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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Forgot What Fruit Is Out There

Here is a shopping list I found in the library. For some reason, it struck me as quite poignant. Could it be seen as an existential metaphor for life?



Why small tomatoes, small onions, small cheese? Is that the most we can hope to obtain in life? Do we need potato chips to make us wise? And why is "bounty" crossed out? Don't we all deserve our bounty? (Try not to think too hard about the razor. Sometimes a razor is just a razor.)

Life can be hard. Sometimes you have to press it with your finger to test it out. 

...Okay. Perhaps "existential metaphor" is a bit of a stretch. 

But I do so enjoy these little quiet glimpses into the lives of other people. It reminds me that we're all connected, we're all searching, we're all hungry. We all forget what fruit is out there. Maybe we just need to remind each other from time to time. 

What's on your list? Go get it. 










8 comments:

  1. I went through my grandparents' photo albums a few weeks ago; they had included in one of the scrapbooks a shopping list from a trip to Kenya that they took in the 60s or 70s :-)

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    1. What a cool way to remember part of their trip!

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  2. I feel naughty reading this, like I've glimpsed something private, personal. Now I'm trying to picture the author. I agree, it's fascinating to get these little glimpses occasionally. We're all basically the same, and that is reassuring.

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    1. Yes, exactly. I almost feel bad sharing it (even though I have no idea whose list it is) because now everyone "knows" that this person needed overnight pads. :) I like that you find it reassuring. Thanks for the comment.

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  3. Librarians (or simply those who work in libraries, like I did during college), are seekers and sorters of information. So, it's no wonder that we enjoy these "little quiet glimpses" into the lives of others ...

    Two things I've found in books that I think of often: a Soviet-era 5 ruble note that served as a bookmark in a used novel I picked up (Were they standing in a bread line in Moscow as they read this? Could they buy blue jeans? What is borscht, exactly?) and, in the published diary of a World War II general's aide, some lovingly pressed flowers with a newspaper clipping from the early '70s. So poignant. Great post!

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  4. Once upon a time I had a stint at the Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial office. I opened and sorted the mail. This shopping list reminds me of something I hadn't thought about in a while...

    Every so often we received lists at the Star Tribune, I believe from the same person, all written in block letters and carefully aligned. Nothing else to them, but a list. Subjects included trees, minerals, phobias, yellow flowering weeds, etc. They were always my favorite (surprisingly captivating), but I couldn't get the editor to publish any of them. When I own the paper things will be different.

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  5. I think it sounds as if the person who wrote the list is actually in the early stages of dementia. He or she needed that reminder to squeeze the fruit to check it...and even comments on not remembering the fruit that is out there. "Food" for thought.

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  6. Thought it was funny to see what they decided to underline for emphasis. Almost like someone made the list for someone else, and wanted to point out things to notice.

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