Have you ever felt like you were looking at a piece of fruit in a painting, and then suddenly it was gone? Or like your mind was a microscope, zooming in and zooming out, from the simple explanation to the more complicated one? If so, you’re not alone. In this blog post, we’ll explore how the concept of a “pear drop” has been used to explain the complexity of life, and how the word “pear” has evolved from the Vulgar Latin word “pira”.
From Natalia Ginzburg’s The Family Lexicon to Susan Stewart’s poem “Pear”, the concept of a “pear drop” has been used to explain the complexities of life. Ginzburg writes about her father’s love for overripe pears and how the smell of a very ripe pear leaves an almost alcoholic impression between your throat and your lungs. Stewart writes about a woman flying and falling, and how the explanation of this phenomenon is a trampoline she can’t see.
In biology class, we learn that the hard bits, especially in an unripe pear, are called sclereid bundles or stone cells. We look at them under the microscope, focusing the lens until the blurred dots turn into thin lines: dead cells with thick walls. Billy Collins’ poem “After We Have Finished Here” reminds us that before there were names for the earth’s uncountable things, fruit hung anonymously from scattered groves of trees.
And when we try to draw a pear, we may feel our minds seal over. We are asked to draw what we see, not what we know. But looking at a pear and trying to turn the shadow into shading can cause a steamroller to drive over the inside of our heads.
The pear is an ancient symbol of life, love, and death. It has been used to explain the complexities of life for centuries, and it continues to be a source of inspiration for artists, writers, and scientists alike. So, the next time you’re looking at a pear, take a moment to appreciate its beauty and its complexity.