(Random thoughts turned blog post. Link in the comments)
A sad sound for me is houseflies on a screen.
Perhaps it's that they are so close to freedom, and yet so far. Maybe it's that they are trying so hard to get out--they can see it, hear it, taste it--and yet they simply can't get past the screen to actually be free. Or maybe it's the fact that the average life span of a housefly is three days, and they will struggle for, literally, the rest of their lives just to get out.
All of these thoughts drive away annoyance at the sound of a buzzing at my window screens, and fuel a compulsion to let them out.
I know. It sounds strange becasue houseflies are gross with their sixteen eyes and food regurgitation and all.
Still, my heart is pricked by their sheer, innate determination to be free. They try so hard, banging over and over and over again on the screen, or sometimes closed glass door or window. They just want to fly.
So, I let them go. Always.*
Today there was one such determined fly. He was fat and black and hell-bent on feeling the wind between his antennae. So, I helped him.
I normally create an opening, and wait for them to fly out on their own. But I was in a hurry and decided to help the bugger along. I fanned him towards freedom, and in doing so, scraped him along the screen to his death.
I have never felt worse about killing a fly. I don't feel bad about killing all flies (see below), but it's the idea that I was trying to help him achieve something he wanted so badly, then brought about the exact opposite. A fight for freedom become the musca domestica's end.
I felt a pang in my heart--regret probably. But also, it made me think of the times when I felt I was trying to do something good which turned about bad. It happens more times than I'd like to think.
I have good intentions, I really do. But I often fail in their execution. I say the wrong thing. I act too spontaneously. I help too much, and hinder instead. Thinking about them makes awakens a tinge of sadness.
Gah. Stupid fly.
No, good-intentioned, imperfect me.
Yes, my life is pocked with causalities I wish I could take back. To think my actions have caused others pain pains me. But I can't change the past. And I refuse to live in it.
But I will learn from it.
So, next time a fly buzzes on my screen, I will do may part- make the opening- and let him fly out on his own. (I am practicing all my powers of self-control to not go on a tangent about how God does His part, never overstepping His bounds, and lets us do our part. I really am.)
And next time I have good intentions, I will wait a beat or two before I see them through, just to be sure.
Now, back to editing my novel, becasue that's really what I should be working on.
***One caveat- when a fly becomes obsessed with my food, and buzzes around my hot dog, threatening disease and defilement, good feelings are gone, and I go for the fly swatter. No one messes with my dinner. No one.