30 August 2006

The setting sun is a mashed persimmon

Metaphor is probably one of the greatest devices ever invented by human beings, which allows freedom of drawing a direct comparison between seemingly unrelated subjects, though it may sometimes occur to us far-fetched, absurd or even non-sensical due to a particular rhetorical and writing style of a user.

Ellen would sometimes chortle at my farcical use of metaphor. Quite unobjectionable as her comments are, it's arguable that it is the tension created by the dissimilarities or implausible associations between the two subjects which are under comparison that generate real pleasures beyond 'words'.

Here is an infamous example of my ludicrous metaphor:

People enjoy sunset at theTamshui River estuary flanked by Kuanyin Mountain in the south. I once agreed with them, but now ridicule them.

What can you do with a mashed persimmon crushed by a naughty boy with his catapult? A persimmon lacks the succulence you can find in a freshly ripened tomato which, after you take a good bite, exudes juices in a perfect mixture of sweetness and sourness. It is also flawed by the absence of the crispy mouthfeel you can expect in an apple.

What could you possibly do with this mashed persimmon in such an estuary where you have to shoulder your way through boisterous crowds and ubiquitous hawkers and stalls, against a deplorable, wet, piscine smell steaming up from the befouled coastal waters?

I would rather devour an intact persimmon in late autumn, when it's acceptably warm but not baking hot in Taipei Basin, with my fiancée fanning beside me.

People always peel off the skins before eating a persimmon; however, I prefer to have them with the pulp, for:

a) I can't be bothered to undergo such a ritual of scalping, as the persimmon is not an enemy.

b) I love such a contrast between the astringent feel in the mouth produced by the skins and the smooth, palate-pleasing firmness of the flesh.

While the former seems to show my natural sloth towards what I deem unnecessary, the latter actually reveals the inveterate pessimism in my personality.

I always remind myself of bitterness of life, particularly at those happiest moments, so much as the principal of a university talks about the approaching solitude, loneliness, desolation, frustration and suffocation during doctoral study in a welcome wine reception to those students, who are still basking in the great joy of being offered places on postgraduate study.

No comments: