Friday, December 19, 2008

The Floor is Covered With Tomatoes

“The floor is covered with tomatoes” my dinner companion exclaimed. And I turned to look … with the full expectation of seeing some significant ‘spillage,’ by either a patron (for the mode of service there relies on guests carrying their own trays to a table of their choosing), or perhaps a staff member of the establishment. But I immediately saw that what was ’expected,’ was not the case. In fact, what my Friend was pointing out, was the design of the carpet that we were surrounded by. The floor was, quite literally, covered with tomatoes. Big, bright, brilliant tomatoes. Tomato vines that carried the illustrated produce everywhere. There were whole tomatoes; slices of tomato; wedges of tomato; tomatoes seen from their tops; from their sides; bottoms; every possible angle and rendering of a tomato that One could envision … all around us. And I had never known that they were there until the light of Awareness illuminated them to my mind. And I was struck with a realization.

“Doctor Alfred Adler was, once again, right!” I offered. And, as you might expect, my Friend responded with a questioning look. “This demonstrates, so clearly, the truth of what I was fortunate enough to learn, from that late, great Viennese physician (credited as the Father of the theory of “Individual Psychology“), named Alfred Adler. Doctor Adler put forth the theory that states that “Nothing exists … or is ’a Reality’ … to us, until, and unless, we accept it into our individual ’Realm of Phenomenological Awareness.’ Just as that sea of tomatoes that we have had all about us, each and every time that we have dined here, did not exist as a reality to us until you just brought them into your own ’Realm of Phenomenological Awareness,’ and shared their existence, with me. We now know that the name of this restaurant is carried through in the flooring design that we will, never again, be unaware of.” (The name [I know that you are just dying to know, so, My Dear Reader, I will tell you] … is “Sweet Tomatoes.” [grin]) “This illustrates … perfectly … Doctor Adler’s theory.” I continued.

“We all have, at our command, the ability to be cognizant of … or remain oblivious to … every-Thing, and every-One that we share our world with, in every second of our lifetime. And, as you just saw demonstrated in my going over to tell that other Diner how beautifully evident her loving Spirit was, as it was reflected in her countenance … and how her countenance, and its grace, had touched and encouraged my Spirit. Then you saw and heard how a sweet moment of intimate sharing, of life and living matters, evolved from my recognition of a generous and kind Spirit in the young lady who looked after our dinner needs … when I expressed my appreciation of her … to her.”

“Those sorts of opportunities are possible only if and when I first embrace and make ‘Real’ (in my personal ‘Realm of Awareness’), that ‘Phenomenon’ that is that Person. They are, each, a “Tomato” (if you will). A ‘Tomato,” out of a sea of ‘Tomatoes’ surrounding us, that becomes a ’Real’ part of my own ’Reality’ when I chose to become aware … really aware … of them.” This is my mission. This is my quest. To see! To know! To integrate into, and make a vital part of, all that is my personal Truth and Reality, every element and aspect of Life, as I am blessed to be exposed to it.”

“So,” I went on, “you can see that to be judgmental of, or condemning of, your Self … or, heaven forbid, Others … with statements like … ‘How could you behave in that manner, given the circumstances?’ or “Don’t you know that your choices are inappropriate for, or disrespectful of [whatever the example is]?’ … is to make the assumption that you, or the other person in question, were actually aware of the reality of all that you are holding your Self or that One accountable for. When it may very well be, the actual Fact, that those Circumstances or Elements of what you are so aware of at the moment of judgment … simply were not in existence in your own Being or theirs. They, or You, quite simply did not know of the ‘Tomato’ in question, at that moment of decision-making, word-speaking, or notice-taking,” though the big, ripe, red 'Tomato of Circumstance or Fact' is glaringly and unavoidably obvious now.

You see, My darling Reader, there is just so much ‘life-stuff’ demanding a place on our proverbial ‘plate of consideration,’ that for some observer to miscalculate our state of awareness … on any matter … is an altogether very likely possibility … even probability! Hence, I would encourage my Self … and You … to try a bit of respectful consideration with ourselves. A mite of tenderness, perhaps. I would whisper a gentle suggestion to notice some possibilities … some aspects of a situation … some ‘Tomato’ that just may not have been known to us prior to this particular moment in our journey. And instead of issuing an indictment for past failures to think, or speak, or behave in some better fashion … allow some Grace and patient Accommodation that will encourage progressive steps of healthy growth, development, and ultimately … flourishing instead.

This is easily possible … for us all. We can each be a bit more attentive to Life’s opportunities to nurture, forgive, encourage, give succor, and, yes … even love. Those ‘Tomatoes’ of opportunity cover the respective floors of our lives … waiting … wanting … yearning for our notice … and embracing of them. I genuinely hope that You, Dear One, will tenderly give your Self permission to acknowledge new awakenings and revelations in your personal world … every day. I give you my loving promise … You will like the experience … A LOT!

I love You.

10 comments:

Classic Charm said...

This brings to mind something that happend to me over 10 years ago. I was at a job interview...it was the 3rd person I was meeting with that day...had already met with 2 other previously. I felt good...all was going well...THEN...while waiting for the 3rd interviewer I glanced down at my feet and realized I had worn a black pump and a navy blue pump...from that moment on my heart began pounding...I could not concentrate...yet until I has noticed it...all was well...

After the interview, I quickly ran to buy a new pair of shoes to wear for the remainder of the day...and to this day I wonder if anyone else had ever really noticed.

Hugs,
Rose

Suldog said...

This strikes me as ridiculously funny, John-Michael. Not because of your lovely thoughts here, which are worthy of much praise, but because I just now re-published some stuff over at my place in which I call myself a dumb bastard over and over.

(Of course, I followed it up with a re-print of a piece in which I extol my virtues unduly. That's just me - all or nothing thinking personified.)

Anyway, thanks for the great insight. I wasn't really aware of Mr. Adler before now. I'll have to do some reading.

Suza said...

The timbre of our self-talk is so crucial, isn't it? We can quickly fold under self-criticism or equally blossom with self-encouragement.

We frequently walk through life unaware of what others see and feel, yet, at the same time, wonder why others are unaware of our senses and feelings.

Thank you for this very thought-provoking post, John-Michael, especially at this time of year when the discord of the inevitable hustle and bustle jangles our souls and we would rather be soothed with the harmony of peace, joy and stillness. I wish that harmony for You this Christmas season.

San said...

Your tomato metaphor is a juicy one, John-Michael.

;-o

Annette said...

I love how you write, I wish I could use words in a manner that you do, that keeps me reading for more...I wonder all the time what society thinks of me, on one hand do I care? absolutely not, on the other I do! and why is this? when in all reality I should be the only one caring about my self, I know my heart and soul, and it's a loving one, I must say, I don't care for at all any judgmental or prejudice. I came back for more excellent reading, and Thank you!
Hugs
Annette

John-Michael said...

Reminds me of the well-worn adage about the blissfulness of not knowing, Rose, My Dear. It would seem that awareness can carry a load of discomfort, in some situations.

My awareness of all that is the sweetness of our friendship is most certainly something that I do relish and enjoy though. And your "Hugs" are always a treat.

Lovingly ...

John-Michael said...

I often suggest that "anything worth doing ... is worth overdoing" Jim, Dear SulDog Friend. And your delightful propensity for toying with the 'extremes' is something that I rejoice in and happily celebrate. I thank you for your sharing of your immeasurable depth of character and caring ... thinly veiled behind a delicious mist of mirth and clever wit.

Lovin' Ya ...

John-Michael said...

You, Dearest Suza, bring such joy and gladness into my little bit of a world, that I bask in and and find great joy in the light of your lovely Presence. Thank you for your generosity and kindness of Spirit. I do appreciate You.

lovingly ...

John-Michael said...

I choose to invite my Self as being included in the fabulous 'salad' of your beautiful life, Sweet San. A place there would be a happy place, indeed!

Lovingly ...

John-Michael said...

Your "Hugs", Darling Annette, are accepted and returned with my Heart's grateful appreciation of the obvious wonder of your gentle Spirit. You bless me with the richness of the caring Soul that is You. I am so glad that Life gave us the Gift of each other. I like it! [smile]

Lovingly ...

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