A fruitful metaphor

Something a little new for today. A sharing of work in progress.

Soon, I’ll be embarking on a week of exploration about choice, fate and living life. I’m interested in creating metaphor for things that we feel and experience every day as a way to look at them a little differently. And, partly in response to one of my challenges posted here, I’m interested in writing more.

So here’s a bit of… something. Something in the midst of becoming… something. Think of it as a step down the road. I’ll keep you posted on where it ends up.




(You sit down at a table)

(You notice a bowl fill with fruit)

(Inside your head you hear a voice that is not your own. It’s a comforting voice, likely female. It is not too loud and not too soft. It is not to cocky and not too uncertain. It is simply the truth. This is what the voice says:)

On the table in front of you sit a pear, an apple, a papaya, a bunch of grapes and a plum.

(There is exactly this on the table)

They are in a bowl.plum

(They are)

You are closest to the plum.

(You are, literally)

You are closest to the plum.

(You are, non-literally as well)

Sometimes the plum is small and sometimes the plum is scared. Other times the plum feels the opposite. This is because it knows there is something that makes the plum very different.

On the outside it’s much the same as the rest: shiny skin, plump, waiting for what it was meant for to finally happen. It, like all fruits, wants communion, consumption, to be made meaningful. And perhaps, hopefully, yes most surely, some day it will take its secret (guarded) wish and send it on to the future. The plum wants more than just to sit and wait and rot. Inside it has something to share, something that will grow.

The plum is the only single pitted fruit of the bunch. This is the secret it carries, it’s single inner promise, one that is big and solid and palpable.

And as the plum waits, it shrinks back into itself, desiccating infinitesimally every moment, and feels this rock of expectation within: immobile, immutable, and taking up an ever larger proportion of itself.

(Silence for a moment)

The plum feels cramped. It is being pushed upon. Who can see it with so many others in the way?

(It is in fact being touched by the other fruits. Perhaps it is near the bottom of the bowl. Another fruit is picked up and eaten.)

The plum thinks, “Why must I be buried under these indecisive many seeded monsters? Why do I have to spend so much time pondering this single thing inside me? Why does it take up so much of myself?”

The plum wonders what would happen if things were different. Wonders if the grapes wouldn’t spill over so much if they too had to commit themselves to one single investment, one sturdy wish to the future.

(Another person turns the bowl and you now see a papaya, blocking the plum from vision.)

The plum is sure the papaya is the worst of all fruits.

Why must they carry with them an excess of chances showering the ground beyond their fair share? For the plum it is an excess. A greedy hunger. The plum sees this as an attack – a wish to remove the opportunity from those that would happily share the soil if only each could keep to his own fair share of land.

It’s why the papaya must be so large. It can’t help itself, holding all those seeds.

The plum imagines a life in which it too were able to spread itself thinner and across a greater number of chances.

But wish or no, the plum still feels that singular purpose, and it’s sharpness is a reminder.

– A

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