April 19, 2017 § 9 Comments
Ripe is sweet and thin-skinned, juicy-wet and delicious, and chances are you’d put it in the trash or compost bin without taking a bite, because to taste delicious you have to get past ugly.
Ripe is bruised and it leaks. You can’t stack it, that’s for sure. Where one piece of fruit touches another, ripe darkens and weeps; you’ll never find ripe in a grocery store.
Instead you find perfect.
Grocery store fruits and vegetables are firm, smooth and unblemished, but not ripe. I don’t fault grocery stores. Unripe stacks well, it has a longer shelf life.
When you bite into grocery store produce it crunches, and delivers a hint of flavor, a preview of coming attractions.
April 2, 2017 § 4 Comments
Die, and it provokes the question, what door did you leave unlocked? How did you invite death in?
Perhaps the dead look forward only, but if they glance back, that unlocked door is probably easy to see.
Too much sugar, cigarette smoke, a failure to look both ways, a blithely ignored message written into the genes, a job too stressful.
If only…. I sure wouldn’t do that again.
But dead is rather final.
March 5, 2017 § 4 Comments
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
“Ordinary time” is a liturgical term for the seasons between the church’s designated periods of penitence or rejoicing.
Ordinary time: when the faithful practice their faith with no added fervor, self-scrutiny, or elevated purpose.
In borrowing the term I take it out of its religious context and apply it to life—and by that I mean, not Life, but life in the lower case. Lower case life is where we spend most of our time.
Extraordinary time, that is Life, is when we make those bursts of flight that give loft to every life: falling in love, having a child, earning a degree, receiving an award, bowling 300.
Those are cairns that sit solemn in the grass while the world goes about its ordinary business.
Ordinary time passes without fanfare. It minds its own business.
February 12, 2017 § 6 Comments
My alone-self is relaxed, and as comfortable as a pair of well-worn jeans, entertained by quiet thinking, making a little music, leaving a trail of words across a page.
Who am I in company? That depends on the company.
It’s not that I am a mirror, vacant until you step up, but I respond to you.
Together, we create a dance that is not the freewheeling dance of all-alone. We cue each other. We synchronize.
Depending on you, the shift from the inner me to the public me can be slight or profound, but it always happens.
You do it too. You change for me as we turn toward each other.
No one is unyielding, unresponsive. No one is, under all circumstances, a single, monolithic self. That would be as impractical as wearing one outfit for all occasions.
Now, think of the people you are closest to: parents, children, spouse, best friend, colleague. But don’t think of them with you. Think of you with them.
Who do you become in their company?
Unlike a brief encounter with a stranger, that one-off in which we hold a door or honk because that idiot hasn’t noticed the green light, our encounters with those we know well come with a history, an unspoken set of rules. Over the years a shared vocabulary has been established.