There’s a place called North Berkeley Frame in downtown Berkeley on Shattuck. It’s a framing shop and gallery (sort of) run by this guy named Lars. He’s older, probably mid-fifties or early sixties. He has gray hair, a gray beard, and a gentle face. I’ve had him frame some prints and other artwork for me. He’s always helpful in choosing the right frame, and his work is excellent. Like many older folks I know, he loves to talk.

He has great stories about the ’70s and traveling all over the world. He knows so much about music and art. Each time I’m there we talk for an hour or more and I always learn something new. I always wish I could stay longer. He’s the kind of person you would get a coffee with and just listen for hours. His kindness and understanding have no bounds.

Most recently, he shared this story with me. A metaphor about the artistic process, and more generally about life. This quote isn’t verbatim, unfortunately, but it’s how I remember it.

“It’s like picking fruit. You can’t pick everything at once. You’ll check, and pick an apple that’s ripe. Then a couple days later, pick one more. Then the next day, two more. Another the day after that. Another, two hours after that. Then you’ll end up with a basket full of perfect apples. They’re all great, but you couldn’t take them all at once.”

I think that’s beautiful. If you ever need something framed, you should go see Lars. And if you’re lucky, you’ll leave with much more than a frame.