Thursday, August 30, 2007

Rotting Bananas

I only like bananas at a certain level of ripeness. If they're starting to speckle, I don't want them. These two bananas started to speckle last Friday.

I knew they were going bad. I'd glance at them as I walked through the kitchen multiple times a day; see them hanging on my white plastic banana tree. "I need to throw those out," I'd tell myself.

But I was in a hurry. Too busy with work and life to take care of a matter so small as spotted bananas.

This morning when I entered my kitchen, I walked smack dab into the middle of a swarm of fruit flies. (You knew this was coming, didn't you?)

The flies were everywhere. And the bananas had leaked a very dark brown sticky goo all over my counter. It had run under the telephone and behind a few knick-knacks I keep there. Ugh.

When the rotting bananas began to interfere with the rest of my life, I finally took action. But by then, it wasn't an easy clean-up. It wasn't just a matter of tossing them in the trash. There were flies. And goo. Did I say the goo was sticky? Like molasses! It took 10 minutes of scrubbing to get the goo up, and then I had to hit it with the Soft Scrub (with bleach) to get rid of the brown stain. The stain is still not quite gone. You can see it if you know where to look.

How many times in our lives do we let the bananas go bad, brushing aside those little nagging thoughts—to do something, change something, help someone—until it escalates to a crisis? Sometimes we get lucky and can make the mess and the stain disappear with determination and elbow grease. Sometimes, by the time we finally notice, it's too late to make it all better and we're stuck with permanent reminders of our failure to pay attention.

So I ask myself--and you, too--what are my personal, spiritual and emotional "bananas"? Am I ready to pay attention? Or am I going to wait, again, until the fruit flies gather?

Now Playing on my iPod: I Know That My Redeemer Lives


Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Wow -- at first I thought prime candidates for banana bread, but then you went on to describe their further decay. Yuck

Excellent analogy.

I read Eclipse last night. Loved it. I'd be interested to know what you thought when you're done.

Karlene said...

I actually finished Eclipse two weeks ago and have read two other books since then. I just haven't had time to write the reviews and I keep forgetting to change the photo in the sidebar.

We can discuss it on Saturday. :)

Becky said...

I have quite a *rotting* banana story. The *banana* in my life happened to be the final portfolio that all library students (students seeking a degree in library science) have to create--and have passed--in order to graduate. I didn't want to do it. I didn't want to do it. I put it off. I put it off. I really put it off. And then a few days before it was due, I read the assignment for the first time and panicked. Needless to say, I didn't graduate that semester, or the next, or the next, or the next. This *banana* was getting uglier, smellier, scarier, messier, just plain awful. I was becoming known as the girl who would never graduate simply because I was too freaked out about the portfolio. Anyway, I decided to give it to God. And a miracle happen. In the night, I thought of my opening paragraph to this project. And lo and behold...the portfolio happened. I finished at least a month before the deadline. It wasn't nearly as awful as I tried to make it out to be. Which taught me quite a few life lessons. First, putting things off doesn't make them go away. It doesn't make anything *better*, and it usually makes things worse.

Anna Maria Junus said...

I hate those fruit flies. I have them and no matter what I do they won't go away.

As for the bananas, next time just throw them in the freezer. When you're ready they'll be there for banana bread.

Kenna said...

My ENTIRE HOUSE is covered in DRIPPY BANANAS right now!!!!!!!!!!

Tristi Pinkston said...

Great, thought-provoking analogy, Karlene.

I'm not going to make it on Saturday and I'm unhappy about that. I've been fighting a fever (and losing) for the last 24 hours. I'm on a momentary respite and yes, headed straight for my computer. I'm compulsive.

Worst part is, tomorrow (or I guess today, by now) is my anniversary and we won't get to go on a date. Matt's given me a raincheck, but still -- a date on the actual anniversary would have been nice.

~paulette said...

dude... i will never look at rotting fruit the same, EVER again...
and what a comparrison to life! I actually had that happen to me once (had fruit rot to death) Except for mine was a pumpkin! EWWWWW...

see, i'm not the cook in the family; my husband is. And he likes to make those fresh pumpkin pies. so, one year he had a pumpkin sitting on the kitchen table for weeks... and i thought to myself, "isn't that gonna spoil soon?" but another couple weeks went by and the pumpkin disappeared... so, i thought he had taken care of it. either thrown it out or cooked it... SOMETHING. So... :( more weeks went by and something started to smell terrible in the kitchen! And sure enough, that stupid pumpkin had MELTED off the table and was now on the floor underneith it! (the table was against the wall and next to the shelf, and we have no children... and i avoid the kitchen as much as possible, so i didn't notice it) THAT was the worse clean-up i've ever had to do. (did you like my list of excuses though?) and it ended up staining the tile something horrid.

well, i guess i'll never forget it now. and every time the spirit prompts me to do something "now" that nasty image of melted pumpkin is gonna come back to mind! Thanks for the motivation, i guess... hehehhehe.... lol

Annette Lyon said...

After reading this a few days ago, what do I do? Let my bananas rot. Yes, today *I* had the messy goo to wipe up, and I thought of you the entire time. :)