Thousands Upon Thousands of Eco-Warriors, That’s My End Game. Passion Fruit and Amphibian Eyes.
September 17, 2021
This is passion fruit. In Vietnamese it’s called chanh da^y roughly in my Vietnamese translated to lemon of the vine or lemon of the rope/string. I’ve had passion fruit flavored processed food before, and I saw it plentiful in Peru – but I’d never tasted it. I never tasted it until yesterday. The smell of fresh passion fruit is sweet and sticky. It’s color is yellow and beautiful and it looks like there are a hundred little frog eyes looking at you. At least that is what I thought when I was with my mom yesterday. She had been gifted a big bag of passion fruit from my sister-in-law’s garden. She doesn’t like to eat it, but my father loves it. She was taking out the innards of the passion fruit, and this is what it looked like.
My mom asked me if I wanted to taste it. And I told her I had tasted it a thousand of times. I really thought I had. I must have been confused in my modern world go-go know-it-all MD brain. I told her repeatedly. But then I stopped, and after looking at the beautiful sky outside of her house that sits above the ocean that I love – I came back in from the outside second story deck and said to her, “Mommy. Can I try some?” I tried it, and it was so sour! I made a very sour face, and I did finish them all and spit out the seeds and I laughed. I laughed and said, “There is no way I’ve tried it before. It is so sour???!!!” But it’s a wonderful kind of alive kind of sour. Isn’t that funny?
And then I posted on our HMO physician facebook page because this moment sparked a creative leap I have for a big work project. And this moment gave me another metaphor.
“I went to my mom’s house after work, and I had one of those moments. My sister-in-law has a lot of passion fruit, and even our house my mother-in-law has a beautiful vine going. In Vietnamese it’s called chanh da^y loosely translated to lemon on the vine, or something like that. In English it’s called passion fruit. I thought I had tasted it but I have never tasted fresh passion fruit (or chanh da^y) before without sugar. It’s sour! This makes so much sense because it’s literally called lemon in Vietnamese. I laughed so hard and had a moment with my mom when I was trying to make sure I sucked on each last bit of sour taste. And it was wonderful and prolific and easy to grow and I’ll give you a vine cutting it you want. And indeed Dan Spencer had told me about passion fruit before but I had never really understood and he did some really big things for children and the earth yesterday which I’ll let people know after it’s done, because we’ll write a bit press release for the AAP. Passion fruit is sour. How’s that for a powerful metaphor for life. To me the innards look like benevolent amphibian eyes.”
A picture of our two UC Berkeley students at the opening UC Berkeley AMSA meeting. Both Vivian and Ashley are from San Diego, and working with me remotely and they tagged me on Instagram @drplasticpicker and they are really gorgeous inside and outside and I thought their eyes looks like the seeds of the passion fruit.