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A Small Good Thing

I had lunch with Elle today at the faculty dining room buffet. We've been doing that for a while now. It works out well...I am embarrassed to REALLY pig out when I am with her, and I am pretty sure that at a buffet she eats more than she normally would. Both of these are healthy things.

And she is a marvelous dining companion. I usually prefer reading a book to eating with someone, but she is an exception. Conversation always flows like water with her, and lunchtime always seems to fly.

Some of you may recognize the title of this entry as also being the title of a Raymond Carver story. In the story, eating is referred to as "a small good thing". A couple who has lost a child is told to eat because eating is "a small good thing". The small part is obvious...the pleasure of eating is dwarfed by the pain of losing a child. But it's still a good thing, one that should not be foregone in time of great tragedy.

This is not a time of great tragedy for me. Or even minor tragedy. But lunch with Elle is a nice little oasis of happiness in the midst of life's petty mundane problems, and thus merits the Raymond Carver reference.