{ Message in a Bottle }

alOha Friends !!

   We've told this story over the campfire before, but it occurred to me that we've never really mentioned the spooky and magical (2nd) message in our bottle to our online friends. This is a first showing of the found bottle that spawned Pollen Arts Antique Bottle-Shaped Candles ... and, our growing relationship with the bees.

    So .. as the story goes, we'd just moved the Winnie away from the beach and into the dirt parking lot of an artist community near the port of Los Angeles ... not super happy about the change of scenery, but the Venice stakeholders just didn't want "our kind" of people living in rolling dinosaurs on the streets and displaying their art on the boardwalk. ..

    Getting setup in this new chapter of life and making the most of one of our first mornings in the port town, we decided to take the rusty old beach cruisers out for a spin to explore the new town and collect some flowers for an art project.

   About an hour later, we happened upon a small beach cove ... and a beach that we'd both been to once before, for a bonfire on our second-ever meeting .. long before we'd fuse our names and souls with an ampersand - p&j ; )

   We walked the bikes onto the sand (no bike locks) and then left them in the sun and walked off to a white-foam section of rocks and swells and many tide pools.

   I found a pocket of sea glass swirling in a spot against the jetty, and juwels walked off across the boulders singing a little song.

   A bit later, we were comparing finds ... I had a beautiful piece of black corral and a bunch of green sea glass, and although juwels had spent most of her time watching hermit crabs climbing over each other and carrying things around, she produced this tiny glass bottle.

   "It was just barely sticking up from the sand," she said. "I'm surprised I saw it.."

    We could've been doing many different things that morning, and most times we stick close to each other on these little scouts and adventures .. but she was at the right place at the right time, and that tide-tumbled bottle would change our personal course of history within just a few days.

     Later, maybe a day or two later, I'd be holding this bottle, running my thumb over its textured patina, and saying, "I love these old bottles ... but .. what do you really -do- with them? I guess the colored ones could go in a windowsill ... " And then a second later, as an after thought, I said, "Hey .. wouldn't it be cool to make candles in the shapes of antique bottles?"

    We Googled the concept, and were amazed to see that nobody else was doing it!!

    A fellow artist at the pound was getting ready to leave for a bigger studio in Florida, and as he was going through his stuff, he'd found a container of mold making material. He asked us if we had any use for it, but this was before we'd found the bottle.

   He'd left it behind with some other stuff, and when we called and asked about it, he said we could use as much as we needed. We hit the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, and after purchasing $50 in small antique bottles, we were ready to go ; )

    Most of you know the way the rest of the story goes ... the etsy shop .. the etsy interview .. moving away from the port and into the mountains ... and setting up in our next studio, The Roost .. and then later, here,  The Hive.

    But here's the 2nd part .. the subplot that we find an even bigger sense of calling in . .. for you and for me and for the honey bee : )

    Back when we first got started, we were introduced to a girl through a mutual friend, and she was working on a documentary about the vanishing of the bees. She and her partner were just about to premier their film in Hollywood, and we offered to come out and sell candles in the garden courtyard and give 100% of the sales to the film and the cause.

    The candles were a big hit, and it went great ; )

    And later that night in the theater, watching the story unfold with all the confusion and panic of the beekeepers, scientist and environmentalists ...  and when it all climaxed on the industrial chemical producers spraying our food and the hard working honey bees ... they flashed the name of the Corporate Poison maker full screen and bold .. and it was "Bayer".

   .. Now, take a look at the bottle we found.


   At that moment, I immediately got goose bumps and turned to look at juwels in the darkened theater, and she was already looking at me wide eyed.

    It was like that scene in the movie when the poor delivery boy is taken aside and told that the world is depending on them ... ha ha ha. Who ??? Meeeeee ??? 

    The way we see it, this bottle came to us and inadvertently sent us into a life of beeswax and the story of the bee.

   And the fact that this tiny forgotten bottle was made by one of the leading poison companies just deepens the message in the bottle. We've brought a lot of awareness to the people about bees and beeswax (vs. chemical paraffin) through our craft and sharing our story, and now we're starting to keep bees, and soon, produce the friendliest honey on the planet : )

   We've wanted the sprays and science out of our food system for a long time .. most selfishly for our fellow humans, family, friends and future generations. But the bigger picture is the in soil and the rivers and creatures of the earth ...

   So we thank the honey bee for being the canary in the coal mine.. for all of us to see, laying there still brightly colored, but now cold and pointing those large reflective eyes up at us .. and what we've let happen.

   Are we really to blame ?? I think that's how a lot of these communications end and go sour .. Person A tells person B that we're all funding the people who are making us sick and unhappy and unhealthy and killing off life as a practice. And person A feels guilty ... which makes them mad .. because they're helpless (I mean who can Afford to buy all organic?? - this, also, is not your fault ... we need a better living wage in this country, and we need to start subsidizing and loosening the red tape strangle hold on small organic farmers so they can be competitive with the factory farmers, and real people can afford the fruits of their loVe . ) .. and that helplessness to act on what they know is right raises even bigger issues and makes them even more mad ... and now, it's time to kill the messenger.

   Or better yet .. make a joke of them. Take away their pride and credibility. "Heeeere we go again ... another one of those boring environmental rants .." Which, by the way, .. in a society all about WoW and celebrity .. being boring is about the worst, most nonexistent thing you can be. People just tune you out and change the channel. Brilliant. Pop-culture and big biz (you know, "a word from our sponsors") have sterilized the activist to a comically sad nobody .. and out goes the hope for change : (  

   So anyway, we'll do this differently. With a disclaimer and an amnesty-with-an-expiration-date (effective at the end of this article)

   No, we, (the people) are not totally at fault, because we're all just school teachers and candle makers and firefighters and accountants .. not scientists who make sure this stuff is safe and tested .. not a panel of highly paid public servants keeping a watchful eye on the health and happiness of the planet. We Trust .. and believe in what should-be .. and anyway, we're busy and it's not our department .. glug .. glug .. glug .. glug

   We're told it's okay (not that most of us even second guess it .. it Wouldn't Be There if it was dangerous .. new and untested, right ??? ) Wrong. Business is very competitive, and people are Rushing to the market with hot patents and pushing things through to make it Big Big Big.

   But now that we're the first generation to have the knowledge, we can no longer plead ignorant .. we need to bee the change that we wish to see. Put our heads together and figure out little ways to make a start.

   No more chemicals on the lawn or on the flowers ... or on the dinner table. Let's step away from bathing and washing our dishes in chemicals .. juwels and I can suggest great natural products ; ) Steer clear of Chemical perfume, deodorant, toothpaste, fluoridated tap water, and hair dye. (start small .. first with organic hand, dish and washer soap .. easy : ) I remember my aunt stopped dying her hair, in the last stage of cancer, because it occurred to her that soaking her head in harsh chemicals might not be as safe as it sounds... And I remember coming back into town to see her at the end .. and she looked so different in full grey. Like the veil was finally lifted, but it was too late.

   And who are we kidding? We get old. We can finally be goofy and not give a shit when we're old .. once a man and twice a child. So show you're age. You've earned it .. wear it like a metal, because history is memories and memories are magic.

   I am not a scientist, doctor, or psychologist but I can confidently say, the above things will not lead to happiness. Chemicals confuse our bodies and blood and liver .. just look up how big a milligram is, and keep in mind the magic or the mayhem that prescription pills can do at these modicum doses, then ask yourself how much is too much chemicals in our homes and bodies and minds.

   Oh, boy .. the snow must be getting to this sun child.

   Back to the magic bottle ... ha ha ha ..

   We're always seeing a deeper meaning in things, pieces of the puzzle .. and we believe that All is connected, and that you never know where one seemingly bad turn may lead. Being chased out of our life in the beach town was a heartbreak, but it led us to that tide pool, and to all of you beautiful people who help us in our campaign for love and kindness and simplicity and living for the moment, and in a growing way, we've begun the next chapter in the Pollen Arts story: loVe and Honey : )

The end. 

Buzz-Buzz, loVe,
p&j .. & .. c&e .. & the bees

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