trans-neptunian object

picking tomatoes

aug 09 2022

i read a post from someone saying that we, as a culture, are chronically understimulated.

they theorized about how the popularity of stimming and sensory videos in mainstream media could be indicative of a greater issue: our carefully-crafted worlds are flat and uninteresting. technology alone does not stimulate us in the ways we need.

i'm horribly disorganized and get distracted easily, and when i set out to do one thing, i notice a million other tasks should also be taken care of.

i was sitting at my desk thinking of plant species. clover came to mind, and i contemplated looking it up, but the thought of picking up my phone again and typing a word into google with my own hands was unbearable. i had the vague idea i might hunt around for some in our backyard.

i was doodling some flowers the other night, and it sounded like it'd be nice to go outside and find some plants to draw. i put on my sandals and ventured a ways into the yard before realizing i should get my glasses (which were still on my desk).

i minced around a bit. most of the grass was dead -- it's been a hot summer and hasn't rained much as of late -- but here and there were dark green plants sprawling in the shade, and by the wall, a clump of leaves cradled its tiny purple flowers.

they might've been nice candidates, but as i neared the other end of the house, i saw the cherry tomatoes that had laid claim to the area. no one in my family was really sure where they came from, but they'd started growing one day and there wasn't much reason to stop it. some of them were turning red, and even with my abysmal knowledge of horticulture i thought it was time somebody picked them.

my mom is the only one of us who eats them, but i wasn't considering anything like that. some kind of primal instinct, i guess -- i see these ripe fruits and i want to gently twist them off the vines, one by one. i put them in a tupperware container by my knees.

the sunlight was pleasant on my skin, in a way that someone who doesn't go outside would enjoy. it was a peaceful few minutes. the colors, the warmth, and the careful movement of my hands to examine each tomato before i took it. naturally i thought about the dirt and the gross bugs that could be lurking, then decided i didn't care.

i haven't been sleeping well these past couple weeks. i'm so often exhausted, and i think i want to curl up in bed all day and do nothing, yet when i was outside picking those tomatoes i felt more relaxed than anything.

my harvest was cut short with the sighting of a single wasp, but i might've spent more time outside. i would've at least preferred to find another pastime that isn't scrolling through social media for eight hours straight, something pleasant while still ostensibly productive.

but i get distracted. i opened the notification when my laptop said it needed updates and i looked at my phone some more while writing this. i get tired of things so quickly. i'm already thinking of what else to do.

but i like picking tomatoes.