Bad things are going to happen. Your tomatoes will grow a fungus and your cat will get run over. Someone will leave the bag with the ice cream melting in the car and throw your blue cashmere sweater in the drier.
Your husband will sleep with a girl your daughter’s age, her breasts spilling out of her blouse. Or your wife will remember she’s a lesbian and leave you for the woman next door. The other cat– the one you never really liked–will contract a disease that requires you to pry open its feverish mouth every four hours. Your parents will die.
No matter how many vitamins you take, how much Pilates, you’ll lose your keys, your hair and your memory. If your daughter doesn’t plug her heart into every live socket she passes, you’ll come home to find your son has emptied the refrigerator, dragged it to the curb, and called the used appliance store for a pick up–drug money.
There’s a Buddhist story of a woman chased by a tiger. When she comes to a cliff, she sees a sturdy vine and climbs half way down. But there’s also a tiger below. And two mice–one white, one black–scurry out and begin to gnaw at the vine. At this point she notices a wild strawberry growing from a crevice. She looks up, down, at the mice. Then she eats the strawberry.
So here’s the view, the breeze, the pulse in your throat. Your wallet will be stolen, you’ll get fat, slip on the bathroom tiles of a foreign hotel and crack your hip. You’ll be lonely. Oh taste how sweet and tart the red juice is, how the tiny seeds crunch between your teeth.
Relax, from Like a Beggar, by Ellen Bass
5 thoughts on “Agree to Accept the Experience and Eat a Strawberry”
Thank you Rockyann. It was just what redrokit needed. And she’s now going to the market in search of strawberries.
I know, I know, I know. Or maybe I don’t know but I FEEL it.
I just spent the day with relatives out in the everglades at a tourist trap. I stood in a line for over an hour being herded like cattle, slowly moving towards the airboat ride we had just paid $24 per person to ride. On the very loud airboat we were tossed around while sitting on hard metal benches. The ‘captain’ grounded the boat for most of the ride and had to struggle to push us off a sand bar. We were promised alligators, but got only one fleeting glance at one that quickly slipped away. After the airboat ride we were then herded into an enclosure where we watched a pathetic alligator show. It consisted of one man holding a gator’s mouth shut. I was uncomfortable, I was tired, I didn’t want to be there. But in the midst of it all, a bird slightly bigger than a large crow, with very long yellow legs, blue, red, and green feathers, came walking across the lily pads right up to our boat. I have never seen a bird like that before in my life. It was beautiful. http://www.evergladesholidaypark.com/images/EvergladesBird01a.jpg
Very funny post! Thanks ;0
Nice post! Thanks!