Love & Chocolate
Having been at airports often enough to shake off any charm they once held for me, I still look forward to two things there that show up in as-yet unseen varieties every single time: chocolate and love. Something about the setting makes them show up in all earnest and in generous quantities. If you ask me, they’re the best things to keep an eye out for at otherwise drab terminals, if one looks past all the censoring they come wrapped in. By the same humans who couldn’t get through a day without either.
Like chocolate, love is at its truest when allowed to remain natural and organic, growing into shapes of its own choosing. Not shoved into convenient boxes and pretty packaging after being chopped into societally approved sizes and squares. Comprised of uniform, standardized ingredients with the explicit aim of ruling out anything unexpected. Categorized and labelled for safe consumption by those who like their chocolates – and their loves – in safe, predictable, measured quantities. Covered with enough conformity to win everyone’s validation, and gift-wrapped with enough sparkle to make the receiver find it special despite the mass manufacture.
At its rawest, chocolate – much like love – isn’t for the faint of heart and doesn’t give a damn about baby-proofing for the fragile. Neither have been known to bat an eyelid before hitting hard and pulling the rug out from under your feet. Throwing wanton punches both bitter and sweet at anyone who dares to cross paths.
But then, tamed as we are by our own need for comfort, we do with chocolate what we do with love.
Scale it down to sizes we can handle, sweeten it enough to mask the raw-as-earth bitterness, package it in ways to fit our pretty little boxes, slap price tags on it to define and confirm its value, and just generally take the whole damn edge out of it. But if you haven’t yet tasted the bitterness, you are yet to venture a bite of either. If you haven’t yet let them storm your senses, you are yet to stand in either’s way. If you haven’t yet let them shock you out of all stupor, you haven’t locked eyes with either long enough.
We can only hope that at the end of all our jittery curtailing, rationing and manipulation, they both retain enough of their essence to still be good for the heart.
Here’s wishing you loads of love and chocolate – the rawest kind – tumbling over each other in rivers not of your own making and storms that leave you gasping yet grateful.
May your own rawness be the raft that gets you through the rawness of these two raucously untamed oceans.