Some things really are better in moderation. Foie gras, for example. Yes, last Friday’s dinner was bien arrosé, but I’m blaming the fattened liver (and subsequent cassoulet) for the lack of sleep and cold sweats.
This was an absurdly rich meal, one in a series, that I would only eat in France. The night before I had a terrine of rabbit and a beef stew with prunes and mashed potatoes tangy with crème frâiche. And for lunch, just hours before the foie gras cassoulet one-two punch I had the silkiest chestnut soup topped with whipped cream and crispy lardons followed by a roasted stuffed chicken leg over a buttery celery root purée. Oh, and dessert.
Am I a glutton for punishment? Or just a glutton?
Saying no to foods (or people) I love, even if they may not be particularly good for me, doesn’t seem to be one of my talents. I may overindulge, drink too much Champagne and suffer the next day, but I’ll never, ever give it up.
I am familiar with loss, with the temporary and transitory nature of everything. If you aren’t yet, just wait a while. There is no love without heartache, no life without tribulation. It might seem reasonable, then, to build walls, to insulate oneself in the false comfort of moderate living and low expectations of ourselves and others, to love less, to enjoy less. But it doesn’t work. I’ve tried. The trick, I’ve learned, is to accept the fact that all things must come to an end; to stop clinging to the desire for something to continue that simply cannot; to relish and live in good memories (of a loved one, of a joyous time); and then, when you are ready, to say yes to more.
Over and over again.