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Bon Journal

Wild as blackberries

Everytime I cycle past the blackberry bushes in the fields near my home, I make a mental note of coming back in the late summer to pick them. Having recently tasted a few berries along the road, I knew that it was time.

I came ill-equipped to pick the berries, I learned. The ones closest to my reach were either dried up or gone. The ripe and pungent ones lay beyond my reach, protected by nettle, thistle, and other ghastly climbers. Only with careful maneuvering did I manage to get positioned optimally.

The blackberries gave in easily. They simply slipped off the stem and into my warm hands. So engrossed was I that I didn't notice the spider webs, the tiny mosquitoes, and other bugs that bit me. So focussed was I that I didn't mind the thistles brushing against my legs and arms. So obsessed was I that I didn't feel the discomfort under the heat of the afternoon sun.

Why are the juiciest fruit protected by cobwebs, bugs, and thorns? Since the low hanging fruit has already been picked, I have to reach high for those hard-to-get. Does it work like this with people, too? The low hanging fruit are married. Only the difficult and high-maintenance Rapunzels remain. And the really ripe and sweet sleeping beauties are protected by a maze of complexity. But which prince charming will be desperate enough (these days) to go through all the trouble of waking up, let alone, finding that sleeping beauty, however juicy she may be?

22 August 2001

The zen of berry picking
what did I learn? I have to wear jeans, long sleeaves, and gloves next time. I have to have my empty jars ready to make fresh jam. Today I had neither.
I also learned that I should have had a bottle of white spirits ready to loosen the varnish brush from yesterday. When I went to get it, I found out that I should have put wood preserving treatment on the hardwood table before varnishing it.