Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ugly Fruit



"But if something is slightly bruised, speckled or dinged on the outside, we don't usually take the time to wonder if it might be ambrosial within."
~ Monica Eng, Chicago Tribune, August, 2010.


Around the blogosphere I hear a lot of self-doubt. Writers are known to wade in a fair bit of the muck. I include myself here. If my words don't strut onto my page in high heels and Versace dress first time around I want to throw my computer off the balcony. You might say I expect a lot of myself and you'd be right. I want the divine. Red carpet all the way.

When my words clunk on in with torn checkered shirts and mud on their Ugg Boots (as they frequently do) I am not sure whether to attempt a makeover right there on the red carpet or throw myself on the floor and head bang. (Sheesh! Who do these words think they are anyway?)

Then I got to thinking, what if words are really more like fruit? (I know, from red carpet to fruit- work with me here) Ever grown tomatoes?  They start with a little flower. Pretty, but if you are only interested in the red fruit you'd miss that. If you didn't know something better was coming you wouldn't be excited when those first buds appeared. 

And avocado. Now there's and ugly fruit. The thing is black and wrinkled before it has flavor inside. 

What am I saying? (apart from the fact that I am obviously lovin my metaphors today) 
Embrace the ugly fruit. 
Enjoy the little flower. 
How can a fruit know how close to being ripe it is? 
Our job is to be where we are on the path to wherever we are going. Given time our lives and words might also be ambrosial inside.

What about you? Red carpet glamoring? or Lover of the Ugly Fruit?

36 comments:

  1. Sometimes too, the over-ripe fruit, you know, the kind you find on the ground, bruised and wrinkled, makes the best pie.

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  2. I think my fruit is prettying up! Good to know others are having the same doubts. :O)

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  3. LOL I love this. I've been growing some really ugly fruit lately--but like Liza sais, sometimes it can be used--like an overripe banana into a banana bread. I;ve pulled what I can from this MS and found not all of it was bad.

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  4. I'm an avocado. Embracing it. I make some mean guac. :D
    ~ Wendy

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  5. That's exactly it girls. Take the fruit and bake the pie. Love that :)

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  6. I am feeling this more than anything today.

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  7. I like this metaphor. I like all gardening metaphors actually. But this is excellent - we are always comparing our insides to others' outsides with disasterous results. Let's just stop and let our works ripen a bit!

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  8. So true, Tabitha, so true.
    And I love how you describe words as wearing a Versac gown and strutting around on high heeled shoes- fantastic imagery that.

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  9. Tab, you've done it again.
    Gorgeous.
    I JUST READ a devo about this, can you believe it??? "And the capitals that were upon the top of the pillars were of lily work" (1 Kings 7:19)
    The point O. Chambers was making was the lily work added nothing to the stretngth and the majesty of the whole building, but the inspiration of it all was in the detail, in the "lily work."
    Are we willing to be Lily Work for God?
    Blessings, dear one.
    YOU GO!!!!!

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  10. YOU're ambrosial. (what a word!). That's what I think.

    I tend to give myself a whole lot of permission on a first draft, just to ge tthe bones of a thing down in tangible form. Then, only after that do I go in and try to make every word shine. Mark Twain saud that the difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. That man could write, right? :-O

    And hey, some of us LIKE checkered shirts better than ballroom gowns!

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  11. No Shay, your ambrosial! :) and go ahead and wear those checkered shirts with pride dear girl :))

    Thanks Patti. The majesty is in the detail. Agreed.

    Thanks everyone for the comments. Glad I am not the only highly strung writer.

    Jstar, hope you are embracing the fruit girl. Hugs to you.

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  12. TB I love this.  Yes, embrace the ugly fruit with all its blemishes and bad parts.  Blessings.

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  13. couldn't agree more. blogging has amazed me with the fact that sometimes I post something 100% unsatisfied with it, just to find people comment claiming it to be their favorite...

    goes to show. one mans trash is anothr mans treasure hehe (I like your metophor-state-of-mind also)

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  14. Words wearing Versace and strutting the red carpet. Ay yay yay, Tab, you just slay me. Right now I'm a shriveled up prune.
    Karen

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  15. Oh, how I long for the red carpet:)

    Love this post Tabitha, I'm embracing my ugly fruit better today, than yesterday. I know harvest time is coming~ when I'll be ripe for the picking!

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  16. I love avocadoes,so ugly fruit for me. It's whats on the inside that matters.

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  17. I love the "embrace the ugly fruit, enjoy the little flower" part! And so true. This is why I don't ever revise until I've finished a story and let it sit. Sometimes what looked so ugly only needed some time to show me its potential for beauty. :)

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  18. This is a good way to look at life in general. Im going to spend my whole day pondering this. Oh wait, you weren't talking about my stories, were you??? ;)

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  19. I blogged on something similar last month. Sometimes ideas that seem ,well, dumb, can actually be a pretty good idea. They just need to be revised or approached from a different direction. Here's to ugly fruit.

    Stephen Tremp

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  20. We can't all be ugly fruit and avocados, what kind of salad is that? I'll be the apple with the worm sticking out the side. :)

    Lovely words here.
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  21. Wonderful post :D I loved your analogies. I think my WiP is in the fruit design process right now. It can't decide if it's going to look edible, or keep it's flavor hidden under a not so pretty skin.

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  22. It depends. I guess life is a combination of red carpet and ugg boots.

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  23. Aww, but peaches are always much better with a few bruises!

    Fun quote, and great post! It's true that we need to embrace the ugly fruit, at least where the first draft is concerned. ;)

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  24. Loving the bruised and ugly fruit metaphor today. You made me think of the glorious pungent smell of tomato vines - how I love that almost as much as the fruit itself.

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  25. I have never had ugly fruit so can't say whether I like it or not, I like most of the conventional fruits though.

    Take care.
    Yvonne.

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  26. With a blog post so delicious, how can you ever doubt your gift of writing? You are not allowed! Loved reading every word of this. The point is not just taken, it's relished and absorbed. Thanks for the nudge. :)

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  27. A bit of glamour AND ugliness is always good. Then again, nothing tastes better than an avocado. ;]

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  28. Nice thoughts, Tabitha, and so full of hope! :) Now, I'm hungry!

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  29. I love your metaphors. I've never thought of my words dressing up before they wander through my door. I'd say mine are more confused, hesitant, wearing one black sock and one blue, hat askew and fingerless gloves. They're uncomfortable at first, but when they start to speak (or more importantly, when I start to listen) I find such beauty that I forget about the tattered coat.

    Beautiful! Thank you :)

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  30. If my words are fruits then I'm going to chop them up and mixed them together into the best fruit salad I can make. I will happily share it with everyone.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  31. Mmm... ugly fruit. Really enjoyed this post! The picture is hilarious.

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  32. oooh Love the fruit metaphor! And the part about being on our path. I guess we can be on our garden path. Planting is writing and watering is editing perhaps? And fertilizer...well fertilizer must be...getting critiques. Hmmm...

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  33. "Lover of the ugly fruit"... One of the things I am contented with myself for, is my ability to go beyond superficial looks. I have the patience to find out more about the person. Good metaphors!

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