There is something I can't understand.
Like a background noise that is always there but I never bother to identify.
Like this valley I always return to in my mind.
There is a memory in there, somewhere.
I've found myself actually searching my mind.
That valley. Yes.
Where again was that valley?
It would only slowly come to the surface. With me comparing actual vistas to this memory (still unidentified by me at the time) and honestly wondering and marveling about the very mysteries of life.
This was not only an authentic valley, but was ideal as a valley.
And not just for its lovely, rolling green terrain.
No. It was other things, too. Little things.
Like the light.
Was it just me, or wasn't it obvious that the sun had just come up in this valley?
The way the air feels at that time of day. The dew. The sound of birds only emphasizing the odd, early quiet.
The smell of yesterday's rain now washed out by sunlight.
The sun glinting on things in the distance - here and there.
The sky - yellow and pale, maybe a bit redder at the horizon.
The horizon being quite hilly from where we stand.
It really draws a person into this "valley" (wherever this valley is).
I mean it - it makes me dizzy. The depth, the distance. That weightless feeling. The height versus the sheer expanse.
It's almost like I could fly right into this valley (though, that would be frightening and completely against my will).
Did I mention that the trees in the distance were in silhouette?
It's all right there.
All of it.
On a can of peas.
(if not box of frozen spinach)
Ok. If it's fake, if it has anything to do with advertising, if it's been around since before I was born then:
your commercial is definitely working on me
For example, her.
You know her. The lady on the can of tomato paste?
She with the black hair and the basket of tomatoes.
She never did say very much. She just smiles and laughs.
The landscape on this can is quite lovely, too.
The sky is incredibly blue and crystal clear.
There are no clouds in sight.
What time is it (on this can of tomato paste)?
About three-o-clock. Not quite time for a glass of wine.
The tomatoes still needed to be picked, though, and the sauce (o-mi-o-my) hadn't even been started!
but that's ok, everything is ok
Because she, mostly unrivaled by Mona Lisa, has this (mostly unrivaled) tomato paste.
Here, in either Italy or South America (the can doesn't really say).
To be clear, I'm three years old, sitting in a shopping cart in a grocery store in Chicago. And I'm holding a small can of tomato paste.
It is out of sheer boredom and a precocious ability to entertain myself (that will prove useful for the rest of my life) that I'm absolutely mesmerized by this image of a happy woman with dark hair and eyes (that looks just like my mom) to the point of "study".
I ascertain that her smile is genuine.
She likes her life.
She likes her red dress.
And me. She likes me.
And, so, this will be the tomato paste that I use for the rest of my life.