Guy Browning: How to ... melt

Melting into someone's arms is to understand for a moment the internal life of chocolate. Feelings of spiritual and physical ecstasy are remarkably like melting into the universe until you are at one with it. Scientifically, you become a sort of cosmic emulsion.

Everyone has a boiling point where they get angry, but also a melting point where, if you apply enough kindness, they suddenly go soppy and become completely malleable. The melting of a hardened heart is a wonderful thing. It proves that love is not a solid.

Melting is closely associated with sensual pleasure, although the opposite of melting, solidification, also has sexual connotations. It may be that sensual pleasure simply comes from moving from one state to another. This would help explain why so many people find musicals on ice, fondues and candles strangely compelling (not all at once).

Chocolate, apart from being yummy, has the remarkable property of melting at body temperature. It happily melts in the mouth which is one reason we're so keen to put it in there. It would be interesting to know if cabbage would be more popular if it, too, melted in the mouth.

We humans tend to worry about melting. Molten lava really scares us because it reminds us that the solid old earth is just bubbling liquid underneath, although we're quite pleased when the lava cools and leaves palm-fringed atolls. Sadly, these atolls will be submerged by the ice caps melting.

Melting is a pleasure more appreciated here than elsewhere. That's because our weather teeters between freeze and thaw, rather than having one of each per year. Our emotional temperature is the same, finely balanced between cool indifference and warm sentimentality, with a million mini-melts in between.

Nuclear power is supposed to be generated in a solid state, so melting is unwelcome. Meltdown is worse than breakdown because it implies that the thing can never be reconstituted. A bar of chocolate can be broken down, but leaving it in the sun will lead to irretrievable meltdown. Death is the ultimate meltdown, although no one's sure what state it leads to. Ideally, we'd all end up as chocolate and be consumed by worthy people in another life.

Thanks to who have provided this article. View the original here.


comments powered by Disqus