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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Rustic and the Sublime

Everything is filled with sapor ... a Latin word I shall use instead of "flavour" . I could say everything has flavour for me, but that sounds a bit too much of my childhood days, when I merrily put pennies into my mouth, discovering the cuprous delights of coinage.

I'm sure everyone is the same, and every object "tastes" of what is seen and known, what is unknown and odd, what happened within the past 10 days, the last 30, the last 3 months, and then sometime "before then"; the taste of smells, where perfumes intoxicate with gustatory delight, and bring back memories of the long ago: the private history of the age of tropic palm trees and grandmother; where she lived in a zebra-mansion  (pronounced "zĕb' - ra" as in Botswana, not "zee-bra" as is common here)  of sunlight filtered through white plantation blinds; of sun rooms facing the brick wall dividing her home from that of Benson Ford, son of Henry... whereon whose cinnabar serpentine surface are projected memory's flickering nickleodeon.

So I came across a remnant tasting of the countryside, ancient pagan (Latin: one who lives in the country) that it was, standing stoic.
It was a house by the side of the road, and it was much, much older than the main road. Its genesis may have been contemporary to the side road which ran off at a right angle, leading west, and forming the southern boundary of Matilda Dodge's old estate.
But it tasted of the sea, or - if not the great ocean - then some smaller flow, an inland lake, perhaps, or a river.

It had all the earmarks of an antiquity that had once stood shoreside upon one of California's vanisht lakes, the water having been diverted to quench the thirst of Los Angeles. It reminded me of Africa's paleo-lakes running from Tunisia through rivers and wetlands larger than Mauretania all the way to the present-day quickly evaporating Lake Chad.
Or Jenne-Jeno with its inland delta mouth, denying its water to the lubricious sea. Old witness of the deluge! - fast disappearing like the Aral Sea, sucked dry like our aquifers, prelude to our own Sahel future!
It had a long porch, glassed-in, giving a great view... if there were something great to look at anymore. And there was a widow's walk like a crown-of-thorns upon a third-floor enclosed vedette, where one could safely scan the stormy horizon.

No water now. Rather, the impetuous stream now ran through a subdivision and a development, and was hidden at the base of a hill, cut off from the house's view by nice apartments.
It raged to move and catch sight of the river! I could sense it! Taste it! - like the blood of adolescent desire. Yet there it sat, like my old Da within an airless nursing home, a nursing home which breathes at regular metronomous intervals like the sound-track for SCUBA divers: ...pffssst.......... pffssst.......... pffssst .........

It tasted all wrong. It was all singular and gershom - stranger in a strange land - darkling cut-out dolls from Gabon fetched across the ocean's breadth to enslavery and fetters all bedight!

this sort of got away from me...lakes, rivers, and streams - whether real or imagined - take control of me.
lubricious above is used in the sense of "slippery", not necessarily "salacious".


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