Saturday, June 18, 2011
Whilst Picking Berries
Often the most mundane of tasks can reveal our silliest neurosis. I have a peculiar pastime of applying practically Socialist principle to everyday tasks. Choosing to do laundry loads based on which pile has been waiting the longest. Rotating cups in the cupboard so that the glasses toward the front aren't shown favoritism. I have been doing this since childhood.
Today with a large pail, inhaling the swampy fumes of the great outdoors, I once again proved that reason cannot conquer a determined charitable soul. Even when the objects of one's charity have no skill for appreciation.
A summer ritual I perform out of cheapness and the romantic sensibility that I should have been born on the fair fields of virgin America long before planes, trains and steamboats buzzed from sea to shining sea. (However this is a neurosis to be addressed on a later day.)
My "fairness" factor always rears it's crackpot head on such occasions. Something as straightforward as plucking fruit off of a bush evolves into even more than a fanciful romp through time. It becomes a rescue mission.
You can be certain that you have a drastically overdeveloped sense of justice when while berry picking you deliberately avoid the surface fruit in order to seek out the overlooked berries buried deep inside the bushes just to be fair.
This is what I do. I pick the forgotten ones. The lonesome ones. The marginalized beauties clustered out of plain sight.
Those of you who might have seen a half eaten woman struggling inside the arms of a six foot four shrub at Adam's Farm today...yes...that was me. It was all for the love of berries. AND equal employment opportunities. Even those hard to reach ones deserve a shot to be savored in a pie or a muffin or a smoothie. Berries have feelings too.
So I do a rare style of gymnastics in order to gather the obscurest of blueberries. Passersby must cock their heads in puzzlement to see a grown woman entrenched inside a plant when there are clearly so many worthy blueberries sitting right there on the surface. Of course I am only assuming they cock their heads. I can't see anything apart from foliage from where I'm standing. This really isn't a problem, though.
I just can't bear the thought of all those hidden gems withering up and rotting in the mud because no one noticed them. No one thought they were worth the work. I will work for them. They are worth it to me.
Now before you think I am a few berries short of a turnover, my sense of blueberry justice only extends to the plumpest and juiciest of blueberries lurking in the bowels of the bush. As much as i hate to admit it, I have no compassion for the shriveled, the small or the tart. I do feel sorry for them. But not sorry enough to plop them in my pail.
Perhaps this makes me hypocritical, this overt prejudice. It does cause me alarm when I sit to contemplate it. Yet when all is said and done it is comforting to know that while portions of my personality can cause the line of reason to be thoroughly blurred, I still have my limits.