Updated: Nov 8, 2021
When you eat a pomegranate, you are unable to do anything else, but talk and peel away.
This is one of the most beautiful experiences to share with a friend (or all by yourself).
At the end of 2018, I was visiting a collaborator and dear friend, Kate. The purpose of our meeting was to reconnect, work on some business plans, and dream up a series of possible collaborations. We worked from her warm, eccentric, art-filled, middle-of-nowhere home 1 hour north of San Antonio, Texas. Outside, the crisp October rain poured into the roaring creek and the plant life screamed of freshness, growth, and hydration.
Coming from the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, I felt this was a stunning change of pace.
We put a pause on our business meeting and headed into the kitchen for some homemade chicken and dumplings, served in individual stoneware dishes that were pulled straight from the oven and onto the table. The heat radiated off the dishes. The smell permeated the air. Soon, our brains rejoiced with nourishment, our insides were warm from the throat to the stomach.
After our main course, Kate proceeded to get out a pomegranate for dessert. This was not your traditional, store-bought pomegranate, rather it was a homegrown pomegranate that sported a brownish-pink colored coat, rather than the typical flashy, red skin. When you crack it open, the color of the seeds amazes you with a rare richness and vibrancy of color. We split the pomegranate in half and each grabbed a small plate and napkin. For the next 20-25 minutes we simply sat there, peeled away at each individual, juicy pod within the spongy flesh of the fruit. And, we talked. With no phone calls, no text messages, no emails popping up on our screen, no television on in the background, it was simply the two of us, our pomegranate halves, and a fully engaged, distraction-free conversation. We talked of books, art, our families, life-changing events, and whatever else popped into our minds. Our ideas were fluid, our thoughts were focused, our listening was deep and generous. Ourr empathy was high, and our connection was strong.
When you peel into a pomegranate, your hands immediately become covered in bright red juices. You have no other reasonable option but to stick it out and finish the job. You have committed to a set amount of time, until you finish the task at hand (pun totally intended). To keep you motivated, every few seconds, you are rewarded with a new acquisition (a juicy pod) and a burst of flavor in your mouth. It is the perfect combination of challenging and mindless, busying and freeing.
How often do we truly sit down to talk to people without technological distractions? How often do we commit to one simple task for 20-25 minutes without the fear of needing to simultaneously accomplish something else? How often do we turn off our brains from the previous meeting and just catch up on life? How often do we take the time to consider and treasure every juice-filled seed we are feeding our body.
As the Buddhists say, "When peeling potatoes, simply peel potatoes." As Mindflower Studio says, "When eating a pomegranate, find a quality friend to share it with and simply chat and peel."
...Just some food for thought (pun intended, yet again).