Sunday, July 25, 2010

Taste As A Metaphor And Words Of Courage From The Fog

In my family, I am in the distinct minority. I lean towards semi dry wines. My family likes sweet wine and considers my choices to be very dry. When we pass the wine cup around the table Friday night, I say the blessings and drain the cup to the last few drops. Then I fill it up with the sweet wine everyone else likes. It has become a metaphor in which everyone drinks what they want from the cup of life.

That still leaves good natured arguments about whether dry wine or sweet wine is better. How do you explain taste? This Shabbos night, someone at my table asked me why I had such odd tastes in wine. It occurred to me that only in language are sweet and sour opposites. In the physical world they are mixed together. By tasting them simultaneously in a cup of wine or a cup of espresso, I am accepting the fact that what is handed to me in the cup of life is a mixture of the bitter and the sweet.

Most metaphors are visual or auditory. My wine and my coffee are taste metaphors.Every once in a while, the world yields a metaphor. In a sense, the inanimate finds a voice.

In the morning, when it is foggy out, the street where I live ahead is mostly invisible. Yet as I approach, people, trees and cars become visible. Moving forward, I see what had been covered in fog. As I leave my yard in the shrouded dawn, I see that the sky has spoken.

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