I just wanted to ask you a few questions if you don’t mind?
That is strange. No one ever asked me any questions before.
Well, would you mind if I did?
Sure. No problem.
I won’t bother you for long.
Well I am just curious, how is it just hanging out there all day and night long?
What do you mean?
Just hanging there from the vine. Going nowhere. Doing nothing. How is it?
I don’t know if it is accurate to say that I am going nowhere and doing nothing. Every minute I am gradually going more and more towards my end. My decomposition. I am also very engaged with everything that is going on around me. It is all so wonderful! But to answer your question, just hanging out here is wonderful! I love it!
Absolutely. It is wonderful just hanging here. Spending my day and night watching all the things that happen around me. The birds, the light, the dark, the sounds, the other tomatoes and vegetables growing- it is really a wonderful experience just hanging here.
Yes! Why are you so surprised?
I don’t know. I would think it must get pretty boring just hanging there. Don’t you have a desire to do something? To go somewhere? To become something?
I don’t think I fully understand your question but I am completely satisfied as I am hanging here. Why would I have a desire to do something or be something if I am already happy as I am?
Because isn’t there more to your life than just hanging there? Don’t you want to do something with your life?
You humans are strange creatures. Other tomatoes have told me about about humans. I have never talked to a human though so now I am starting to see what the other tomatoes mean when they say that humans are mean.
Mean? What makes you think this?
From what I have been told humans can never settle down. They are continually looking to do something else. Be something else. They are always on the go. Always looking to fill themselves up with some sort of meaning. This means that humans almost always feel incomplete as they are. This feeling of being incomplete, of things not being right enough, can cause someone to be very mean.
Hmmm. Yeah I guess you are right. Humans can be very mean. We have to make an effort to be nice and kind. We have to read books, meditate, become more religious or spiritual in order to be nicer.
Yes. Humans have to really learn how to be satisfied as they are. I have been told that everything in the human world is about achieving, possessing, consuming, doing. I am very grateful that I don’t have to do any of that. I have everything I need just hanging here. Sunlight. Nutrition. Beauty. Calm. I am completely satisfied and so are all the other tomatoes!
That is nice.
Yes! Have you ever met a mean tomato? Have you ever met a tomato that is stressed out, has started a fight or a war?
Not that I know of.
That is because there are no tomatoes like that. We are all very happy and content. I suppose the only thing that we ever really get down about is our gradual decomposition.
What do you mean by this?
Well, tomatoes do not have a very long life span. If humans pick us and eat us that is the best way for us to conclude our lives. We can contribute to the the health and well-being of someone other than ourselves. This is an honor for us. But if we are not picked from the vine what will normally happen is that we will decompose within a month or so. We gradually lose our bright red or green color and begin the process of shriveling up. Like that tomato over there. See him? He is almost gone. Soon he will fall to the ground and disintegrate into the soil.
Aren’t you sad about this?
Not at all. It is the way that our life goes. We all understand that we are on this trajectory. That we will all be eaten or decompose into the soil. It is just the way it goes. Perfectly normal. I think this is why we enjoy our lives so much! We are aware of how short our time is. We know that decomposition is happening right now and so we fully enjoy just hanging here and being fully present with our brief lives. It is a very wonderful thing to be hanging here right now.
That is great. I don’t really know what to say. Other than a few Buddhists, this seems very different from how humans live. It seems like we totally forget about our inevitable ending. We live in denial and as a result are always trying to achieve and do all kinds of things. We stress out over the smallest things and forget about the fundamental beauty that is our lives. I think we are continually addicted to distracting ourselves from just being present with our lives. We have these insatiable appetites. Always trying to get more and more meaning.
I know. This is what other tomatoes have told me. Do you do this?
I am afraid I do. Even today, I feel very sad. The kind of sadness that causes some people to put a bullet in their head.
Oh no! That is terrible!
I know. I don’t really know why I feel this way, it is just how I feel right now.
Any idea why?
I suppose it is because I feel like my life is not good enough. That I am not living the life that I want to be living. I don’t always get along with my wife and do not have any other friends. I just live a very lonely life and I often pretend to be ok with everything. I don’t know, just maintaining the life I am living is very hard. I have to do all sorts of things that I do not want to be doing. It feels painful and sad. I also work as a therapist and I think I take on a lot of other people’s sadness. In a way I feel the sadness of the human world.
I see. Well I would recommend just hanging out. I would recommend that you stop thinking about all of it and just get back to being present with your life. Notice the sunny day. Notice that you are breathing and alive. Notice the sounds that you are hearing. Notice how wonderful it is to just be alive without worrying about anything. To just let yourself hang out. Watch the sun move across the sky.
Yes. When I can do this it feels really nice. Us human can get so preoccupied with needing to accomplish and fix things. Needing to be something or do something other than just appreciating being alive.
I know. This is why you guys can get so mean. It is a very unhappy way of being alive because you are never really fully alive.
So, for today at least, I will try and be more like a tomato. I have things that I need to do and get done but I will still try and just hang out. Just live my life without worrying or judging things too much.
Yes. Because this life is going to end. We all have to leave this wonderful place. It is such a magical place, this earth and this life. We should just hang out and let ourselves be satisfied by it before our time is up. Watch the bees and the birds. Appreciate the things we see and smell and hear and taste. If we can just hang out, this is how we can have a wonderfully satisfying and happy life.
It is hard in the human world since we have set up our society where there is so much to maintain and so much to support. It leaves little time for just hanging out.
One tomato once told me that some of the nicer human beings are the ones who are homeless or have a lot less.
Yes. I can see how this would be true. We really complicate things with everything we own. We have to maintain our things, afford them, do things we do not want to do to keep our homes and favorable reputations. Humans have created a very difficult world for themselves.
I know. It is sad to see how much humans have to hustle all around. I watch all those airplanes flying over head all the time and think it is so sad to see. This need to always be on the go and travel at high speeds, it is a very sad things. It keeps humans so unhappy and before they know it their life is at the end and they feel like they have not really lived much.
For never having talked with a human you sure seem to know a lot about us!
Well, there are some other older tomatoes who have spoken to me a lot about humans. Tomatoes are very interested in humans and some older tomatoes know a lot. A tomato can learn a lot by just hanging out and observing.
Seems to be so. Well, I guess that is all I wanted to ask you about. I can’t really think of anything else I want to say or ask you. I think we have covered it all.
Yes. It was really informative getting to speak with you. I will let you get back to hanging out in the afternoon sun.
It is wonderful! Thanks for talking with me. You don’t seem like such a mean human. I hope that you can feel a little less sad today. I hope you can be a little happier now.
Thank you tomato. Enjoy your hanging out.
Oh I will!
(you reader can’t see me right now but I wanted to let you know that I am smiling and I am a bit teary-eyed. was nice getting to speak with a tomato. i feel very lucky.)