A Tangible Moment

Sometimes, many times actually, it’s best to get out from behind the desk and feel the world. New York I enjoy most because of this.

After seeing Food Inc., the movie about where your food comes from and what the mass production of what we eat has done to us, my wife and I have gone Organic. Doing so, it takes us to a variety of Farmers Markers around the city in search of locally grown food. While picking though apples and roots of items I had never seen before, we came upon a man selling clams. Linguine and Clams. Instantly in both of our minds, drove us towards his stand.

He was selling left and right, telling people how to store them and what to do once they got home. Behind him was a picture of his boat, the very boat that went out and fished the clams. I started talking to him and asked him if that was indeed the boat that caught all of the clams and, if in fact, he was the very man who fished for these clams. He turned his hands over to reveal palms carved out – years of clamming had left their imprint on him.

“All week long, I clam out in that boat, then on the weekends, I come down and sell them. Different Farmers Markets around the city.” His face was light and happy, the work behind him just something he had done all of his life.

“Good life,” I said to him, “Out there in the fresh air and then seeing your work go off with others.”

“Something I’ve been doing all my life,” he said. “Though, right now my son is at a soccer game that I’m missing, but, without this, there wouldn’t be a soccer game I suppose.”

No expression changed in his face. There was history behind his words. We bought a dozen clams and I went to shake his hands. They were like nothing I’ve felt and I’ve been looking for ways to describe them. Glad there was no camera because now I can chew on it. I have been chewing on how to describe those hands since we bought the clams, but it hasn’t come to me yet.

However, those hands, the marks and indentations on the hands, are going to serve well as a balancing character. He might appear for only a few moments – perhaps a gas station attendant or something of that sort.

Hands carved by unmarked history. I like that. Let’s see if it sticks. That moment, that time from being out there and experiencing life instead of looking for it, has helped so much. All of these pieces are matching up perfectly. A person’s job in this life is inescapable. Amazing.

I remember reading Milan Kundera one – I think it was Immortality – where he talks about a movement of a girl in a swimming pool that started off his novel. How once simple movement can make it all happen. I think those hands would be amazing. Perhaps the hands of one of the taxi drivers in UL – that would work, but I would have to have them doing something other than fishing as UL is landlocked and that wouldn’t make sense. Farming. Something to that extent. I think that is one of the main themes to be explored in this next one:

The resources we use from the earth and how the effects of those resources leave historical imprints on our reality. Yes.


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