Licking Honey from a Thorn

In Reflection by Johnson Davis2 Comments

Living a Life You Will Remember

Licking a drop of honey from the tip of a thorn is an experience that goes way beyond just honey. Most of us live in a safe world of plenty, where pleasant experiences are so ubiquitous we rarely notice them. To feel alive, many follow an escalating path that gets more expensive and more dangerous with each round. Ultimately, parachuting into a volcano becomes just “Last Tuesday”. Others slide into a gray existence, a bland life lacking the sharp edges that become anchors to measure time. Is there a happy medium? Death-defying thrills in moderation? Instead, let’s start with something small, but powerful.

Totally Focused

Licking honey from a thorn is not something you can do absentmindedly. You must totally focus on the drop of honey on the tip of that thorn. This is not eating nachos in front of the TV or wolfing down a sandwich while scrolling Instagram. Just imagine it now:

You laser-focus on that drop of honey, never losing track of the sharp point. You carefully lick the thorn, feeling a tiny bit of relief mixed in with the sweetness of the honey.

This isn’t magic, it’s brain chemistry. As soon as we sense danger, everything changes in the way we perceive the world. Licking that thorn, for just the briefest of moments, becomes your whole world. Your brain locks onto the threat of that thorn, and the sweet reward of the honey. Your grocery list, that project at work and that guy that stole your parking space yesterday all fall away.

And when was the last time you focused on a single hard-won drop of honey? Imagine it again a little more slowly:

There is an emptiness as you approach the thorn, an emptiness that grows with anticipation as your tongue nears it. Then, with the first touch of the honey, its flavor blossoms across your tongue. All of this happens while you can still feel the sharp point of the thorn sliding away. Finally, the thorn is gone and you are alone with the honey. Its sweetness gives way to faint hints of the flowers that brought this sweet drop of summer to your tongue.

Try This At Home

Now it’s time to try this at home. If you have a big thorn and some honey, then go literal. If not, there are many ways to do the same thing. All you need is a small risk and a small reward. And please, keep it sane. Don’t sneak into the tiger enclosure to pat the big kitty. Maybe clean the house naked and then have a long hot shower. Don’t drive blindfolded. Maybe go to a casual restaurant and find a stranger eating alone. (EDITOR’S NOTE: But perhaps not during a pandemic.) Ask them if you can join them. No matter how you decide to do it, lick honey from a thorn once in a while. It’s a good way to live a life you will remember.

Johnson Davis

Johnson DavisI'm a practical animist, so I believe everything has an inner life and our actions should be tempered by ethical thought. And take down all the guard rails. Weee!

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