Saturday, January 22, 2011
Lost in the Dessert
You know those ideas that get stuck in your head, the ones that you don’t know where they came from? It’s 3 a.m., and I wake with the peculiarities of a spelling dilemma on my mind—of desert (that sandy place) and dessert (those sweet things). Don’t even get me started on the ridiculousness of the English language (two, too, to, tutu), (do, dew, due) Stop! Stop!
So, as I’m laying there, noticing that I’m not sleeping, my mind wanders—sort of gets lost in the desert of those arid, vapid thoughts that are a part of the 3a.m. landscape. What if I were writing an essay or a story about getting lost in the desert, but accidentally typed dessert, and Word Check didn’t catch it because it doesn’t do context? That idea bridged itself over to, well, what would it be like to be lost in a dessert? Chocolate mousse being my favorite, could I lose myself in it? And, what does it mean to lose yourself? Or better yet, what is the Self that one fears losing? Do you see how quickly this goes from bad to worse?
There’s no one to talk to at 3 a.m. Well, actually, there are probably hundreds—perhaps thousands—of women up at 3a.m. (it’s a menopausal thing), but just in case this is the one morning their sleep hasn’t been ripped from them by hormonal fluctuations, I certainly don’t want to risk jangling them into consciousness via a phone ringing in the dark. That’s always bad news, right?
I’m stuck with the cobwebby trail of trying to follow the obscure thought of being lost in a dessert. Let’s suppose for a moment, that lost means totally given-over to, or absorbed by the experience or idea of something, as when you lose your heart by falling in love.
I’ve had a total absorption experience like that—with a dessert—where there was nothing for that moment but the taste and texture living its life to the fullest in my mouth. For an instance, I lost track of who I was with, the hustle and bustle of wait staff, the clatter from the kitchen at the far end of the room that had just a moment ago been hugely irritating. Gone. Absorbed. The culprit was a slice of Double Chocolate Caramel Torte with Hazelnut Gelato at a local pizza house. There was an explosion of flavors all over my tongue—the more I chewed, the richer and more complex the flavors became. There was nothing but the moment. If you could take a bite of Heaven, that might be what it would taste like.
Where did I go while that dessert was busy blowing out my brain cells? I’m tempted to make reference to the 60ies when this sort of experience was more the norm, but not all of you lived through that era, and it might be lost on you. However, surely, I’m not alone.
There’s a Comment button just below the post. I’d love to hear about your experience of being lost in a dessert. Let me know a little something about who you are, what the dessert was, and your experience of that moment. I’ll be glad to post it on my next blog update.
Oh, and it was around 4:15 a.m. when I finally got back to sleep…