When we first moved to Connecticut we visited Mozzicato’s bakery in Hartford pictured above. The left picture shows portions of two of the three filled cases they feature, filled with sweets, savory offerings, candy and gelato. On the right is a selection shown close up to give you an idea of some of the variety they sell. I had grown up knowing only plain or sugared doughnuts, butterhorns and bear claws. Now I was stopped in my tracks, overwhelmed by the assortment with no idea how to choose. I wanted to be handed one that I might savor and not have to deal with so many at once.
Friends from the gym and friends of friends formed a Zoom book club a few months back to meet once a month and discuss a book chosen by one of us. This past Friday we were meeting over a selection of short stories by Amy Bloom called Come to Me. I struggled with the book without exactly knowing why. I appreciated nearly each story, but I didn’t like reading them as a collection. I was having the Mozzicato experience: too much to digest!
It turns out that I like to linger over a story, a novel, a poem, a painting or a piece of music. I shy away from collections of each. Even in an art museum I prefer to focus on one painting for a long time instead of taking in the whole exhibit. And I frequently am ready to walk out of a music performance after I feel full.( I do wait for an intermission!) It’s taken me way too many years to understand that about myself. It took an agreement to read a collection of short stories to finally see what is true: I get overwhelmed by variety. No wonder I always order vanilla ice cream!