strawberries: a metaphor too far

So one of my friends, a writer, occasionally sends out missives with essays about topics of faith, and the latest one was about taking care of his strawberry patch and weeding and pruning and whatnot, the gist being that sin is like weeds-- it spreads fast, hides well, and only pretends to produce delicious fruit.

This reminded me not only that I should probably reply to Dave's emails one of these days, but also that our strawberry patch needed picking.

In our strawberry patch I noticed that for every one perfectly conical red supermarket-ready strawberry, there were a dozen mutant berries-- the ones that are blobular masses of berry flesh, often resembling a Star Wars character.

I, personally, think that this provides a much more trenchant spiritual analysis, since as we all know, Christians, like all people, are imperfect, like mutant berries, and often we're envious of the shiny happy supermarket berries we think surround us, like the family in the other pew that you always run into at the grocery store when they're wearing chinos and perfect hair and you're in your pajamas buying zucchini and KY Jelly.

But me? I prefer the mutant berries, perhaps because I hold in my heart an abiding love for imperfection and uniqueness, or perhaps because I'm a big Star Wars nerd and can decide whether one looks more like Greedo or Admiral Ackbar before I gleefully bite it in half.

So I wrote a song!

[we all know the tune for this one]

Jesus loves the mutant ber-ries
All the weirdoes of the world
Big and lumpy,
short and squat,
Resembles Jabba the Hutt--
Jesus loves the mutant berries of the world!

But I couldn't stop there. It needed a second verse!

Delving deeper into my spiritual analysis of gardening, and opting to skip over the question of what the patch of ants I stuck my hand in chasing a berry signified, I wondered what the symbolic value of the rotten, bug-eaten berries was. Given that in this metaphor I was, theoretically, the Christ figure, and I was throwing the reject berries against the fence so they would make interesting splat shapes, I decided maybe a second verse about how Jesus likes to make damaged berries explode wasn't the best idea, and I wasn't sure if I could make it rhyme, either. So I stuck a (2x) on the end of the song and called it a day.

And this, kids, is why God didn't send me to seminary.

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thus saith Liadan at 12:10 PM


Blogger titration saith at 5/10/2008 6:42 PM...  

LOL. OK so you can "mock" spiritualize strawberries. May I try it with Mango's?

Once when I was in Haiti a mango fell off a tree (it was mango season) and hit a little boy in the head. He was fine after a bit. They made sure he didn't get a cuncussion.

I think that's like God saying "hey don't stand under mango tree's in mango season."

Blogger marauder saith at 5/11/2008 3:49 PM...  

Well, that cracked me up. You do realize that for the next few weeks at least, I'm going to have thoughts of Jesus throwing people against the fence to see what interesting splatter shapes they make? Thanks for the laughs!

And of course, if you do have a garden, I'm sure you realize that none of the fruits come out looking like they're ready for the supermarket -- but for all their blemishes, unsightliness, and seemingly unpleasant qualities, they're better by far than the ho-hum sort at the supermarket.

(And a point of order, I wasn't writing about sin in a general sense, but about something quite specific that I was dealing with. But you probably figured that out already.)

And hey, Titration, I used to live in Haiti too, in Petionville and then in Pelerin. When were you there?

Blogger Liadan saith at 5/11/2008 5:06 PM...  

Thought you might enjoy it. :)

It always surprises me how much better homegrown stuff is. I was eating berries while I picked them and I'm always amazed at how much more taste is in them. We used to have apple trees at the old house, and I remember those being eons better than supermarket apples.

(My dad is making strawberry wine out of them, too. Perhaps there's a metaphor to be found in God squashing us and letting us ferment to make alcoholic beverages.)

Blogger marauder saith at 5/11/2008 11:11 PM...  

I told Niki you had given me the Brothers Grinn treatment, and she noted that you DID have a couple of good teachers.

And I'm sure she agrees that I deserve it.

Blogger Fever Dog saith at 5/12/2008 2:28 AM...  

I personally think that seminary would be lucky to have you. I want to see a song about zuccini and ky next...

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