I Momenti di Estasi

During my time in Italy, my Italian class devoted a day’s lesson to watching the film Lezioni di Cioccolato (Chocolate Lessons). In the film, one of the characters is constantly reciting the phrase i momenti di estasi, “moments of ecstasy,” to describe those simple instances in life that offer pure pleasure and satisfaction. Such moments do not provide only joy, but they also serve as teaching moments to educate and remind us to appreciate life’s everyday lessons.

I know it has been a while since my last post, and I can make very few excuses for it. Although I had my impending move back to D.C. keeping me very busy, as well as finishing up my last few days of work, there has been little else that has kept me from opening up my computer and activating Word. While there were many times when I was about ready, my trackpad swerved from the Word icon to the Internet where I carelessly spent my time browsing recipes and reading gossip instead of writing.

Part of what has kept me from updating lately has been the sheer lack of inspiration. In Italy, even the most mundane instances, such as a coffee shop order, could inspire me to write more than 500 words. Unfortunately, such inspiration seemed lacking for me these past few weeks at home. Though I could have written about my house alarm’s neighborhood disturbance or my long-awaited trip to get frozen lemonade, I thought that such mundane instances were simply that: too mundane to warrant anyone’s interest.

As I reflected back on Lezioni di Cioccolato, however, I released that i momenti di estasi are not always the most glamorous, exciting, or earth shattering instances that I have been anxiously waiting to describe in a blog post. In the film, such ecstasy-filled moments include the success of finally tempering a vat of chocolate correctly and savoring the rich combination of chocolate and hazelnuts in a truffle. These are sensory experiences, full of detail and full of emotion. Despite their lack of newsworthiness, they are significant all the same. A successfully tempered chocolate signifies a job accomplished, a lesson learned and a skill applied. Tasting a chocolate represents a moment of gratitude for the genius that realized that chocolate and hazelnuts are perfect matches (Nutella, anyone?).

Thinking back on the film, I realize that there really should not be any excuses for my lack of writing. Whether or not something exciting happens during the day, there is always something to learn from the events of the past twenty-four hours. Discovering them and sharing them with readers is part of what a writer must do. “The good parts of a book may be only something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or,” said Ernest Hemingway, “it may be the wreck of his whole damn life and one is as good as the other.” Inspiration is everywhere; realizing and appreciating this fact, however, is one of life’s challenges.

From this point forward, I am vowing to commit to creating at least three posts a week. And while I may not have had much to say in the past few weeks, I know that my recent move back to the nation’s capital will inspire countless stories, unexpected adventures, and simple anecdotes. I previously wrote that the Italian and French languages could make even the most ordinary sentences sound beautiful and sexy, so why can’t I do the same through my writing when describing a conversation with a stranger or an intense bite of chocolate salami? This summer, let’s see what I can do.

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