Apples and Oranges
All my life, I thought I was an orange.
Today, I found out I was an apple.
In the last few years, the hints have been there. Good friends have remarked that I was a pretty juicy apple. But I told them no, they had it wrong, I was an orange – and I knew.
Apple skins are thin, my skin was thick. Apples are one piece inside; I felt I had many different segments. Apples come in many different colours; I had a beautiful dark, pumpkin hue.
And so, after what has been decades of self-enquiry, after years of me preaching the importance of knowing thyself, turns out that I didn’t even know what kind of fruit I was (I seriously wonder what else I don’t know, but for now am satisfied that I don’t know what I don’t know, and all will be revealed in good time).
Finding out that I am an apple changes everything. I realised that the tough skin and the lack of integration were all ways that I adapted as a result my environment.
The science of epigenetics tells us that our daily experiences shape the way our genes express themselves. I guess this explained the aetiology of my “coping mechanisms”. But I still didn’t feel as if I knew who I was. I thought about all those kids who find out they’re adopted and feel as if their entire foundation is shaken.
So I am an apple.
As you can see, I still don’t know what to do with that fact. I am grateful that I am still a fruit. Ditto the fact that I am less likely to cause someone acidity. But I’m an apple. I was an orange. I WAS an orange. Really.
But I wasn’t. I was never an orange. I was just pretending to be one, even though I didn’t know I was faking it.
So now I can be used in a pie, or to make a Waldorf salad. I am friendly to diabetics and am great at carrying away toxicity from within the body. I can even be slathered with toffee to make a tasty Halloween treat.
I didn’t know I could do all those things. I thought I could just be juice. And maybe paired with salmon for some fish cakes (truth be told, I never much liked sitting next to fish, even the sexy kind).
So I am very, very happy to be an apple.
I also feel very proud of myself for having accepted this new fact so readily.
Ah yes. This new fact.
And then I realised something that both upset me and lit my insides right up: that I may not be an apple either. I might be a tomato (oh wow, pizzas, Bloody Marys and caprese salads) or even a kumquat (I have no idea what one does with a kumquat).
Now I was really in a pickle.
It is said that that to observe without analysis is the highest form of intelligence (J. Krishnamurti), so all that was left was for me, was not to label myself.
I could be a pear today, an avocado tomorrow and a Chinese gooseberry next week. No one would probably even notice and it feel like I was on holiday. It was so refreshing. It could be anything I wanted to.
Now I really was happy.
Because all I needed to do be, was myself.