Umami — the fifth taste

Into the greenwood
Into the greenwood

I wonder if there is a fifth taste for writing and music. I think there has to be. Right now I’m listening to Raising Sand by Krause/Plant, and the song Your Long Journey gives me that feeling of fullness, of satiety, it’s so completely beautiful.

Vivaldi’s Winter Largo gives me the same emotional response — a sense of joy and wonder and completeness. I can listen to it over and over. Some of Lucinda Williams excellent music have the same effect (Blue comes to mind). La Boheme. James McMurtry.

Books and stories do the same thing, where the fullness of the emotional response is complete, with not a thing missing. I’ve mentioned Nightingale by Tobias Wolff. I had the same response to a story by Esther Friesner that appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction years ago, in which one of the Good Folk longed to know God but the Good Folk don’t have souls.*

If food can have salt, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami, why can’t art? What books or music make you feel sated and at the same time, longing for more?

*If anyone can remember that story’s title for me, I would be deeply appreciative.

The writing life

Words: 2,035

Music: KGSR Broadcasts Vol 16. James McMurtry has an amazing voice

 A lot of words tonight, probably because I didn’t write all weekend. Saturday we spent at the park watching A play ultimate Frisbee. We got about 4 or 5 inches of rain on Friday and Saturday, so the kids were sliding all over the place. Plenty of mud came home with him. But it did clear up so nicely and even though it was humid on Saturday, Sunday (and today) was a gorgeous clear day, sunny, crisp and cool. I love days like that. We are almost into summer here in Central Texas and these days will be a dim memory soon.

Sunday we drove to San Marcos to visit friends. They have a two year old daughter and a 4 and half month old baby boy, and I got to hold the baby for hours. It was fun, even when he spit up all over me. And the little girl — who has these sweet red curls — finally warmed up to me enough that she would sit in my lap and I told her the story of the three little pigs.

For now though, it’s great weather. And my little herb garden is thriving. I even used some sprigs for tonight’s marinade for the porkchops. Rosemary, oregano, and on a whim I crushed in some mint. The basil is still coming up, and I planted a ton because I love basil. So despite my black thumb, we’ll see. Maybe this is the year.