Monday, January 20, 2014

Exploring the Landscape through the Six Senses - Taste

No man can taste the
fruits of Autumn while
he is delighting his
scent with the 
flowers of Spring.
- Samuel Johnson

   Wherever I go I try to experience the location through my taste buds.  I would never seek out an American chain restaurant.  What is the point of travel if it is not to immerse oneself in the culture?  That naturally includes the cuisine.

   But this post is not about that kind of "taste".  I want to speak about a more symbolic sampling of the flavor of a location.

...savor, digest and come to know the landscape.

   We use the phrase, "Get a a taste of...." on a regular basis.  It makes me think of small children.  Little children often experience the world by literally placing new things in their mouth and we use that phrase to indicate the need to savor the flavor of a thing or a place.

   We even say of a bad experience that it "leaves a unpleasant taste in the mouth".  Yet, we rarely look at the symbolic connotations of "taste".

   How does a contemplative photographer "savor the taste" of a place?  Yes, of course, through the food but also through entering into the spirit of place.  For make no mistake, every place you travel has an essential spirit that spices the location in unique ways.  Some places have a subtle gentle seasoning, like the touch of vanilla in my creme brulee above.  Other places are hot with exotic seasonings that make the spirit shake loose its inhibitions.

   Try to ascertain what seasoning the place you visit holds for you.  It is just another way to savor, digest and come to know the landscape.

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