Today the chai was good and that made me happy. Every morning we stop at the Haymarket on the way to work, and my father gets coffee and i get chai. I suppose consistency is "our" greatest goal, in order to make each city interchangably home, each meal comfortably similar to some ideal. I went to lunch with some people from work, and the woman next to me ordered broccoli-cheddar soup. But when she got the soup, it was too thin for her. She didn't even try it! She knew that cream of broccoli soup was supposed to have a certain (Campbell's Soup) consistency. Never mind that it wasn't called "cream of broccoli soup" but "broccoli-cheddar soup." She didn't test it according to its own merits. Agh.

And but so, the chai was good today. How can i make that observation? Well, it's premixed and there have been days when it was no longer good. Infrequent, but they happened. On other days, it seems overly bland, or overly sweet to my taste. I see no point in becoming angry or indignant about this - it doesn't taste bad (except those occasional days). I still get it just about every day - and it gives real savor to the days when the chai is good.

Of course, when i repeat that construction too often, i run the danger of lapsing into the Hemingway parody: The bulls were good. So was the wine, and the women. It's a running joke my father and i have. But really. To be able to distinguish the minute variations, and to say, This thing, today it is particularly good, and so i'll continue and let it color the morning, this i thank for.

The ability to pay attention. To constantly reconstruct your ideas, and re-apprehend things you learned one way. To allow people to develop nuances, instead of flattening them into caricature. To listen to music which you played to death years ago and haven't listened to since then. Do you fall into the same perceptions, like wrapping in a blanket, or do you hear it as new? Is there a right answer?

I'm having a hard time with the current quest, as i cook from the ingredients i have and without much planning. I rarely make something the same way twice. It's not always good, but i'm an eternal beginner. I am open to learn.