I’m participating in Momalom’s Five for Ten series. To read more lusty stories visit them here.
Today raspberries are my altared space. They helped me find my more-chasm. (I had the correct word written, but then thought about the spammers.) I denied myself the abundance of raspberries until a good friend showered me with them. That’s when I began to taste the juice in life.
I’d go to the grocery store and look at the raspberries. Red. Juicy. I loved how they all lay together in the carton bumping into one another, like it was a party there in the produce section; a place to belong.
But I failed to put them in my cart. Raspberries are expensive. It feels indulgent to fill my daily produce quotient on such a wild card. An apple. A grapefruit. These foods gave me some weight to justify my expenditure.
So I’d pass up the raspberries and put Snickers bars into my cart because I have a sweet tooth.
I have nothing against Snickers bars. Why do you think I buy them? But I can’t get intimate with a Snickers bar. They are full of sugar that has been refined and refined until everything natural is extinct.
Raspberries are real.
How do the little bumps of those berries stay together? They are not sewn. There is no sticky corn syrup holding those bumps together. It’s magic. It’s magnetic. The bumps belong to one another.
But they’re fragile.
If I put a raspberry on my finger and push too hard, it falls apart. This fragility makes it all the more delicious to me.
Intimacy is a fragile thing too. It is lumps of moments held together: like a hug from my husband while I’m slicing onions or watching him help with our teenager’s homework at the dining room table.
Intimacy is crafted in the tangle about money and the wrangled solution we finally arrive at 3 days later. It is his legs in my lap while Steven Colbert rambles past my bedtime.
I don’t know why but I’m a sucker for the mundane like when I chase him out to the drive way after he’s left and ask him if he’ll pick up milk on his way home, and then there is that one extra kiss goodbye. These are the things that make me fall in love and feel like I am part of something the way all the bumps in a bowl of raspberries are magically glued together.
I have a life full of raspberry bumps, but when it was time to play hide seek with my more-chasm I left the raspberries at the store and brought only Snickers under the sheets with me.
Sometimes I want the relief of something fake. I want to check out for a moment because even a good life can be exhausting. In the moments after meeting a work deadline or a long day in the garden a Snickers bar is exactly the right thing because it is escape for my mouth. I check out and fill with relaxation.
When it comes to my O, checking out is not the best plan. Checking in makes for easier seeking in that elusive game.
By leaving the husband-moments of onion slicing and money tangles, wrangles and eventual solutions out of my bedroom I could only taste Snickers bar sex. I just couldn’t bear to bring those moments into such a vulnerable place. I could be a body and go through the, albeit pleasurable motions. But I lacked that bumpy, juicy belonging I craved.
I don’t think of myself as a materialistic person. I hate shopping, especially for clothing, so I always considered myself above such things. But I’m not. The spiritual and the physical are as intertwined in me as my intestines. I sleep with a soft blanket and feel God’s presence.
Growing up, sensual pleasures were served to me like Snickers bars: refined and refined and refined until they’d lost all their juice. Sin was my main course. Guilt was the abundant fruit. By the time we got to grace it was just a bandaid, much like a Snickers bar. Grace allowed me to check out of the misery of my own depravity temporarily, but, eventually, I’d have to go back to the real world of food piled high with reasons to confess.
A more-chasm, at least for me, is not a thing unto itself. I mean it’s fine and all. But I’m looking to make love. I’m rarely there to check out for a minute and get a fix of pleasure to help me escape the rest of my life. I’m looking for the beginning: that place where love is born.
I found the connection in the grocery store. My dear friend went shopping with me one day and watched as I did my regular pining over the raspberries only to pass them by. “Why aren’t you getting raspberries? They look great.”
“Oh, they’re expensive, and you don’t really get very many mouthfuls for what you pay.”
“But clearly you love them.”
“I know, but it’s not a good value.”
And this is where I just couldn’t have been more wrong. Spending $10 on a mouth full of something you adore is superiorly more nourishing than 10 mouthfuls for $1. This is because the juice lingers.
The same friend bought 4 pints of raspberries that day and we went home and she said, “They’re all yours. Eat them any way you want.”
I ate them daintily one by one. Then with abandon by the handful. Finally, I ate them through tears. Relief.
It was Grace. Amazing Grace. The good things? They’re yours. Eat with abandon. Eat because it pleases you. Eat because it’s your favorite. Don’t count the cost.
This is what Love is. However I might succeed in articulating God it would go something like this.
I Lust after raspberries because I crave a juicy life. I want that more-chasmic feeling punctuating my days. That’s what Love does. It wakes me up. The world is sensual for a reason.
When I began eating raspberries with abandon my O was no longer so elusive. I’m not going to say I can find it all the time. I was well indoctrinated as a child: Lust and Love don’t belong in the same sentence let alone the same body.
But the gentle Love of raspberries is teaching me something different. It’s teaching me Life is a place to be happy. Life can be juicy and it’s OK.
Here’s what I’ve learned from raspberries and my more-chasm: intimacy grows from sensual joy. Sometimes I can’t get my whole self to arrive under the sheets and then I have to be satisfied with Snickers bar sex.
But when I can be willing to be fragile, to let all the bumps of me arrive in that vulnerable place, it’s red and juicy and it feels like Grace. Connection. Love. That’s because it’s real and not refined.
And then I belong. Like a bowl full of berries.
Do you ever struggle to bring all of yourself under the sheets?