Tag Archives: blueberries

Smiling Eyes

During yesterday morning’s meditation, I was just starting to flirt with the edges of bliss when the byatch who lives next door started opening the shutters on her windows, and she does this with a vengeance. Every evening she slams them shut and every morning she slams them open, always wearing over-sized slippers that make irritating thwack-thwack shuffling noises on the concrete. It would be funny if she were wearing a rainbow colored wig and red nose. She’s got all the ineptitude of a clown with none of the charm.

Randy clown(This is a real clown. His name is Randy. He’s very funny.)

The shutters make jarring metal-on-metal screeches that fire directly into my eardrums, a barrage of painful sound bullets tearing through my equanimity. The woman seems to be taking out her anger and frustration with the universe. My gut reaction has become a sudden eruption of seething rage, not unlike my champagne bubbles of light, but again with none of the charm.

Yesterday, it struck me that maybe she’s got things to rage about, too. The absurdity of my rage hit me, and by extension, the absurdity of me letting the noise bother me so much. I took a deep, cleansing yoga breath and let it go, and then discovered what it means to smile inside.

And just then I felt the corners of my eyelids curve into smiles.

I didn’t know they could do that.

Such magic doesn’t happen every time I meditate. Each session is different; some are sweet dewdrops of peace, others are the box of milk that’s been in the fridge a little too long. That unpredictability is the difference between fresh blueberries and blueberry jam, the thrill of the unknowable level of sweetness versus a homogenized jar of Smuckers, delicious but guaranteed, unvarying. While the comfort of the predictable is appealing, most of the time I’d rather take a chance on the unknown.

And maybe I need to get myself a red nose.

jam

The Path to Heaven is Paved with Blueberries

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In my opinion, there are few alimentary pleasures in the world greater than the almighty blueberry. It is a perfect little orb of delightful sweetness. Its delicate skin resists the teeth ever so slightly, teasing the palate and then exploding with juicy joy.

For many years, I had to live without them. They just weren’t available except at high end department stores where they cost just over the total of Greece’s national debt. You’d occasionally get a piece of cake with a blueberry or two on it but that was the extent of it.

Then a few years ago, they started becoming available all year. They travel well and it’s always mid-summer somewhere. I’ve bought blueberries from Chile, Argentina, Canada, New Zealand, the US. But even those come in tiny boxes and cost…let’s say the national debt of Romania.

I sigh for American supermarkets where they practically give the dear things away.

blueberries in USPhoto by Marcellie  Used with permission.

So when I saw that Rodger was leading a Meet Up to pick blueberries, I jumped on the bandwagon.

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There were about twenty of us, a very nice group of people from all over.

blueberry crew

That’s me at the front crouched over, wearing my Cookie Monster hat and very cool retro RayBan shades.

Three trains and a bus got us to the “Yours Garden” farm where we paid about $20 to eat as many of the spherical delights as we could manage as well as pick about a kilo of them to take home. We were each given a plastic basket and then the farmer parted the mesh gates to heaven.

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It was blistering hot but it had rained the day before so the little round morsels of perfection were plump and juicy. Row after row of ripening perfection stretched into the distance. As I approached each new bush the lovely purple gems practically called out: “Pick me! Pick me!” It was gym class for fruit. The berries flew off the stems, half into my basket and half into my mouth, the occasional tart one easily forgiven by the next bite of sweet perfection.

When my basket was full, my lips starting to pucker and I looked like this…

Violet blueberry…I decided I was done.

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The fruit of my labor. Nyar nyar nyar.

There were blueberry pancakes for Sunday breakfast and a lovely blueberry cobbler is cobbling in the oven as I type.

Ah, rapture. Thy name is blueberry.

The Veg in All of Us

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERAThere’s a temporary fruit and veggie stand across the street from the dojo. One never knows when or if it is going to appear, nor what they’re going to be selling. Some of it is domestic, but I’ve also seen grapes from California and dates from the Middle East, among other things.

The fellow who usually runs it is the friendly sort.

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERAI once got some scrumptious strawberries and blackberries from him for one of my infamous tarts. And he often has blueberries. A few days ago, I got some teeny tomatoes, both red and yellow. Last week, he had some rather tasty looking mushrooms. I picked up a bag and said I thought I’d saute them in butter.

His head snapped up and a huge grin spread across his face. “That sounds really yummy!”

“Doesn’t it? Maybe some garlic and white wine, too.”

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERAAs I started to walk away, he said, “Hey, Oneisan (big sister), add some of this at the end. That will taste good.” And he handed me a package of Italian parsley. And it was good. And I was charmed that he called me Oneisan. At my age, I’m more likely to get Obasan (auntie). Yuck.

It’s very cold today, and when I dropped by to see what he had, I asked if it isn’t difficult to be outside like that every day. He said that yes, it is, but he gets to talk to a lot of people and he likes that part. (Another huge grin.)

I can relate. As much as I love being freelance, it’s always feast or famine. Nothing happens for the longest time–if I’m home alone, I’m likely to spend the day in my sweats, never leaving the house, never speaking to anyone–then things get busy and it’s too much too fast and my groggy brain has trouble processing all of it.

The odd thing, though, is that it tends to work out. I had gobs of outside jobs in January, sometimes two or three a day. This week, my schedule is completely clear, next week I’ve got one meeting scheduled. But work I can do here at the computer, in my sweats, keeps coming in. Motivation to get it done is the biggest roadblock, and it was severely lacking today. A friend suggested that I go do something very Japanese that I have forgotten is exotic to people who don’t live here. So I got dressed, even went so far as to put on a bra, and went, alone, to the soba/udon shop where I ate curry udon, both things I had never done before. And it was good. And I came home and managed to finish the work I had to finish today.

So if I can focus, and remember to eat, and stay away from Candy Crush (and this cursed blog!), all will be well. (Huge grin.)

Our Second Date

I can’t seem to keep my hands off of her.  Images of her dance in my head, obsessing me, drawing me deeper and deeper into her world. People do crazy things when they’re in love—I spent yesterday afternoon scouring the neighborhood, hoping to surprise her with fresh rhubarb. But alas, that was not to be. Instead I gave her strawberries and blueberries, as promised.

It took her 40 minutes to primp and preen as she prepared for our date. I sat upstairs, waiting, her intoxicating perfume fueling my anticipation. Would our second date be as good, as satisfying, as glorious as our first?

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It was better…infinitely better.

I have another confession to make, though. I have cheated on her already. I would climb the highest mountain for her, swim the deepest sea, but I don’t have a food processor and couldn’t face the agony of blending the flour and butter by hand. I used soft margarine instead. I thought she would be angry, but it didn’t seem to bother her.

She is a tart, after all.