Years ago, a jewelry customer thanked me for my services, then excused himself to go to his car to retrieve something. He was a fruit vendor by trade, and returned with small bag of apples. He reached into the bag, pulled out a large greenish-red Gala, and handed one to my wife and another to myself.
“Do you like apples?” He began with a confident voice. “These are my gift you. They are the sweetest, crunchiest, most delicious apples you will ever eat in your life.”
My wife and I each took a bite. While we were still chomping, the man looked into our eyes and said, “I would like to ask each of you, have you ever eaten an apple as wonderful as these homegrown Galas hand-picked from Washington state?”
My wife’s eyes opened wide with excitement. I mumbled something signifying pleasure. As we each swallowed, there was no doubt we had shared the same experience – we had each partook of the world’s greatest flavor. The colorful fruit had transformed into the nectar of the gods.
“Thank you for helping me,” the man said as he walked out the door. “Enjoy your apples.”
The amazing thing is, to this day, I cannot recall eating an apple as wonderful as that Gala. If I had scientifically examined it, would it have been sweeter or crisper than any other apple, or was it wonderful only because I believed it to be so? Did my ears translate the conviction of the man’s voice into reality? Did my eyes see the vivid colors of the fruit, which my brain in turn interpreted as a culinary sensation? Did the sawing penetration of my teeth alert my mind to be prepared for a heavenly experience? Did my brain send a signal to my taste buds which became acutely aware of taste?
Whether you are a scientist or a philosopher, I wonder what really happened that day. I continue to ponder about it, and wonder how that moment seeps into our lives and interactions with all things. The brief ordeal affected me profoundly, and I became convinced that we experience what we are persuaded to experience.
We also see what we want to see. We hear what we want to hear. We find what we want to find.
Chew on that for a while.
Copyright © 2014 Diamond Mike Watson
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