NPR ran a program recently on community farms in Massachusetts. The gist of the piece was that more and more people are seeking out local farmers and eating local produce.
One of the interviewees was a young man who worked on a community farm. He explained that Whole Foods turned down their produce. “They wouldn’t take the carrots,” he said, laughing, “because they were crooked. And everybody knows crooked carrots don’t taste good.”
I’m a crooked carrot. My entire life I have not fit even within the acceptable alternative community. I want to create from my crookedness but I fear rejection. I’ve experienced so many years of rejection that this is a fear based on past experience. What I have to write or what I have to paint has no precedent. I am my own precedent.
Are you a crooked carrot? I believe everyone’s true nature has its eccentricities. I believe we call it eccentric because we’ve so standardized writing and the visual arts that anything that falls outside of that seems eccentric. When in fact, eccentric is simply authentic. Earth grown and crooked. Delicious.
I believe our despair comes from trying to fit into standardized notions of living. Such notions surround us. Worldwide. Such despair surrounds us. Worldwide.
When I was a child and I watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer at Christmas, I was fascinated by the Island of the Misfit Toys. I knew that was MY island. I knew those were MY friends. I’ve been seeking out that island for decades.
I believe the time has come for the crooked carrots and the misfit toys. For the unpolished, the authentic. I believe it’ll take the publishing world and the art galleries some time to catch up. But it’s time. Living in our crooked carrot place is the way as artists we can save the world.
I’m a writing coach. www.artofstorytellingonline.com.