The more I encounter chocolate’s darkness the more I synchronize with it, opening myself in hedonistic moments of quietude as I allow it to liquefy with the natural heat of my body. Artisan chocolate shares the aroma palate of fine wine and boutique coffee, where cherry wanders the perimeter of my tongue and smoky-leather aerates my mid-palate and nose. If the texture is right I can feel its brown silk quiet me into blackness of stark awareness … awakening dreams unfulfilled yet possible.
A few times I have successfully made my own raw 77% cacao truffles, its fresh darkness quickly dosing my senses like an unclothed dancer in black pointe shoes moving to Bobby McFerrin’s Spain. Chocolate firmly has me in its clutches, its grasp more sophisticated, and expensive over the years. As a matter of course I never admit how much I pay for good chocolate, it’s disgusting really … I’ll just say I have come a long way from my childhood where I paid twenty-five cents for a Butterfinger candy bar at Andy’s Corner store in North Minneapolis.
It is my personal opinion that chocolate is sentient and knows exactly what it is doing. It is a Trickster. It can be sweet, bitter, salty, simulate Zen bliss or brutally attack. But more alluring is its three-dimensional sensation – it stimulates other tangential awareness’–that is its true power. That is the power of the Trickster. I once stated my belief of chocolate’s trickster nature, the ability to open distant portals with a local key, to an acquaintance, and she said, “What do you mean?”
“Did you see the movie from Mexico based on the Esquivel novel, Like Water for Chocolate?” I curiously asked. “Yes, but I didn’t understand it, especially the scene when everyone stated to cry and vomit after eating a cake.” I just looked at her. With her answer I thought two things, this woman could never be my “very best friend”, and two, it’s not her fault she didn’t understand.
In the United States of European-America, there is no residence for sentiency other than the human brain and God. As an African American I was raised differently, I grew up with energies, dynamic forces that could be called upon if needed and would bring gifts of information or opportunity. Or, at their discretion, these forces could descend into a situation bringing absolute mayhem – it’s really up to the Tricksters.
Now that I am older I can feel the Trickster enter the room. Not consciously, but deep in the grist of my soul I know some aspect of my countenance will be deconstructed. The flesh of my torso filleted on the floor, my heart visibly pumping, as the wolves of my life circle me, drooling at the fresh meat. There, in all my grand ineptitude, I publically lay in psychological shreds or in surrendered hilarity. This act of the Trickster/god will likely not occur privately in the depths of my Buddhist meditations. Discretion is not one of the qualities of the Trickster.
I have had many trickster teachers; most were not as gentle as chocolate. One thing for sure, best to have a sense of humor when you meet the Trickster on the road. While being evaluated by a peer, I have had a student in my classroom thrust the very inane and challenging bullshit at me I had insensitively thrust at my own teachers in my youth. I have tripped and fallen at formal, bordering pretentious, events with NO apparent cause. However, one of the strangers who eventually helped me to my feet became a key mentor in my career. If I had focused on my ego and it’s embarrassment I would not have paid attention to the person who helped me to my feet – tangential awareness – and I would have missed a great journey.
Like chocolate the trickster can serve the superlative in each human, or itself.