Centuries of farming technology and genetic research goes in the produce that we buy everyday. Our fruit and vegetable are the result of painstaking study, grown in perfect conditions with the perfect nutrients at the perfect temperature. Often they are the result of genetic modification, selective breeding. Now venture out of the city, climb a mountain, hike in the wilderness and you will find forgotten bushes hanging with blackberries, wild fruit cared for by nothing more than nature. But pluck that fruit and you will enjoy the most exciting flavours you have ever tasted. Maybe it’s the thrill of the chase, finding the few berries ripe enough but not too ripe and unmolested by insects. Maybe it’s the fresh mountain air and the climb to reach it. Maybe it’s the joy of something for free. And, just maybe it’s the satisfaction of sustenance at a time of great exertion. I have my own opinion on this. There is an ingredient missing from so much of life’s fruit. Chaos.
Speak to any enthusiast, someone who has a passion for something, be it art, cars, travel, sport, music and you will often find someone unable to articulate the root of their passion. What makes the heart race is the unfathomableness of its nature, the discombobulation of not knowing what it will tell you, where you will arrive, who will win, will it get you there.
Let me take cars as a point of reference. No one gets sweaty over a Toyota or Honda straight off the production line. People lust over old Jags, TVRs and Ferraris, machines that could give you the ride of your life or leave you in the middle of nowhere, machines that could kill you. Many years ago some friends of mine after passing their tests, bought brand new Honda CBRRs, a well-engineered street racing bike. They still had the chicken strips on the tyres (the little ‘hairs’ from the moulding that show a bike hasn’t been taken far from vertical) One asked me to take it out to tell them what I thought. I did. I took it down country lanes and on fast straights then brought it back unimpressed. Of course my mates were disappointed, they thought they had bought the best machine that kind of money could buy and they had but it didn’t scare me. It was so well balanced, the power delivered so evenly that I felt cocooned in the confidence that I would get home intact. At the time I had an old GSXR 750 that never had good tyres and the brakes had a habit of sticking when they shouldn’t. I would take it up to motorway speeds and see how long I could keep my eyes closed. The Honda did not impress.
Sport, the agony of not knowing if your star player will stumble or soar. Music, the feeling of whether the audience will tingle the way you do at the chord change or the line that makes your underpants dance. Art, are you seeing what the artist really painted for you. Literature, are you really getting what you are reading. Sometimes (read: always) when I finish a piece, my hands deliver the final line, my heart stops and my eyes well. Something, and I don’t think it is me, has put those words in just the right places to make it something more than ordered letters. Just like closing my eyes at 100mph and opening them to find a caravaner with a handful of sticky brakes. I am still alive but some of those heartbeats have put years on my life or life in my years. They were not wasted.
One of the, No! the main reason I came to live in Greece was just that. I didn’t know what was going to happen next. Greece is a drama Queen. In sexual terms, if Greece was a man he would never go on top, cause he can only fuck up! Other countries in the Eurozone went into recession took bailouts and pulled themselves back up. Greece is still too busy pointing fingers to get its hands on the work to be done. The uncertainties and fear, however have taken their toll and I have retreated to the Honda-like safety of my home.
So, back to the fruit. Take yourself somewhere hard to get to. Get lost and find some wild fruit.
Is this all an allegory? You may never know…