True colours

Day 30: smidgins of joy

Yesterday and the day before now have differently coloured smidgins of joy.

I have a mind for systems, but I am not systematic. Perhaps that should read that I am no longer systematic. Perhaps it comes from my morphing a line or two from Simon and Garfunkel’s The Boxer. The original line in the first verse is:

Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest

I took that line and scrambled it around in my head to come up with a condensed version of my attitude towards learning which belies how studious I was and still am but which has stood me in good stead, as they say. My mantra, since it works well in many situations, is:

You gotta take what you need to know
And disregard the rest

Why are the tomatoes from yesterday and today not on the top shelf in the fridge?

These tomatoes illustrate my systematic mind which has to battle with my non-systematic moods. When the tomatoes first began to ripen, I quickly saw that if I washed whatever I harvested and put it in the fridge immediately, that in two weeks, or thereabouts, I would have a quantity of still good tomatoes for a batch of tomato jam, my second favourite.

In my mind, in a flash, everything is planned. I even know which jars I am going to use once the jam is made. Everything runs on straight lines. There are no vague areas, no unwritten chapters or paragraphs in the standard operating manual. All I have to do is rinse under water and dry every harvest immediately, and put it in the fridge.

For ten days, this system works perfectly. The human is behaving. Then the day before yesterday, she washes the tomatoes, but leaves them on the kitchen table.

She does not notice that she has done this until the next morning, when she dumps a new load of freshly washed and dried tomatoes on the table. Now she can see how quickly tomatoes really do ripen if left outside of the fridge, for the ones on the left in the above image were the colour of the ones on the right the day before.

Does the human with the systematic mind do anything to remedy the situation? No, of course not. She is wayward. She’ll push her luck and see where it takes her.

She already knows the system works. Why prove it – and to whom would she be proving it, anyhow? To herself? Don’t be ridiculous. She knows already. Besides, the wayward part of her brain which practices sophistry on an endless loop will recite one of those plastic, metamorphic truths that you gotta take what you need to know and disregard the rest.

The wayward human has found another thing to which to apply her systematic mind. It is a big thing that requires a lot of looking at. Let her ignore the tomatoes. She is happy in this new architecture.

And the jam that is yet to be made will make smidgins of joy on hot buttered soul and toast by and by. Tomato jammin’. Get it?

©2019 Allison Wright

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