Sunday, May 25, 2008

Gustatorial Marriage

“You have a wonderful place where the palate unites mind and body,” a thougthful customer recently recounts. “It’s a wonderful marriage.” Her analysis reminds me of the time as a newly married couple we lived near Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Strolling one night around Strawberry Bank Ted and I were drawn to a storefront (actually a bank front) where a sculpture was displayed. The small, smooth, wooden, and primitive torso carried a delicate, hammered metal face optimistically uplifted. The skull, so to speak was a sphere of delicate blown glass that glowed from a small light within. The piece spoke to me immediately about the mind-body dichotomy, and for more than an hour I was rhapsodic. Having returned from a year long honeymoon in Europe, where we stayed in youth hostels--sometimes sleeping in separate dormitories so we could remain on the “Continent” as long as possible--we now drove a Volkswagon Beetle with rusted floor bottom (the battery actually fell to the road on one ride,) and the windshield wiper motor did not work. I furiously operated the wipers from the passenger seat with ropes tied to each blade; so on stormy rides the little car filled with our laughter. Despite our modest income, we splurged $700.00 on this mesmerizing work of art, and put Edna, as we dubbed her, in the back seat, hoping she would not fall through. Edna still resides with us, but now when I glimpse her I will also be reminded of her gustatorial power of marriage.