Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Age and experience teach a certain endurance. Expectations become less impressive. It's content enough, but it's also a bit blah. The tapestry is woven with friends who say they will do something and then don't, products that promise and don't deliver, and a panoply events that are largely "almost." The element of surprise and outrage and excitement dims. What is pleasing is pleasing in small ways. What once might have been wowsers is reconfigured and quieter.

Yesterday, for Valentine's Day, I received a bar of chocolate. I love chocolate, but have grown accustomed to various mediocre versions ... the stuff that comes off the candy-counter shelves and passes for chocolate. But this bar of chocolate (Lindt, Intense Orange, Dark) purely blew my socks off. The label touted "excellence" and for once the word had some meaning in my mouth. It really was "excellent." How often does that happen? Wowsers!

"Excellent" is a strange quality. In ordinary terms, it compares one thing with another and comes out on top. It is desirable and often praise-worthy. But what is it that makes anything "excellent?"

My best guess is that what is excellent puts a period on my sentence and wipes out any further sense of craving. It is a cold glass of water on a hot day. It is a kiss after long separation. It is a god that is so perfectly god that "god" cannot enter -- "god" does not compute and that failure to compute is purely true and a thank-god relief.

"Excellence" is simply what is ... coupled with my smile.

Talk about "chocolate!"

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