120 Readings


As a child growing up in the country I would often go cherrying in the summer, each cherry tree its own source of vertiginous wonder. In the same way that, say, a martyr is only truly alive when she is burning at the stake, a beekeeper when his hives inexplicably swarm and overtake him, in my youth I was most alive while cherrying. So much of what is tenuous and inconsistent now was without question then: I believed in the Soul, I believed I had a soul, I believed my soul smelled of Cracker Jacks and milk, believed my soul was named both Beautiful Barbara and Dougie Fresh. I believed that light was manufactured by an honest, industrious Fortune 500 company and I believed light to be an inherently American invention. I believed flowers and swarmy bowls of caramel pudding and perfectly rendered circles and dark brown dirt. While cherrying as a child I stared at everything as if it were not a memory of what I had once seen somewhere else before. Senselessly aspiring, gaping, riveted, wonder. Beyond age and beauty, youth and death, there is a great field. I lived there once, it’s true. Unlike the arduous picking and culling of other fruits and vegetables, cherrying is a joyful expression, one given to glee, to veneration. As a boy I used to go cherrying, delighting in both the effort and my eventual product. In the winter in the country the leaves fall quickly from the trees. Other than the sweet sticky ones floating atop drinks, I haven’t had a cherry in years. You’re old. I don’t have time to pick fruit.        


Posted 12/19/17
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