19 May 2010

19May- delicacy of balance
now, here's an idea that i think gets ignored and taken for granted a lot: the delicacy of any kind of balance. of course, within our cuisine (and cuisine in general) the balance of flavors is terribly important to the enjoyment of a meal. of course, some will want to push in one direction or another by over-salting or over-cooking or otherwise over-spicing and therefore tilting the scales. some will want to move to extremes, which i believe is a desire to simplify an experience. the more the extreme, the less the nuance and the less one needs to think about it.

when i first started drinking wine i sought out the brutish, overly alcoholic zinfandels because the flavors were obvious, the depth of the experience minimal and upfront. as time went on i discovered the joys of delicate, layered, nuanced wines and beers. on a lovely delicate thing, like an eyrie pinot noir, the craftmanship seems so precise to me that i can't imagine it any other way. remember that scene in "amadeus" where salieri is reading mozart's music brought to him for consideration? he says of it "Displace one note and there would be diminishment. Displace one phrase and the structure would fall. "

I recently had some starter issues on my car and, in my efforts to discern what exactly was the problem i was daunted by the wealth of possibilities. it could've been a battery issue (it wasn't.) it could've been a solenoid issue in which the fork wasn't engaging the ring gear (it wasn't.) it could've been that the ring gear and/or the flywheel was missing teeth, causing the spinning sound (it wasn't.) it wasn't until i got under the car, all ready to remove the starter, when i saw that a bolt was a bit loose, allowing a few millimeters of space between the starter and the engine which meant a lack of an electrical connection. i tightened the bolt and that was that. such a delicate thing. such a tiny detail that rendered a vehicle a useless mass of metal.

hitting a c# instead of a c. not realizing two pages are stuck together in a book. over-salting grits. picking wine grapes before or after a big rain. there are so many easy ways to ruin something or even simply to adjust it slightly enough so that the enjoyment yield may be subtly but unquestionably compromised.

what's the point of this? awareness, i suppose. the dangers of allowing something to escape your attention. appreciation of the little things. the realization that so many little things aren't little things at all. the foot bone's connected to the leg bone. a butterfly flaps its wings in hong kong. do unto others. we're all in it together.

i'm not certain, but it seemed like a valid point when i started.