When we think of food, our stomachs growl and taste buds begin to water. Motojiro, in “Lemon,” however, is able to find satisfaction with a fruit that he purchases without even consuming it. He lifts the lemon to his nose and enjoys its scent, then remarks at how it feels as a weight in his hand, and finally tops off his castle of books with it, possibly in appreciation of its natural beauty, balance, and organic form.
The closest I may remember of having come to a magical “meal” like Motojiro’s may be the oranges and apples my grandmother places on the shrine ever two weeks. These are not magical strictly in the spiritual gifting sense, but also as a form of interior decoration that absorbs space in the living room. That altar would definitely feel empty and lacking if my younger sisters took the oranges for lunch and did not replace them.
In a practice drawing session I conjured a plate of plums for myself and a friend to sketch. Where we differed from Motojiro, unfortunately, was that we had the intention of eating the plums after we were finished using them for an alternate purpose. Nothing shines and reflects light like a freshly picked, juicy, purple plum. And as we observed the mountain of plums, each one was appeared different in a stack of glowing purple orbs. sahdows from one falling onto the other; they “absorbed the colors” of the environment they were in:
“As I stood back to take a look, I realized the lemon was quietly absorbing the melody of the jumbled colors into its spindle-shaped self.” (Motojiro 339)
And who can’t recall a still life that they’ve seen in which the fruit seemed full of life and magic?