Sunday, September 09, 2007

Of Beauty and Bumps

In tomato-season time we, who have the luxury of NOT having a hoophouse full of thriving tomato plants which threaten to hang on producing for another 4 weeks even while the frost is on the pumpkins and our feet ache a lot and also just a little bit more each day and our largest-sized t-shirts are all stretching over the site-line of our feet, are reaching the 11th hour. And so, time to reflect, but really refract, a bit on what time it was:

The intact tomato on the left, a forsaken Brandywine (chosen neither by OH Farm members at a veggie pic-up - no offense taken, members - nor by gawkers and handlers at the ONE farmers' market) is one of the most remarkable things we had the good fortune to harvest this season. It resisted any hopes for symmetry in knife-approaches, displayed absolutely no pattern of clues for how it sewed itself up so successfully on the bottom-end (just a fascinating maze of sinews and cleaves), and then of course it tasted absolutely amazing. And I am not really even that big of a fan of the Brandywine, the heirloom commoner around these parts.

To the right is a sliced-up Nyagous, a late-season variety, peerless in terms of taste and color. (Well, the ever-evasive Druzba might be its slightly larger Doppelganger, and we'll research that next season).

Strangely, high-tomato time is coinciding with other events which inevitably evoke thoughts on conventional perceptions of beauty:

I have to admit these days that I simply do not have the same shape that I had a year ago today. Walking by shop windows downtown is always a shocker (no full-length mirrors in the apartment) and while I never considered that mirrored reflection beauteous in conventional or non-conventional terms pre-pregnancy, I now must reconcile the fact that strangers now DO look at me with smiles and hellos quite often. While walking through a crowded street I imagine I am accompanied by Gweneth Paltrow or Leonardo, fielding innumerable double-takes and shameless gapes.

Of course, those stares are focused squarely on my mid-section. But it's nice to know that even if I wouldn't get taken home at $3 a pound, people still are curious enough to stop to take a second look. Perhaps another definition of the power of beauty.

I should also note about this photo that I was really serving as a reflector for the light of the flash, whose flashing was allowing Josh to get some of the really interesting skyline we glanced last night through the streets of downtown B-town. Despite the mish-mashedness of the architecture (the funny-shaped, almost un-Christian shaped, Cathedral; the dreadful yet beckoning high-rise Courtyard Marriott), it's always fun to look upwards across the horizon at my favorite time of the day.


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