When enough of these ripen, I’m going to make persimmon butter. I’ve found recipe, and it uses my Instant Pot.
There were two, maybe three persimmon trees on the farm my family owned. I remember yellow jackets, red wasps, and bees were attracted to the sweet, fermented smell of the persimmons that fell from the tree.
When I was little, Daddy not only showed me how tasty they are but also how to use them as weapons. That’s right, weapons. Get a long flexible switch (a small tree branch) and peel the bark off the end. The switch needs to be strong enough to stab through a green, unripened persimmon. Swing the switch back like you are casting a fishing pole and aim it at your target. Let lose and the persimmon whips off the switch and rockets through the air. If your target is human, OUCH.
Mom worked perssimons-as-weapons into her book, The Settling Place. It really must have been a thing back in the day.
Persimmons-as-apple butter sounds hospitable and peaceful. I prefer it over stockpiling them for ammunition.
“It hurts my heart when Kindness suffers,” Grow said to an empty house.
The injustice of it makes them question everything. Why? Grow asks. Philosophers, sages, mystics, and ordinary people have asked that question as well. There are no meaningful answers.
Grow can’t fix the suffering and they know that any attempt to do so will only make matters worse. Grow can’t ignore the suffering because Kindness’ sweet love is too beautiful to cast aside. Grow only knows to walk with Kindness through the pain.
That walk is like balancing on a flowerbed beam or a curb. If Grow loses their balance to the right, Grow will step off into taking responsibly for the suffering. One foot off course to the left and Grow will walk into suffering that’s all their own.
The way is tight and narrow. Grow takes each step with the reminder: I walk with you but I am not you. To suffer with means allowing silence to be. It means listening, sometimes without response. It means shared tears.
They walk together, neither completely understanding the other, but walking nonetheless. The walk is dark, lonely, sad, and exhausting. Even so, they acknowledge the presence of hope as they walk. Hope keeps them placing one foot in front of the other. They walk, hoping for an end of suffering. They walk, hoping that their next step will walk them into joy. They walk through suffering together because Kindness and Grow love each other and that love is the source of the hope.
They walk because there isn’t anything else to do.
My heart is the wick of a blown out candle. It once burned hot and cast warm light into the dark of night. Now it is cold and curled, bent over, burned, and covered with suet. A dark presence even in the light of day.
And yet, my heart exists. Is it waiting to host a flame again? Does it hold that memory? Dried as it is, just one spark would ignite and restore it.
Light the candle. Burn, baby. Burn.
turn and face the strange
I’m only two days into working The List, but I’m already aware of benefits. What I have learned, or perhaps remembered, is if my mind and body are not disciplined, then I tend to obsess over circumstances that I cannot affect or control. Since the pursuits and activities on The List are goals I wish to accomplish, then even small successes create happiness. It seems a small accomplishment, indeed, to have mowed the yard, but having done so makes me happy.
I know next to nothing about psychotherapy, but I think training the mind to focus on that which makes one happy is a big part of it.
I have learned (or, actually, remembered) that happiness is often a choice I make.