2011 Essay Contest-Adult Honorable Mention
I sink to the floor, searching desperately. The table casts a long shadow on the ground, obscuring my field of view. As far as I can tell, there are no tell-tale red smears on the linoleum to determine where it has gone. My knees groan in frustration, and my brother laughs at me from his comfortable vantage point perched upon a countertop. There will always be that stubborn pomegranate seed that refuses to be found, preferring instead to rot away as the ants start telling their friends—“Hey, there’s food on the kitchen floor!” The inevitable problem of eating pomegranates is a corollary of Murphy’s Law—they will fall onto the ground and they will most definitely refuse to be found. Ironically enough, eating pomegranates is often the most soothing part of my day, assuming I get over the guilt of having dropped a few seeds on the ground. In today’s rushed and hurried culture, leisure time is slowly becoming obsolete. My family has perfected dinner into a 15-minute art, and breakfast has turned into a race. To sit down and leisurely munch on fruit—that is a novel idea.
My decision to implement Pomegranate Tuesday—only on Tuesdays, because I need to minimize the number of pomegranate seeds my mother steps on—was treated with skepticism and laughter from my family and friends, but it helps me think. It affords me the rare and coveted opportunity to sit down and sort through everything that happens during the day. Plus I can finally read the Washington Post in peace, as opposed to wrestling the front page away from my dad and skimming it in the scant seconds before school. In a society increasingly dominated by the necessity to cram as many activities as possible into as little time as possible, allowing myself to spend thirty minutes eating one fruit is both a luxury and a rebellion. It is liberating, although slightly dorky, to know that every second spent picking out pomegranate seeds goes against the overachieving dictates of modern culture. My little rebellion goes a long way towards helping me organize my thoughts—it is a time for me to create and imagine. I see my thoughts and questions, carefully packaged in the neat rotund shape of a pomegranate. Eagerly picking out each and every seed, I am engaging in my own intellectual revolution.
As I chew, I think. About Gatsby’s borderline psychotic pursuit of Daisy. About the different Apollonian and Dionysian sides to our cultural heroes. About Antonio Gaudí’s cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, and how much longer it will remain unfinished. My thoughts on Gaudí are interrupted by the inevitable sound of a pomegranate seed falling. I see it bounce down to the ground, smearing red everywhere. This pomegranate seed—this little individual thought of mine—can be ridiculously evasive at times. I might not find it today, but I am sure I will find it tomorrow. The ants will lead the way.
Ioana Tesliuc lives in Potomac.