A short time ago through Twitter I found a blog called What Shall I Draw? It's pretty self explanatory: you send the author a message or a comment and ask her to draw something for you. Then she draws it!
I wanted her to draw something for me, well, my main reason for asking her to draw was to see if she would actually do it. I also loved the idea of someone drawing something for me and also I loved the thought of someone doing it publicly. I could have asked her to draw a picture of me (from my blog, or something I could send her), a flower or something abstract. I wanted something unique. Something that maybe no one else had ever drawn before, something to which she had little to no reference except he imagination. An idea popped up right away, an event, but I imagined the real thing happening, not an artist's rendering of it.
I asked her to draw me a picture of an orange trying to peel itself. I don't know where that idea came from, though I was in the kitchen so maybe I had spotted the bowl of clementines or had eaten one earlier. I can't remember. It doesn't really matter; I'm just glad I thought of it. I thought about what an orange would look like, trying to peel itself. I didn't imagine a face. I didn't imagine there would be evidence of strain or apprehension because of the profound task at hand. I didn't even consider why an orange would want to peel itself, a concept particularly important when you consider that we peel oranges to eat them. If I had thought of that, I probably would have wondered why an orange would want to self-destruct. I would want to know if the orange was a sadist or a nihilist: maybe the orange felt its life was pointless without a purpose because its purpose means its demise, or that it had no purpose because its purpose was to be destroyed. Maybe the orange realized its desires were meaningless anyway because it could not enjoy the fulfillment of its purpose because it would be dead, assuming the orange wouldn't expect life on the other side. An atheist orange.
Maybe the orange felt it would have some sort of rebirth as stomach acid or human waste or if the orange knew about toilets and sewers, it imagined them as heaven. Maybe, since our bowels and sewers are the lowest parts of each system, the orange anticipated a kind of hell. Maybe the orange hoped that by peeling itself it would tantalize a human's appetite or pity at the reality of it soon spoiling, ensuring its consumption and the fulfillment of its purpose. The orange accomplished its purpose. This is important if the orange felt it would not find the other side (heaven or reincarnation) if it rotted instead of being consumed. Peeling itself was a quest for an eternal survival. Or maybe the orange peeled itself to hasten its demise, depending on what you believe the orange wanted. This is all assuming that the orange successfully peeled itself and was eaten instead of rotted and/or thrown away."Felt," "imagined," "anticipated," "successfully" -- I'm imagining this stuff actually happened! Poor orange. Such a complicated life. Wait, no. Poor me!
The prospect of an orange trying to peel itself is absurd in that it can't happen and won't happen because an orange doesn't have a brain, claws. What it does have, though, is ways of protecting itself. Notice that if you peel an orange and leave it out for a while, the outside of it will harden, creating a kind of protective shell. An orange doesn't have hopes, dreams or will, does it? In a way, the orange wants to live, so I guess I have my answer about whether an orange would try to kill itself. Well, maybe some oranges would. But this protective shell isn't really a desire to live, anyway, but actually an evolutionary advantage. Unless you're in the creationist camp and you think God has enabled oranges to protect themselves because he wants our sustenance to be protected. Ah, Ashley stop!
I promise you I don't get so philosophical, logical (if you can think logically about an orange trying to peel itself) and analytical about silly ideas as I think them or watch them, partly because I'm naturally a silly person and I have few inhibitions. That's why I think silly thoughts and say silly things. It's why I can watch Spongebob Squarepants and laugh without questioning how Spongebob and the other characters can walk fine without floating or waving, how the characters can pour themselves drinks or, perhaps most important of all, why a sponge has legs and a face, wears pants, lives in the sea, is friends with a crab and a squirrel and a starfish. But as you can see, I am fully aware of the absurdity of the show. Still, I can enjoy it, probably because when I experience art, I am able and willing to suspend my disbelief.
I was delighted when the girl at What Shall I Draw wrote a response comment, saying she liked my request and would draw it on the weekend. Then she did today! She also linked to my blog. There is so much goodness in this: she took the time to respond to me publicly and privately; she liked my request; I challenged her creativity and she spent time doing something, not necessarily for me, but because she wanted to; she spent time with my idea. It brightened my second consecutive emotionally difficult day. I love how art and interactions with great people do that.
Well, I've kept you in suspense long enough. See it for yourself! Maybe you should ask her to draw something for you. I'm sure she's game for anything. I'm sorry if I ruined Spongebob or oranges for you....