A glance. A shrug. A girl pulls at her hair. Lost in themselves they ignore the bustle of the market around them. They ignore me, too. They face each other, looking inward towards the conversation that envelopes them. I listen to the cadence, the tones of their voices as they rise and fall.
Viewing entries tagged
If I had no calendar I’d gauge my seasons by the rising sun. It seems to be better way to do things anyway. Humans are always screwing around with calendars and time and making a mess of them. Twice per year we think we’re very clever to move our clocks back or forth in the interest of “saving” daylight. It’s a ridiculous notion that does nothing but make everyone cranky on the two Sunday mornings after this feeble attempt of sorcery. Calendars and clocks cause a lot of anxiety in this world. We’d all be better off just paying attention to the sun.
An old woman pointed at the tiny fish, making a point of not smiling at all. The fishmonger picked up on the seriousness of the situation and stood up straight. Venetian women at the Rialto Market are not to be taken lightly and this particular one knew what she wanted.
"Not yet?" I asked.
I'd thought this would be the week. It was early March and I was eagerly awaiting asparagus season. I'd turned the corner towards a long row of stalls at the farmer's market. My favorite vendor became visible. My heart sank as I saw only potatoes displayed at his stall. Asparagus season was not yet to be. It would be another long week before the lovely spears would trumpet the true arrival of spring. Forget the calendar, fresh asparagus in Northern California tells me that spring is here. But, it wouldn't be this week.
It was raining peacefully on Sunday morning. The streets were washed clean by a storm that had hit the day before. The road shimmered in the weak light, twinkling with each drop from the sky. On a tempestuous Friday before the storm, I'd been hit between the eyes by a hurtful comment from a friend. It left me reeling. Sunday's gray drizzle seemed appropriate.
One of the best things about cell phones is that I can now talk to myself in public. Not that many years ago it was considered odd to have a conversation with oneself. Now people are talking aloud seemingly no one just about everywhere. True, they usually have some kind of Bluetooth earpiece attached to to them and they are, theoretically, talking to an other human being somewhere. But, who knows for sure?
Sunday I bought a fish. Sick of Safeway and its hermetic seals, I went to the farmer's market. There you know what the food is and from where it comes. Contrary to the Safeway illusion, meat is not born in plastic trays. It comes from animals that once lived.
In the middle of an art fair I looked up. Atop a canvas tent a plain banner fluttered in a foggy breeze. Below was the spectacle of event. Artists, patrons, food vendors and children mingled amongst artifacts of the creative spirit. Yet, above it all was the homely banner. Boring and ordinary, it captivated me.
Hot-house tomatoes come to market early in spring. This is too early for a tomato. Tomatoes herald the beginning of summer—real summer, not some fabrication designed to hurry along a year before its time. Hot-house tomatoes remind me of Christmas decorations that show up before Thanksgiving. Sadly, too many patrons of the farmer's market succumb to the temptation. "Look!" they say. "Tomatoes!!!!!" And they go buy the mealy, half-green half-real approximations of the real thing.
We encounter other souls all the time. I barely know myself while the complex world passes me by. It doesn't stop me from wondering. Who are they? What is their story?