Sunday, December 15, 2013

Adventures in Alchemy #3, a short query

Do you remember when you were the raspberry?


  1. When I think of raspberries, I am reminded of the overgrown patch of sweetness at the old homestead in East Springfield. We planted four canes along the fence in our front yard, and a decade later, there is a patch about 15 by 20 feet that gets bigger every year.

    When I think of raspberries, I remember the onslaught of mosquitoes that accompany the harvest. The more luscious the raspberries, the more lush the piles of mosquitoes. The more I suck the sweetness of the raspberry, the more mama mosquito sucks the sweetness of me.

    When I think of raspberries, I think of the cycles of their lives. The canes grow leaves in spring--leaves that become my medicine. In summer, the berries begin to form, first small and green and hard. As the sun and rain plump them into being, they go from green to pinkish beige and then finally to a deep dark pink that is not entirely red. If there is enough rain, we can expect another harvest in fall, and then all is still until the following spring. Not all the canes make it.

    I think of each seed of the raspberry, enveloped in a nest of sweet plumpness. I think of the times I've spent gorging on raspberries, swatting mosquitoes as fast as I could before giving up and running with elbows madly itching, into the house. I think of raspberry wine, and how much it tastes like liquid raspberry pie, though I've rarely eaten a raspberry pie. I think about how nice it is to take out a big bottle of pie wine and offer it up to friends when snow blankets the earth, how the sip of sweetness tickles pleasurable places.

    This query reminds me of the impermanence of my self. My physical self, as old as the universe, is made of stardust. I have no idea what else I have been physically, besides the raspberry, though my DNA oracle would like to remind me. I am not really sure if my spiritual self has been around as long as the universe, though if it mirrors my physical self, it surely has, though not quite aggregated in the same way as the present. I welcome that thought, though I am comfortable with not knowing.

    My raspberry self, though content in being, was pulled through the now of then to the now of now, a human of being, not quite sure of anything anymore, and sometimes envious of the confidence of the raspberry. The raspberry trusts the divine, puts down its roots and sends up its shoot, and becomes a whole other being. The divine trusts the raspberry to do what it knows how to do. Me, I am not so sure. But I continue to trust. Trust me, oh universe, like my life depends on it!

  2. No, but it's amazing the things I forget, that I let slip by when dealing with the day to day. I just reread my trance journal and am astounded by some of the things forgotten, including Brigid showing me a vision of a my birthing a baby boy (at home no less) 2 weeks before I conceived my son.

    I'm not sure the direction you wanted this query to go, or if that even mattered, but something about perspective I'm going to sit over here feeling overwhelmed right now.

  3. Ashley, I have been rereading my meditation journals as well, my bibliotherapy. I agree with your remarks.

    The query has no direction except where it takes each of us.

  4. I had a whole reply and apparently didn't post it somehow, and reproducing written text I find disheartening. I have to tell myself, almost immediately, in order to stave off the collapse that will prevent me from the attempt in the first place, "What you wrote before, that was awesome, but wrong. Here's your chance to do it again, more better."

    Rather than the raspberry, which I only knew growing up in store-bought form, and the blackberry, which I knew locally and near my house in a massive bramble full of dangerous bees (I had allergies, I was told) and the disappointments of the sour ones, instead I loved the thimbleberry.

    Rather a lot like a raspberry in texture but with more seeds, and growing as a cap with a hollow underneath, not a plump berry itself. And almost never too tart--always just right for the tartness or lusciously sweet. I asked more than once for thimbleberry pie, knowing that raspberries and blackberries could enjoy that fate or as a compote, but it never happened. It didn't exist.

    I think that's partly what caused my affinity for them. I didn't exist either. I was possible, but no one bothered. I wanted to have sex with other boys; I was the only one in the world (so it seemed to me). The thimbleberry was a neglected delight.

    The thimbleberry is a forerunner after disaster:
    The species typically grows along roadsides, railroad tracks, and in forest clearings, commonly appearing as an early part of the ecological succession in clear cut and forest fire areas.

    Thimbleberries have, in Frank Zappa's phrase, no commercial potential:
    Thimbleberry fruits are larger, flatter, and softer than raspberries, and have many small seeds. Because the fruit is so soft, it does not pack or ship well, so thimbleberries are rarely cultivated commercially.

    Many parts of the Rubus parviflorus plant were used for a great variety of medicinal purposes by Native Americans, but who makes use of this knowledge now?

    But if I am a reborn berry, I think I was holly instead. I am Welsh in part (so the story of my adoption goes); my past lives placed me under hypnosis in Eire or maybe Wales. Druids wore holly wreaths on their heads. In heraldry, holly is used to symbolize truth. My hyena wears a wreath of khat, but in my mind's eye it alludes, if only secretly, to holly.

  5. Raspberries to me are perhaps the most delicious berry, certainly when they’re fresh, but I never chew too hard on them because I can think of few things more annoying that having a raspberry seed stuck in my molar.

    1. Do you remember how it felt, Roxanne, being the seed in someone's molar?