This is a raisin. I have written raisin beside it as I do realise that there could be some confusion. It does look just a tad like a rabbit poo or some other less-than-charming item. Rest assured it is indeed an innofencive dried fruit of the grape persuesion.
Ok, why has she photographed a raisin? Well guys, the other day I went to a Mindfulness group (knew I should have turned left for the flower arranging) and the raisin was the star.
Since nobody knew what Mindfulness actually was, the group leader (and I use that title lightly as he appeared a little confused as well) instructed us to take part in the 'Raisin excercise'. Everyone took 2 raisins from a bowl. He then told us to hold one in each hand, really study the wrinkled out fruit (and hope it doesn't take offence at such a personal description), look at it close up, move it further away, roll it in your fingers, squish it a bit. Now for the exciting stuff, lift it up to your ear and listen to your raisin (still with me here?), then smell the raisin, breath the raisin (resist temptation to stuff it up your nostril like a four year old and go screaming to A & E for handsome doctorly assistance. You are now to put this raisin down, and, taking the unfondled raisin that you were holding in the other hand (health and safety here) and pop it in your mouth. Hold it there, feel it, embrace it's wrinkliness, it's texture. now taste it, eat it so, so, so slowly and swallow it (you are knackered by this time). Now feel it going down your throat and follow it's journey towards your stomach. He stops at this point as the thought of gastric juices and bowel movements might just be taking all this mindfulness a tad too far.
You were then left clutching a seriously sticky raisin in one hand and hosting a slightly bemused expression about the face.
What was all this about? Well apparently we none of us experience the real world in real time and need to appreciate the 'now' and 'feel' things as they happen. Basically take a bit of time out to appreciate things and look at them. Mindfulness is living in the 'now', not harking back to the past and not worrying about the future. It is not stressing and God forbid that you should over-react in any way, as the word 'over' is in some way offensive as it would mean that something was not right. Lets keep it all nice and gentle and flowery and, hang on there, isn't this a hark back to the 60s and 70s? Shouldn't there be kaftans and tinkly bells and maybe a joss stick or two.
People were now smiling, nodding and looking at each other and saying things like "Oh I get it", "Don't judge by appearances, life is sweet", "I must appreciate the small things". There was a dodgy moment when I thought we might be asked to actually sing the praises of the damn raisin.
Is it me, was I the only person who thought 'What a crock', was I the only one there who had ever looked closely at anything before, surely not. I tend to spend most of my time scrutinising things anyway and thinking if they'd either (a) make a nice photo with interesting detail, or (b) be something interesting to remember and talk about here, or (c) is there something for my writing file.
It was all a bit 'let's contemplate out navels', maybe Julia Roberts latest film is already creating a wave of new thoughtfulness and awareness in our sourroundings and living conditions. Get zen, get ballanced.
Everyone was then asked to sum up in one word what they thought of the meeting. Comments ranged from 'Happy' to 'Releived' to 'Relaxed', mine, alas was 'Disapointed'. It could have been worse.
Really should have turned left for the flower arranging instead.