The science of carrots.

Being seven must be marvelous,,. its unfortunate i cant remember much of that part of my life. I would certainly would have liked to. But i suppose i get to relive some portion of it through my seven year old. Seven for me must have been a wonderful time… miraculous almost, if my own seven year old is anything to go by. Today, it was about a carrot. In science class no less. Even before i could get past the “how was your day at school..”, i got cut of by the pointy tip of a slightly weathered carrot. He was as excited as a ravenous bunny about this particular carrot… And he was going to tell me about it in earnest.. i knew i didn’t have much of a choice,.. nothing was going to constrain that much of excitement. I settled back to hear it out.

And the story went that “teacher provided carrots to the class for the science lesson…”.  And as it turned out, “..there werent enough carrots to go around, and some of the kids did not have a carrot on their desks, and it wouldn’t be fair if the kids didn’t have their own carrot and its really hard to share a carrot.” Small pause… ” The carrots really weren’t all that big to begin with. See the carrot?,.. can we have the carrot for dinner dad?.. Teacher then broke the carrots in half.. broke the carrots dad, and she then gave the halves to the kids so that all the kids could have their own carrots, i got a middle carrot dad (middle carrot?..) and all the kids were so happy because they got their own carrots.” Another small pause…” but,.. there were now more carrots than there were kids, and teacher said she was going to have the rest of the carrots for dinner. We can have the carrot for dinner cant we dad?”

Between waving the carrot around to conduct the telling of the story and the small jig that accompanied it, i wondered if that was it.. it seemed there was supposed to be more to this carrot than just simply being not enough carrots to go around.. surely. Something seemed to be conspicuously missing. It was the carrot itself… now that i come to think of it. It really was a weathered carrot,  almost sad looking,. It would certainly put me off my vegetables if it were to have graced my plate. I almost felt pity for the carrot .. or what turned out to be only a part of a carrot.. hence the middle (part) of the carrot. I could not help think that this carrot could have been so much more. Its “carrotiness” seemed to have been snatched from it leaving behind a clichéd empty shell of a carrot. It looked like a carrot all right,  just not all quite there. It could have been glorious during its prime in a salad drizzled with vinaigrette… or raunchily drenched in ranch. It seemed robbed of its destiny,.. if carrots believed in that sort of thing. Karmic carrots…. now theres a thought.

I wouldn’t have felt too bad for the carrots sacrifice in the hands of a second graders science class if when asked just what it was about the carrot that was the object lesson for the day, the reply didn’t come quite simply as a shrug…. followed by “the science of carrots.”.

That was it. no more, no less. Just “the science of carrots”.

Carrot science…. that brought a smile to my face. It was as simple as that being seven. I supposed it should have mattered. After all, this was school,.. school mattered, lessons mattered, this carrot had to have mattered ..but it didnt.. it did not have to, not in the least.. i wasnt even sure why.. Being seven mattered right then.  I almost understood what it was all about. I so wanted to understand,.. to realise,… to reach back and rediscover that small part so repressed, so eroded down by the passing of  time and age, that unconstrained spark that resides in every seven year old.

It was never the carrot, but everything about the carrot.

Its said realisation is the first step down the path to any destination. Its true. The unconstrained mind is a hard thing to consider after a lifetime of molding by the seasons,.. yes, forty does seem like a blessed lifetime…., but who’s counting anyway.  The constant trudge up the parabolic slope of age only ever more reasserts firmly the denial of the difficulty of the incline (or should I say the decline..) that lays ahead. Why would we ever wake up the next morning otherwise. The last bit is hardest. What are we if not a product of our environment.. We think between bars and dream in shackles, we just dont realise that we do.. we are all subconsciously conditioned in some form or another. It creates structure and coherence, shaping the being that makes us very simply who we are…. the “me”, the very essence of the primordial “I”. Its hard to perceive and easily dismissed.  Its just as difficult at some point to pay any mind to the seemingly unimportant, the mundane, the lilting hymn in A minor that scores the conscious present. Hear it often enough and we learn to ignore it.  Its too much focusing on the carrot instead of about the carrot.  No one ever truly gets the carrot. It’s a state of mind,.. with blinders on. Yet the pursuit of the carrot is undeniable, inescapable.. and relentless. What is it if not the carrot of eternal salvation? The carrot as we’ve seen through the ages can when left to its own nefarious devices demand blood, sacrifice and enforced hot white searing blinding faith…  And there is no shortage of carrots. Its tragic to the point of comedy.

No carrot should command  that much undivided attention. Ethereal or otherwise.

Its carrot purgatory, is what it is. You’ve got to bend light just to see around it. When it happens though, the revelation is positively embryonic.. the conception of the very idea of there could be an alternate view, something else, or maybe even nothing at all.. which is a notion that is even harder to grasp. Its clarifying moments like these that are far and in between, and I for one could certainly do with more of them. To take in the broader view, to inch the spiral up and out of the demon hole, to maybe pause and smell the roses whilst dancing the jig of life..  Its all very dramatic, I’ll admit, but the revelation is no less spectacular. What would be the point of the journey then if not some sense of enlightenment all brightly wrapped with ribbons in the form of a small victory. Im all for small victories. Every one counts. Im not surprised that the unconstrained mind gets waylaid on the journey out.. its fraught with distraction of interpretation and self discovery. We could be just as lost once found.

The destination? The realisation coupled with the journey defines the destination… Navigating the pitfalls of the cluttered psyche and the traps a lifetime of achieving some sort of perfection has set in place requires maybe that bit of defocus, its in the getting lost in the point of it all that we can truly be found, to appreciate a new perspective. Thats carrot science right there. Its not easy to let oneself get lost. Control is power. Love, hate, sugar, spice, everything nice.. its all control. Relinquishing control is simply counter intuitive. Yet we do, in various degrees when we are absolutely compelled to… enticed by a big enough carrot…. damn.

Eureka moment right there.  i couldn’t help myself, thats all I could think off in that moment… carrot science. Every conscious or subconscious decision that’s made for a carrot defines us. Its not like that can be avoided, forks in the journey of life come aplenty… small, large, three tines, four… salad.. or not,.. to dig into the options of carrots, choose one and move on.

What carrot science isnt, is being hampered by what tentamounts to the insignificant, that would bog things down considerably.  Yet, the insignificant can occasionally be pertinent. Its to acknowledge it, then marginalize it. Thats the trick. The process gets better over time. Instinctual, to the point that we forget to maybe take a conscious stock of what defines the carrot. Object lesson… its not the carrot, its all about the carrot . Its what defines the carrot,.. the devil is in the details. And that defines us. We make better choices.

The beauty of being seven is that everything is as important as unimportant. It’s a level playing field with a unique perspective that we lose over time. Bit of a shame really.

Carrot science aside,  it was time to give the carrot some other purpose, save what ever little dignity it had and impart some regular school science regarding carrots that a certain seven year old maybe should have paid more attention to in class.



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