nearly too much of a good thing…

Reluctant as I am to admit it, I can have too many good things at the same time. Its different than having too much of a good thing – that being a separate question, the answer to which often involves calling up the spirit of Mae West for consultation – but is perhaps more problematic. Its a little easier to see where to draw the line when the issue is too much – at a certain point say “stop”, or “enough” and the problem is solved. But its hard to say no to a lot of good things at once. My lunch today was one such challenge. To the pathologically unobservant, merely a hot dog in a bun. To those paying attention, an organic buffalo bratwurst, gently browned in olive oil, and then nested into a soft homemade bun along with chunky olive tapenade, tomato bruschetta, garlic mustard, and rustically-ragged slices of nutty Petite Basque cheese. An embarrassment of riches, perhaps. And an embarassingly large mouthful – not that I usually mind making a cheerfully greedy mess in the enjoyment of food. But I was eating with a teenager a foot taller than me (and as far as I can tell, a proportionately large mouth, though the orthodonture obscures some of the real estate) and I could not compete with his ability to bite through and enjoy all the layers at once. I tried, but even with a stealthy sideways approach, could not sneak up on my lunch before it slid into a several small heaps of component parts on the plate. Which I then ate in succession, fewer flavors to the bite but more enjoyment. And as I was savoring smaller combinations of flavors, twos and threes instead of sixes and sevens (and you know how scattered it feels to be “all at sixes and sevens”) I realized that this selective enjoyment has relevance to my creative life as well. I enjoy my work more when I’m not doing too many things at once – I do need variety (flavor and texture contrasts) but too much of it leaves me too unfocused to make the most of each. Less (but not too much less) is more (but not too much more). Like a satisfying lunch. I wonder what I’ll eat (and create) tomorrow?

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