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  • On Being Fruitful

  • Word Warrior

    Member
    May 11, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    A tiny little poppy seed.

    A tiny little poppy seed.

    That’s how big you are. I can’t wrap my mind around it. You’re…you’re tiny. But you’re real. And you’re inside me. And you’re all mine.

    You grow. You grow so quickly, from tiny, nearly invisible bagel topping to the size of a bagel crumb. A bagel hole.

    My app buzzes every week with the exciting revelation that you have grown again. Now you are the size of a grape, now you’re as big as a clementine, an apple, a banana, a mango. You’re a veritable fruit smoothie and the world is bright and colorful.

    The weeks pass, and fruit smoothies are all I can think of- and all I can eat.

    I try ginger in every form known to man. I’ve grown to love fruits and vegetables because they make me think of you, but this is one piece of vegetation that makes me ill just hearing its name. Everything makes me ill. The days are long, full of summer sunshine and sparkling with dreams and fun… for everyone else. Your father goes swimming at his friends pool and brings me an ice cold smoothie when he comes home. My friends and family vacation wildly, eat good food. I lay in bed as weight competes to leave me quicker than all hope. I’m depressed and miserable and I wonder why anyone would want this.

    I cannot do anything. Until we finally find a medicine that works, I can only eat smoothies and drink blue Gatorade.

    Everything else refuses to stay inside me. And for one heart-stopping moment, that almost includes you.

    It’s on Friday night, a brightly lit Sheva Brachos in the middle of nowhere, and I panic. The world screeches to a halt as everything turns black and white. Your father and I venture into the dark, still night, to find the local doctor who can give us hope. He answers the door only as we’ve already given up, and we turn back to see the harsh light illuminate his pale face, he seems half asleep, maybe drunk. He shakes his head and tells us bluntly that it’s over.

    We learn that he is waging his own battle with a child who he desperately wants to keep, and we refuse to give up just because he has.

    Tight-lipped and terrified, we return to our hosts. A saint in the guise of a Hatzalah volunteer paints white into our shadowy gray and promises us that all will be ok, that you will be ok, that you are still ours. I promise Hashem that I will love you if He just lets this mans words be true. In the darkness of the night, I realize I would eat nothing but smoothies forever if it means I get to have you. We wait for hours in an empty ER, and suddenly, just like that, the world bursts into color again as bright red, orange and green fills the screen; we’re told that you’re still here, growing like you do, still the size of a mango.

    Our beautiful little mango!

    Oh, how you grow after this! The medicine kicks in and I’m ok again. I watch with delight as you blossom and flourish; larger and larger, a cantaloup, a pineapple, a mini-watermelon. I cherish each day with you, laugh as you begin to squirm and wiggle when I lay down to go to sleep. I count the weeks, and then the days. Suddenly, you’re the size of a watermelon. I can’t believe it. You’re real. You’re inside me. And you’re all mine. I can’t wait to meet you!

  • Anagrammer

    Member
    May 11, 2020 at 10:51 pm

    Wow! Love the metaphor! Your way with words really pulls the reader into your experience. And the title made me smile, noticing it at the end. 🙂

  • Passionate Pen

    Member
    May 11, 2020 at 11:28 pm

    I love how you took such a delicate situation and put it in a humorous light! Great piece!

    May you only see Nachas 😉

  • HappiWriter

    Member
    May 12, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    wow! It’s beautiful.

    brought tears to my eyes!!

    May you only have nachas and joy!!

  • B’WRITE

    Member
    May 12, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Love the carefree light u painted the sitch in, so light and touching!

  • riva pomerantz

    Administrator
    May 12, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    So moving and so masterfully built–the light style works very well to carry the reader along some very tough times. Your optimism and good humor shines through in the most astounding way. This baby is very lucky to have such a resilient, upbeat mama, b’ezras Hashem!

    Did you intend to put it under Critique, or is it okay if I move this to Showcase so it gets the attention it deserves in our separate Showcase section?

  • Word Warrior

    Member
    May 13, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks for all the feedback, everyone! This just came pouring out of me. To be honest, being pregnant was at first obviously the most glorious experience and then the nasuea and the scare were some of the most terrifying times. I wanted to get critique on how to better portray those rough times but the feedback seems to say this is light, cute, fun…i don’t know how I feel about that. But I guess it works?

    I’m not sure myself how I would edit it- this is a rough, raw, first draft, unedited besides for a few tweaks on fruit names 🙂 I just went with what flowed. I’d love to publish it maybe at the end of Family First column, as one of those personal essays. Is it good enough, does it portray the journey well?

    That’s what I wanted critique for. If it’s deemed good, sure, let’s move it to showcase 🙂 And I’ll be asking for advice on how to submit 🙂

     

  • Fiction Fangirl

    Member
    May 24, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    Hello Word Warrior,

    Your story concept is so heartwarming and imaginative, I was taken by the lightness of your newly bubbled bliss.  I’ve been writing some pretty dark pieces lately, but your piece had me thinking about “What if I include the four seasons, five senses, and some color into the mix?” Needless to say, I’ve become deeply inspired to commit to some fanfiction (taking an original piece of art and doing your own spin on it).  To quote Aster, I know not what had come over me:

    On Being Fruitful

    It is summer, and you start as a poppy seed.

    Big enough to call us parents; hard to fathom how small you’re inside of me. You grow quickly, a crumb solidifying into a bagel hole as we grill sweet corn and bike in the cricket-filled nights. Soon, you’re a sweet pea. A cluster of tart blackberries.

    Fall comes; we boil apples and oranges and stir the cider with cinnamon sticks. When the cold blows in, you’ll grow larger than the winter fruit in my warm drink. I build the first snowman of the season while thinking you’re about the size of the carrot jammed into the snowman’s face. We press in several raisins to form a smile. It’s fun to dream and play.

    We sip ginger tea near the crackling fireplace; it’s supposed to make me feel better. I miss the pucker of summer lemonade and swap the sweet memory with a drizzle of honey and squeeze of lemon. The nausea swirls like the colorful smoothie bowls popping up on Instagram these days. We laugh.

    Why not try and replicate fruit art?

    Blend the remainder of summer into a frozen treat. In goes the blueberries, fuzzy peaches, and slivered strawberries. We dip our spoons in and scrape the bowl while standing at the kitchen island. My feet hurt because you’re ripening into a heavy mango I can’t quite grow accustomed to. The cool slush that freezes my tongue is the only thing I will be able to keep down in the coming months.

    The black thunderstorms dwindle to blue-purple rain, so we know it’s spring. We watch for tulips to sprout and butterflies to kiss the fennel and dill bulbs nestled in the window planter. The neighborhood children giggle while toeing their reflections in puddles and pull their tricycles out of the garages. They’re impatient to capture the first spring sunshine, and so are we. We can finally open the windows again and inhale the green of freshly mowed meadow until our eyes tear. Apparently, you’re also anxious to stretch your cramped limbs because we nearly lose you. You’re ready to tumble out of your little basket, but we’re not. We cry because you’ve stopped kicking. The local doctor believes it’s over. You’re the size of a cabbage head, flavorless layers of leaves. A crop gone wrong.

    It doesn’t matter that I carried you for several seasons and watched you blossom into life. Was it too much to hope for a full harvest?

    There are two colors in the emergency room: White curtains that are whisked around me, and mint be-scrubbed nurses. I am cold, so I pretend you’re a warm rhubarb pie cooling on the counter, the first of the season. I try to imagine staining my fingers pink to cut a slice but can’t. We are told to wait; we’ve waited so long already. We pray to merit the fruits of our labor, and we do. Because suddenly, you’re back.

    Our little pumpkin.

    You’re thirsty. You drink and grow as the sidewalk fills with chalk art and bunnies poke out of raspberry shrubs. You’re round as a watermelon now; your wiggles and squirms tell me it’s almost time. Almost time to hold you close when spring will bleed into the blaze of summer, and I will look back and marvel at the blessing of being fruitful.

  • Word Warrior

    Member
    May 24, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    This made me giggle and squirm 🙂 My baby is bH cooing in the background as I read this, such a nice accompaniment to her colorful story .

    I’m completely flattered and terrified at the same time. Wow. Thank you, I guess? I’m glad my writing inspired you. It’s also terrifying to see my work being totally like, turned on its head. Re-interpreted. But beautiful, different…wow. Like, it suddenly isnn’t me, it’s someone else. But still me? Huh.

    This is a really cool experience.

    I’m gonna let this ruminate for a while.

    Thanks for taking the time to do this 🙂

  • Fiction Fangirl

    Member
    May 24, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    Oh how delightful to hear baby is cooing in the background as you write!  I am tickled pink?.

    I must say this was an awfully strange experience for me too.  Haven’t done it before but I hope you realize how powerful your piece was to excite me into taking it in and watching it unfold through a different lens.  I hope you view my admiration as something not to be terrified of!  Thank you for this awesomely cool experience.  Now go churn out some more stuff!  I’ll keep back from fangirling this time ‘round ?.

  • Word Warrior

    Member
    May 24, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    You really did a phenomenal job, please don’t take offense. I was simply giving an honest, first-take reaction to being studied, analyzed and stylized. I gotta say, it’s really weird but in a way, it’s kinda like being a mom. It’s 100% mine but it takes on a life of its own, ay?

    With a name like Fiction Fangirl I’m surprised this is your first rodeo- share more of your work too! I love it! I’m currently churning out something indeed 🙂 I’ll share soon iyH!

  • Elisheva Halle

    Member
    May 25, 2020 at 12:09 am

    Love this…beautiful writing and engaging!

  • Fiction Fangirl

    Member
    May 25, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    Thank you, Elisheva!  Thank Word Warrior :)!

  • Kayla-Oppenheimer

    Member
    May 26, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    Word Warrior, I wrote you a whole long comment on my smart phone and with one click of a button, promptly lost it. So here goes, see if I can remember what I wrote.

    The first thing that struck me was the metaphor of growth through imagery of fruit and right throughout the piece you kept that thread running. It’s a very compelling and, as you say, raw, piece of writing. Also the same metaphor of fruit that you follow through with curiosity and imploding joy, becomes your nemesis when the nausea and much more kicks in. There is an authenticity to this writing, when you’re happy, you’re happy, when you’re feeling rotten, the reader feels too. The euphoria of finding out that all is not lost, it’s like reading a spinning ride on a very fast rollercoaster of emotions and feelings.  The nice thing is you’ve taken the reader with you so that he or she can totally imagine the waves of emotions you’re feeling. I also like how describe what is essentially unknown to you with all the tiny details, and going from the tiniest non-existent to slightly more viable and then you skip back to the hole in the bagel, again this depicts for me the breathless bliss even though everything is so hidden, but growing nonetheless.

    You grow. You grow so quickly, from tiny, nearly invisible bagel topping to the size of a bagel crumb. A bagel hole.

    My app buzzes every week with the exciting revelation that you have grown again. Now you are the size of a grape, now you’re as big as a clementine, an apple, a banana, a mango. You’re a veritable fruit smoothie and the world is bright and colorful.

    The idea of using fruit to describe both size and growth is innovative and the fruit you choose makes your description visual. I love the smoothie association, fits perfectly into this sentence.

    And again the same smoothie imagery that brought you such pleasure at the beginning is turned on its head when nothing can tempt you to eat or drink anything:

    Your father goes swimming at his friends pool and brings me an ice cold smoothie when he comes home. My friends and family vacation wildly, eat good food. I lay in bed as weight competes to leave me quicker than all hope. I’m depressed and miserable and I wonder why anyone would want this.

    I love the contrast you’ve depicted here in the other side of the coin smoothie.

     

     

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