You know how myths and legends are actually early stage psychiatry?
They are stories that illustrate behaviors, offer life lessons and explore the dynamic between certain personalities. They demonstrate the impact of misunderstandings, the consequences of acting hastily and the importance of not dismissing people because they don't meet your assessment of being a valuable player. They remind us of the need for courtesy to all (really, you just never know), and countless other helpful guideposts to better understand and survive in this complex world.
Jealous Hera, mischievous Loki, the old beggar woman asking for alms, the simple son, witches, goblins, vampires, werewolves, zombies....
Zombies! Yes, it sounds a bit ridiculous. Despite Haitan folklore, Vodou, Voodoo, or whatever spelling or incantation you choose—or even the possibility that the Undead do indeed walk—our present Zombie craze is highly stereotyped and stylized.
But you perhaps never thought of the Undead as a valuable life lesson—an accurate explanation of what life is actually like.
It all starts innocently enough, you're living your life, hanging out with your classmates, co-workers, colleagues, spending days, months, often years together, cordial, close, connected. You chat, share meals, share stories, share your life, your dreams, your experiences.
You think you are surrounded by humans, but all it takes is a change to clarify who in your group are the living dead—surviving off flesh or brains—and who are actually human. You graduate, your kids go to different schools, you move, you change jobs, you retire. Suddenly, you no longer have a brain or flesh worth eating—you have nothing to offer.
In fairness, you can't stay friends with everyone & the drifting apart is often mutual, but it's still an odd feeling to achieve invisibility with people you may have seen every day for years.
Retirement may be the most challenging adjustment, as other changes often just trade one group of the Undead for another. Opting out of the workforce can often eliminate your usefulness to others quite dramatically. Suddenly, you have nothing worth eating....
Visiting the old workplace you realize you are a ghost in the machine—invisible to most. Though it can sometimes be quite surprising who you are visible to, and to whom you have disappeared.
Just like in a Zombie film the humans are often not the ones you would expect.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
It is likely that almost all the cantaloupe you have eaten--at least in America--has been unripe. Certainly every salad bar, every plastic box of cut up cantaloupe in the grocery store, every breakfast buffet, has served you unripe cantaloupe. It is a tribute to the deliciousness of cantaloupe that we all eat these fairly tasteless, hard chunks and think them not only edible, but OK.
If you think you like cantaloupe melons, please do yourself this favor. Buy one at the grocery store. Sniff the end where the vine came out and see if it smells like a cantaloupe. If it doesn't, put it back and try another. Fruit tastes like what it smells like, so if that beautiful peach doesn't smell like anything, than that's what it will taste like. You don't even need to trust me on that, just do your own experiment. It will be convincing.
Back to the cantaloupe: if it passes the sniff test, push gently simultaneously on the two ends to feel if there's any give. Usually there's not much, which is OK, it just means it's not ripe yet.
Take it home. Put it somewhere that is not the refrigerator: a windowsill, a shelf, a bowl. Every few days, give it a sniff, press the ends to see if there is more give, and give the cantaloupe a shake. You are listening for the sound of the interior seeds to have loosened from the inside wall and shake around.
You are waiting for your melon to ripen, and guess what? It will likely take over a week, possibly two. The cantaloupes you buy are UNRIPE and hard. They need to be to be able to ship and sit in stores and not get bruised. And most places can't afford to have them sit around for days/weeks to ripen before serving. But you can!
Allow your cantaloupe to ripen. Restrain yourself (I know, an un-American trait). Think of this as the Adult "marshmallow test." Until the seeds loosen, the cantaloupe isn't fully ripe.
Wait for it. It's worth the wait.