  But I’m simply going to insulate the cover and let them stay outside.”  

Yeah, really, why pay attention to advice from people more knowledgeable than you? Because you're god! And what's the loss of a few hives nowadays, anyway? I wish your bees luck, not for your sake, but for theirs.

My favorite quote from LKWalker's post:

Bees are the only creature that actually improves their environment.” 

Okay, aside from the execrable grammar, she's partially right (she's forgotten earthworms, and I don't know what else, but she's god, so accept her badly written statement). Now, LKWalker, if only you'd meditate on the meaning of that.  And move to New Hampshire, if Alaska is too far.

(And as I pointed out in my comment you deleted, you can delete all you like. The OS population has a long memory)


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I used to write a satire about a woman called, Tarra Slovan, and she would write just like LK Walker does. She was a bloodthirsty pacifict too, if I remember correctly. Little did I know that Tarra would have been a shoo in for editors picks while her creator would languish.
. I totally relate to your irritation.It's a type more than an individual and this type is hot stuff in our moronic organic culture. This type often hails from Vermont or Oregon etc. They're prose is as awful as the patchouli that blends so poorly with their after tantra sex stench!
Leave the bees alone, lady!!! I think I must write a book called Murder of the Organic mentor-- A flaky fantasy.
fernsy - I am chortling over the idea of the book called Murder of the Organic Mentor! I would read that! The notion of a bloodthirsty pacifist gives me the creeps, but I see what you mean. That such creatures emerge from (or rather, transport themselves to) places like Vermont and Oregon pretty much enrages me. Your equation of their prose with patchouli is all too apt, and rather brilliant.
I sense that you are slightly irritated with this rabbit murdering, bee murdering Walker. Emily buys this crap? Hmmmm...'

lol @ fernsy for "after tantra sex stench." No way I can top that!
tr ig - yeah, fernsy's comment was better than my post. I'm losing my grip, and it's because I'm getting more than slightly irritated. Ta.
Thank you Mumbletypeg... and Trig.
My opinion is that your rage is righteous. Next, she will be killing Native Americans and using thier hides as aromatherapy. I wish I could train a bee and have this bee go tackle her just as she's about to trap again.
She's a type that has been chapping my ass for years. Emily just eats this crap up. Depressing.
I guess it's no surprise Ms. Walker has taken up keeping livestock and bees - it gives her a steady, easily accessible supply of stuff to kill. What a busy, busy woman she must be.
Her writing makes me feel stung and trapped. In a bad way. Good for you for getting pissed off.
fernsy - African killer bees have not yet made their way to Vermont, but they only have a few hundred miles to go! She'll give up beekeeping then, I bet.

nana - she does seem busy, doesn't she? I don't see how she fits the yoga in, but maybe she has some sort of dual-purpose exercise involving opening leg traps and downward dog. Dealing with bees could require some interesting arm movements.
lollylo - I don't suppose it's actually good for me to get so pissed off, but what the heck. Someone needs to, and it might as well be me. Thank you.
I know exactly what you mean, mumbletypeg, this writer and the oozing reek coming out of her words, what is that reek?? God-delusions, death obsession, my own fear for small animals everywhere??
Whatever, she has also gotten my beacon of warning/attention more than any other...maybe her writing appeals to city folk who don't recognize the smell of imbalance she's got going on.
I dream of living in Vermont, always have (and I will some day) while I sit here in Oregon because my family is here and loves it...
...but don't you dare wish any trappers who kill small animals to feel more powerful and alive over our way!! : )
The bees here are healthy...and so are the bald eagles and hawks, mountain lions and bears, who take care of the small animal killing as needed.
And only as needed, as it should be.
I think Wasilla has some room...I hear the house next to the Palins is up for rent again.
Just Thinking - yeah, I've never had such a visceral reaction to anyone's posts on OS as I have with those of my neighbor LKWalker (and certainly I do not wish her or any of her ilk on Oregon). I don't know what's wrong with her, but everything she writes comes out so twisted and self-absorbed, it's almost physically painful to read. Wasilla sounds like a good place for her.
Bees bit me twice. That is not what is pissing me off. Damned Bees!
The dead animals and hapless bee thing is novel, but the bogus spirituality thing is nothing new. Here rather than Native Americanism she infuses Judaism throughout her navel gazings. That could be dangerous. I can only assure the readers that nothing in her writing and in her attitudes resembles anything to do with Judiasm. My mother was raised Orthodox and was a Yeshiva Teacher for years and she is baffled by Ms. Walker's inclusion of supposed Jewish ritual.
Haha, I was going to bring Walker's latest to your attention, and then I thought why get you agitated. But you found it! Well, it was on the front page - I fear that LWW has become one of Emily's matter how she may irritate the rest of us (like Dr. Amy and Hardyfester or whatever her name was).

I saved myself some irritation by not reading the post...but, alas, since parts were embedded in yours here, I now have read some of it. I had thought it would have been about carefully looking after her bees (like a normal person would - if only because she paid $ for them), but no - it's being involved in the death of other creatures yet again.

I can see why Emily might choose these posts - they're 'interesting' and they're a little off the beaten track subject-wise. And apparently a lot of people have no problem with them. The writing is a bit over-wrought, but that may be a plus in a way, this being a *writing site* and all.

But I react to LWW about the way you do, tho perhaps not as strongly (move her to the Ottawa region and watch the steam come out of my ears). I wish she'd go away. But I wish that about several other people on this site, and they stubbornly stay put...
Okay, lKw, not lww. It hurts to examine her site or anything about her sufficiently to get the initials straight.
fernsy - the bogus spirituality/navel gazing is beyond irritating. I know next to nothing about Judaism, but I know enough to realize she's a fake, which makes it all extra-insulting, even though I'm not Jewish. She's just bogus. Is there a religion called Bogus? That would be hers. Make up the rules as you go, and do whatever you want.
Myriad - yes, Emily seems to think LKWalker's writings are something special (could they be first cousins?) despite the nebulously "deep" ideas espoused in crappy grammar. And she does like overwrought writing, doesn't she? Purple prose is always popular with OS editors. I expect it has something to do with age. Or lack of. I won't wish LKWalker on Ontario. Just Thinking's idea of Wasilla seems the best idea we're going to get.

Oh, Emily. Keep giving LKWalker cover/EP space and yes! You will increase the OS page hits. Not much, but some. Enjoy the minor triumph, kid. It won't mean anything in less time than you can imagine.
There is something that just doesn't add up with this person. I think she is a fiction.
Linnnn - I want want want want you to be right, but I don't have that much faith.
I cannot imagine anything more vile and sick than causing suffering and death for jollies. I was a new reader to OS when I saw the now deleted entry from LK Walker. Appalling. And it would upset you just as much if she were writing this garbage from Wyoming. Torture and killing for kicks is psychopathic behavior regardless of what state or country it's coming from...
"I don't see how she fits the yoga in, but maybe she has some sort of dual-purpose exercise involving opening leg traps and downward dog." What a great comment line! R.
I'd like to add, having ridden a roller coaster of grief for many years that ebbed, flowed, popped up by surprise and grabbed me shaking and wouldn't let go, then another day came slinking along caressing me until tears flowed, I get the visceral need to feel some sort of control over grief. The grief she has for her father dying that is the supposed beginning of all the love of the power of killing....???
My issue is in this very strange method of dealing, wrapped up in a quasi-spiritual guise...
Jeff, I laughed out loud at that too. Strange images, mumblety : )
I understood Emily to be a vegan ~ at least she's not letting her own preferences get in the way of promoting deranged behaviour though.
she's not the first or even the most recent pretend writer here to put up a bunch of uninformed crap and preening self-aggrandizing garbage. nor the first or most recent to write stuff like that and have it on the cover *and* to have a whole lineup of admirers. pfffffft. bah.

i'll go read it, mumbles, but only because i feel like hitting myself over the head with a stick right now. rant on, woman.
onislandtime - psychopathic is the word. And I don't expect it from Wyoming, either! That was just a toss-out to the far wilderness from the supposedly civilized east. I shouldn't have named any place. It's crazy everywhere.
Jeff - she's strange enough that I can almost see it.
Just Thinking - when my father was dying of cancer, my reaction was to stop eating mammal meat. Something about the pain of life made me revolt. This may be why I am so revolted by LKWalker's way of "honoring" her father's death. We are not kindred spirits.
Kim - heh. When you're young, you'll do almost anything to advance yourself, although I'm not sure promoting a psychopath is the best choice.
Oh, Candace - make that a stick of licorice. I apologize, but there are some things I just can't let slide by without whacking at with something sturdier, to wit - "preening self-aggrandizing garbage" as you so well define it. Oak would be good. But really, licorice only, for you.
Onislandtime - actually Walker re-posted that piece under the title of I, Trapper. And, to be fair people, the trapping is not current - that was a couple of years in the wilds of B.C.

but yeah, Linnn - her various pursuits and places do make her seem a mite fictional. But she has an extensive website - you can find it by way of google. Not that THAT can't be fictional, or heavily modified by fictional elements.

Candace - oh do tell - by PM if necessary. It's decidedly Not Nice of me, but I do sort of dig "a bunch of uninformed crap and preening self-aggrandizing garbage". I guess, sob, it's because it makes me feel at least *authentic* if nothing grander.
Myriad - you are such a kindred spirit. I wish we were twins. Of course, you'd be the smarter one, but I wouldn't mind.
she sure is a gal with a unique way to find fulfillment,
i will give her that.
Mumbletypeg: I mistakenly assumed you were a man. I wonder why that is? I'll tell you why? Cause women are supposedly notorious for falling for the moist nonsense spewing forth from LK..
I think I discovered where the anger is really issuing from. Feel free to tell me if I'm wrong.
I'm starting to think it has nothing to do with Bees, little animal legs stuck in traps while a new age hedonist salivates, judaism, or Vermont. I think this is an Occupy OS sort of post.
Enough crap already! If the tastemaster loves this kind of bullshit, than what meaning do all those Congrats on the EP!'s have? If she thinks this gets hits ... maybe she's right. Maybe she knows the market . If so, we are doomed etc. What do you think?
My father died, and I just cried, and couldn't get out of bed. I'm starting to feel uncreative and lazy in my ways of dealing with greif.
Mumblety, you know I have concerns about LWalker too. In several OS years, hers was the only post I've flagged. It was an extraordinarily disturbing view of someone's delusion. It did not read as fake to me. No one could make those thoughts up unless they'd thought them.

She seems someone to be worried for, someone who is attempting to write out her dark solitary nights while a profound self loathing hums steadily in the background, pressing against her words of false independence. Responding with ridicule, poking her with a sharp stick isn't helping. Is it possible to see her as someone with an emotional disability, not different from someone with a physical disability, like blindness, that you'd never dream of mocking?

There are other choices besides 1. making fun of her death issues, 2. ignoring her, 3. leaving admiring comments on her posts. She does not seem to see that her thoughts and actions are harmful. This is in fact a type of blindness. Gentle suggestion from multiple sources that she seek support and counseling for her grief could be a better choice. I have been thinking about commenting this way on her posts, which would mean reading her posts, something that would be difficult. Maybe she will read here and find these words.

Finally–and I know this comment is running long–I wonder if a reason LWalker's words hook us is that they land among our own delusions and concerns for a healthy mind. If we recognize her thoughts and actions as those of a poseur, of a fake, of a sociopath, of whatever label we come up with, then of course, we are not those things. Yet a secret something we might never admit is that we wonder if are we like her, even in some small way.
James - ditto. It's something.
Green - very sweet ... but I think you're overthinking things. Plus knowing how resistant people are to such suggestions, I think any urging that she seek *help* would be either ignored or simply reinforce her mindset.

Fernsy - but aren't we women supposed to be the bleeding-heartier gender who would fret about leg-hold traps while men would be all macho and say YAY - I'm feeling down so I think I'll go out and kill something.

NOT the men on this site, of course.
been trying to come up with words...Greenheron did it for me. Walker's just ill, different from you and me ill, but ill nevertheless. Hope she gets help, because you can't change that kind of illness from the inside alone w/o chemicals (hell, even with chemicals- too much scar tissue).
You know you are giving her exposure right? I hadn't read her before now.

and lastly, sweet jesus the rabbit bit is disturbing... wtf!?
fernsy - why you thought I was a man, I don't know. I spent all of my adult life working in a male-dominated field, and my writing voice may be shaped by that. Grief for parents is terribly complicated, and I understand people have many ways of dealing with it. LKWalker's is one I cannot understand.
greenheron - I have two reactions to your thoughts, which are completely opposite to each other and thus cancel and produce zero. You are absolutely right - if she is as seriously sick as she seems to be, ridiculing her is unhelpful, if not cruel. But I have serious doubts such an emotional blindness is curable. Certainly celebrating her writing the way OS seems to be intent on is not going to help restore her vision. I don't see her as someone who can be helped on the internet, but I do see her as someone who will enlarge her personal self-aggrandizing (as Candace said) sickness given this kind of forum where she is given editorial acclamation and approval (thanks again, Emily). So I would like to go for your second suggestion - ignoring her, but it's hard when TPTB are waving her in our faces. There is no easy answer here. I do appreciate your thoughts about it all.
Myriad: Good point. Hadn't thought about that. Hmmm.
Greenheron: I am now sure my irritation is because she represents the state of the publishing world or the state of "literatature." I don't for a second wonder if I am like that. I think she comes across as a narcissistic dilletante with bloodlust. My sister(lollylo) just said, " What's next. Her aquarium?"
Mumbletypeg: Sad but I equated that kind of tough mindedness with maleness. It's not true, of course, but it just seemed interesting(to myself,) that I assumed this.
hyblaean-julie - yeah, I know. (groan) But the EPs have become insane. I don't know how to ignore that.
Myriad, thank you for the head's up about Walker re posting the "I kill, therefore I am" entry. I will be sure to avoid it.
greenheron, you may be a far far better person than me. I suspect that yours is a more caring and generous heart. I have seen enough suffering; I find no beauty in cries of pain. God is more likely to be in a morphine pump than a corpse. Is calling the behavior in her post psychopathic unfair? I don't think so. I did leave her a comment to the effect that I hoped she would get professional help, but it was not "gentle". No regrets.
Mumblety...but eps are nothing. Really. There have been three thousand five hundred seventy something posts here bemoaning the state of the OS cover. Posts FAR more crappity than the bee post make the cover every day. For some reason–offline friendship perhaps, shared youth perhaps, this editor seems to view LWalker's work as easy cover material, which says more about her editorial skill than our writing skill. And as someone said, these posts get hits. A few of those hits are yours I bet! One is certainly mine, because you posted this and so I peeped. Maybe the editor is smart in ways we wish she wasn't ;-)

As for the constant cover appearances propping LWalker up, temporarily perhaps, but the center cannot hold. These are small moments, so transitory, and the world is large and the days are 24 hours long, and LWalker's mind will bleed through those times with darkness too black for an ep to illuminate.
greenheron: It's an interesting take to wonder if the nerve struck is one of secret likeness. I say it is the opposite, that there is a discordant note ringing through every sentence of the 'woodswoman' , one that sounds false, and downright creepy in certain sentences.
I think it is all of our own time in the woods and wild -- although I can't really speak with authority on myriad and mumbletypeg, etc. ....just thinking maybe so... that is part of our vibrating with alarm here that something out of the natural cycle is stalking.
Durn you guys, stop picking on LKWalker!! I likes her, she gets into my soul and makes me wanna dance, or go out and kill stuff, rip it apart with my teeth, howl like a wild animal at the moon, and then, as I sit there in the forest, covered in blood, my prose not having any breaks into paragraphs, I shall write, I AM A HUNTER, A KILLER, A MURDERER AND IT HELPS ME TO DEAL WITH THE PAIN OF BEING LOST IN A WORLD FULL OF LOSTNESS AND PURPLE STUFF, THE BLUES OF ANGRY BISON AS I RIP THEIR SPLEEN FROM THEIR BUTTHOLES, I AM MAN, AND THIS IS MY AGRESSION!!! NO BREAKS, NO FREEDOM, NO BREAKS, NO FREEDOM!! BAAABAAAA BLACK SHEEP!!


(I know my writing sucks but then so does Ed I Tor here!! In Canada, I'm like revered or something!! THEY LOVES ME!! :D)

P.S. for awhile there, I always thought of you, Mumble, as a being of pure light, no sexual identity other than TOTALLY AWESOME BEING DAWG!! :D I still do.......~nodding~

By the way, LKWalker is actually Emily Holleman's alter!!

Don't ask me how I know, I just do!! (Hint: Compare writing styles...OH MY GAWD, I KNOW!! :D)
I didn't read the piece you reference, but from the excerpt -- wanting bees, wanting them now, ignoring expert advice and damn the consequences-- I get the feeling the writer is very young. I mean, I want bees too, and honey and NOW, but when you get older you realize NOW just ain't happening and neither is the whole "want" thing.

I do get a kick, now and then, reading back through some of the crap I wrote in my teens and twenties, and thirties and early forties last week.