12 March 2012

... the muffled longing of a woman watching rain fall.

 (from a  short story by Amy Bloom)

This exquisite sentence has been baffling my mind since reading it - oh at least a week ago. It hums inside me while I take a break from working on this long dry paper on evidence levels in randomised controlled studies. Standing by my kitchen window watching the birds messing up the compost R spread on the vegetable beds yesterday. I am eating a banana, which gets me thinking of this time last year when I was translating the eco-feminism book. During a long editing session, one of the authors - the one who wanted me to help her cheat on her tax return - explained to me why eating bananas was bad for you. I forget why, maybe something about carbohydrates and sugar. Couldn't care less.
I don't particularly like bananas, not the ones we get here, dry and unripe, nothing like the little sweet ones we used to pick in the mornings from the slope behind the house in paradise. But I am a sucker for these fair-trade stickers, the promise that by eating bananas I am supporting some grand workers co-op deep in the jungle of Central America and I see a row of low but neat houses and kids running around and smiling workers coming along the hard mud path carrying big bunches of bananas still stuck to the branch.
Some years ago I was translating an exhibition catalog for a fairly famous painter who had spent a year on a tiny Pacific island playing to be Gaugin, a female Gaugin. One of her paintings was of a banana tree with ripening fruit and this magnificent purple blossom. The picture in the catalog was the wrong way around, with the blossom pointing upwards and of course I did the arrogant I-know-this-is-wrong routine and got them to reprint all of the catalogs. They probably still hate me. 

No rain today, none forecast all week. We will have to water those seed beds by Wednesday.


  1. It's so amazing to see bananas growing. And, yes, they taste so different. How can bananas be bad? We give them to our babies.

  2. I think she meant bad as in "they make you fat" and maybe also "they are not grown locally", but neither is coffee nor tea...

  3. Well, if you hadn't done "the arrogant I-know-this-is-wrong routine" then they probably wouldn't have been happy the mistake wasn't caught by you, because it couldn't have looked right!

    I've heard that bananas are bad for migraines. But very good for training. :)