First, let me say that my breakfast this morning consisted of a spinach/bacon quiche. It was rich and fluffy, brushed with a hint of onion and rich with mozzarella cheese. The bacon was cooked to perfection, just crisp enough to provide a crunch with every bite, but tender enough to almost melt on the tongue. (How am I doing?)
Today's passage from A Christmas Carol is taken from "Stave Three: The Second of the Three Spirits":
And now, without a word of warning from the Ghost, they stood upon a bleak and desert moor, where monstrous masses of rude stone were cast about, as though it were the burial-place of giants; and water spread itself wheresoever it listed, or would have done so, but for the frost that held it prisoner; and nothing grew but moss and furze, and coarse, rank grass. Down in the west the setting sun had left a streak of fiery red, which glared upon the desolation for an instant, like a sullen eye, and frowning lower, lower, lower yet, was lost in the thick gloom of darkest night.
The first thing I'd like to say about this passage is that it is rich and dark, full of a kind of a smoky bite. There is an old-fashioned heft to its adjectives, which blend together to create a thick layer of frosted gloom. I would suggest reading this passage with a strong espresso, perhaps Cuban. Something that needs to be sipped over an hour or so. You don't want to rush through the reading of this paragraph, or else you will miss the nuance of each savory word. No, you want to take your time. Sit at the table. Take a bite of the "coarse, rank grass," experience its dry snap, its almost cabbage-like tang. Then, let the passage's darkness overtake your senses. Enjoy the mossy give of its nouns, like a moist sponge cake. At the end, you, too, will lose yourself in the darkest desolation of these sentences. You will find, after you have consumed the final comma and period, your mouth will want more.
That is the mark of a fine description created by a master chef. So, if you are in the mood for something on the dark, challenging spectrum of taste, pick up this small dish. It will leave you breathless, craving the deepest ryes and pumpernickels of night.
Saint Marty suggests a blueberry jam to go with it.
|Anybody want a bite?|