The apple is the most meditative of fruits. I am sure that cracking of a coconut has a particular satisfaction, and that other fruit lovers will swear by the pear or plum, the papaya or pineapple as the highest form of fruitly perfection. They are fools, sinners and apostates. Nothing can compare to the spiritual comfort offered by the leisurely eating of an apple.
It is the fruit of gods and devils. When he chose the apple to be the fruit hanging from the Tree of Knowledge in Eden, Milton didn’t lie but he was misinterpreted – the forbidden knowledge is not in fruit itself, but in the time it takes to eat it and the sensations it provokes. The apple is just a catalyst for a volatile reaction of the mind and the senses.
The time it takes to eat an apple is just enough time to mull over a difficult thought or make a decision of moderate importance, to create a line or two of rough poetry or have the very beginnings of a good idea. The cracking crunch as you bite in (always too loud in your head), the waxy smoothness of the skin beneath your fingers and the fleshy kiss of the the fruit inside – all conspire to provoke and inspire, to soothe and to stir all at once.
And, finally, it is a philosophical fruit. As oxygen browns the exposed fruit even as you eat, it is as if all the forces of nature were conspiring to shout “carpe diem!” at you from the atrophying pulp. Eat up and be merry, is what the world tells you through its oracular apple. You have but a little time to spare before the fruit is spoilt – so eat, and be content. Ripeness is all.