Are you calling me a fruit, Sir?

yummy pluots

yummy pluots

Decades ago, one near and dear to me, a young kid from California, struggling his way through basic training, was rudely called a fruit by his tech sergeant. This said tech sergeant had quite a propensity of showering everyone in the barracks with verbal abuse. These angry words and energy possibly made some of the other young men more manly. And others got more mad. My dear one would laugh. A natural response too hard to control. Many of these insults he had never heard before. Certainly, not in real life. To him it sounded funny.

Punishment for laughing  at the wrong time varied. Sometimes his foot locker would get thrown across the room. Which meant diligently spending time refolding clothes with precision, and putting everything back into its prescribed location. Most often he would end up doing push-ups. While counting out loud, he could hear the sergeant yelling “you worthless #!@?*#’s from California are nothing but fruits and nuts” This sergeant shouted out that he was doing his best to make men out of them all, and some may not make it. Somehow this dear one survived basic training, despite frequent harassment, push-ups, laps around the dorm, and almost being set back. It took many years for him to regain his sense of humor and ability to laugh, or even smile, at absurdity.

Smiling and remembering that story sparked an idea to photograph fruit eaten during this summer. What a wonderful summer of fresh fruit it has been. Some from the market, most from friend’s & neighbor’s gardens, and the trees at my house. Regrets to fruits eaten too quickly, thus not photographed. Including, but not limited to, apples, grapes, cherries, kiwis, oranges and pears.

It’s common knowledge that we are what we eat, or more correctly, what we consume. This summer I’ve mostly succeeded at consuming a wholesome diet, through my mouth, eyes, ears, nose, and touch. Some things that I’ve seen and heard seemed difficult, especially local, national and world news. I realize these consumables are inside and part of me. Some digested and transformed better than others. As I breathe in at this moment, I’m most grateful, and proud to say, that I’m a fruit. Breathing out, it feels colorful and sweet inside knowing that such yummy beauty has become me.

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I will practice looking deeply into how I consume the Four Kinds of Nutriments, namely edible foods, sense impressions, volition, and consciousness. I am determined not to gamble, or to use alcohol, drugs, or any other products which contain toxins, such as certain websites, electronic games, TV programs, films, magazines, books, and conversations. I will practice coming back to the present moment to be in touch with the refreshing, healing and nourishing elements in me and around me, not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past nor letting anxieties, fear, or craving pull me out of the present moment. I am determined not to try to cover up loneliness, anxiety, or other suffering by losing myself in consumption. I will contemplate interbeing and consume in a way that preserves peace, joy, and well-being in my body and consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family, my society and the Earth. ~Thich Nhat Hanh’s 5th of the Five Mindfulness Trainings.


24 thoughts on “Are you calling me a fruit, Sir?

  1. harulawordsthatserve

    What beautiful. colour rich photos…they make my mouth water! I love the smile and giggle I get from your last two lines, ‘As I breathe in at this moment, I’m most grateful, and proud to say, that I’m a fruit. Breathing out, it feels colorful and sweet inside knowing that such yummy beauty has become me.’ Thanks for sharing the abundance, in all its forms:-) H xxx

  2. mkesling63

    Well put. I remember my basic training. MY drill sargents failed to get to me in fact I got more attitude from my college teachers in business. I knew more then they did. I was already a manager before I went and they do not like it when their knowledge is not only challenged but shown up too. Ego’s are everywhere amd people suffer them everywhere. Children smarter then the grades they were forced to go through, etc. I remeber leaving Army basic training and a sergent I didn’t know looked me in the eye and said “Blazer” (my married name at the time) they didn’t break you!

    I also have a problem with judges and governemnt attorney’s that went to years of law school to learn the law and I do it better then they do. Ego’s with envy and jealousy. A good self esteem is priceless and will see you through a lot. I sincerely hope you do not isolate yours and those of others around you. Self esteem medical is probably the number one medical need in the world. Medical that can not be taken out on another. I already have that one down. Acceptance is going to be the next round for me after establishment. Eye to eye.

    It simply does not take a person years to learn concepts of a craft to be good at it. Nothing beats human ability in a healthy self esteem.

  3. brucethomasw

    Your posts are always an inspriration and food for thought. especially this one – literally too 🙂 And with those final thoughts of Thay, it’s time for me to turn off this computer and get some peaceful sleep. Thanks David.

    1. smilecalm Post author

      I’m glad you find it nourishing, Bruce. I imagine sometime you enjoy some delicious, local fruit, also. Being called a fruit isn’t so bad, after all.

  4. nicseventysix

    This is one of my favourite Posts of your blog, David. And I took quite a few Minutes to look at these beautiful photos. Thank you for this!
    Nicole (finally being re-connected with the Internet again and being able to enjoy wordpress again 🙂 )

    1. smilecalm Post author

      Thanks for your kindness, Nicole. Glad you’re fond of fruit, also. Happy to know you are having success getting on-line. I’m slowwwwly getting a song together for a future post. Be well!


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