Blueberry Poetics

Have you ever sat and stared at a blueberry before? I’m not talking about just scoping through the box to pick out the plump ones. I mean, really, have you ever held it good and long in your palm, felt the smooth skin, the wrinkled puckers, the fluttering five armed star protecting its eye. Have you put it to the light, turned it round on all sides, juxtaposed the blue with the greenery of its birthplace? Have you taken it into the darkness? Rubbed it between your palms, pinched it with your forefinger and your thumb to allow the smallest drip of juice to squeeze through the blue skin’s pores, the darkness heightening your other senses.

It is a rainy day and the day after a total eclipse, so naturally I’m feeling pensive. As I took a few blueberries out of the fridge to have with my breakfast this morning, I stopped my pawing hand to notice the many colors inside this “blue” berry basket. No longer was I seeing blue, but there was a stone gray and a deepwater navy and a jade green and a flush plum. In fact, I was surprised how I had never noticed that young blueberries look so similar to itty pomegranates in shape. I grew fascinated by the berries’ closed-up belly buttons, where once a stem tethered them to a highbush. I held them in my hand, gently, tenderly, and brought them to a table, where I immediately set them up for a photo shoot. The light from the curtainless window gave the berries a frosty glow and the little orbs became not berries, but something bigger, celestial, almost like planetary objects clustering sporadically.

This morning, I had a lesson in beauty. That something so simple as a blueberry can be beautiful and wondrous and mysterious if you take the time to really look at it, to know it, to open yourselves to its every angle. Perhaps it was out of this kind of understanding and respect to the fruit that I couldn’t bear to eat them after our mindful  meditation, and so I carried the berries back to the fridge and put them back into their plastic habitat.

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