On Friday night Rob and I went to Brigham's Landing for some haute cuisine . . . two mushroom swiss burgers and an order of fries, to be shared, at Burgers Supreme. It just so happened that we discovered Rob's parents and grandmother there in a corner booth, and we happily interrupted their first bites of tuna melt, fish and chips, and some other nicely greasy entreé. We were having a rousing debate about the ethics of attending next year's Memorial Day Testicle Festival in Randolph, Utah (Dad champions the idea), when what to my wondering ears did appear but two boys in a fray and the f-word so clear. The bigger kid—and he was a giant—was the perpetrator; everytime one came out of his mouth he blasted it for the enjoyment of all present, with no small amount of shouting menace. Oddly, no violence ever broke out between the two fellows, though it seemed unavoidable, and the two rejoined their friends, a bunch of girls, at the back of the restaurant. In a few minutes, the big kid was at it again. All I could hear from him him were recreational explosions of hot profanity. I considered going over and asking him gently to cut it out—I mean, not only was I disturbed, but so were many others in the restaurant, it was obvious. And the little kids out with their parents . . . ! C'mon! But something quietly urged me not to approach the kid. There was someting scary about him, though he was very clean cut. The girls he and his buddy were with just laughed—sad. Later on, I was thinking over the situation and how I would have liked to respond. I had a thought about the effect that such language can have on the speaker—it begs disease. Not just the f-word, but any kind awful speech, the profane and the hateful. Just think of it—think of carrying around some rotten dead thing on your tongue, and allowing its nastiness to touch you, to fill your mouth. You spew it onto somebody else, onto your surroundings, but it's a pretty sure bet that by that time it has already seeped into your system and started working sickness wherever it can. Gross!
Makes me want to brush my teeth, maybe gargle with Clorox.
So this morning I am thinking about tongues again. This time I was toying with the idea of the five basic tastes—bitter, salty, sour, sweet, and umami (savoury, meaty, or brothy) corresponding to emotional or spiritual sensations. I got thinking about that because I am struggling with certain cravings, and I wondered if they could in any way be physical expressions of something my soul is needing. For instance, I feel like I might turn inside out if I don't get my hands on some sweets PDQ. Not likely to happen, since it's Sunday, unless I break down and make some cookies or something. But is there something else I need, really, and this is the little flag? Some sweet experience that would satisfy me more in the long run? I'm not talking about giving up eating or indulging. I just wonder if my body's trying to give me clues about my soul when it goes into its wild cravings mode.
I have ideas about the kinds of needs or experiences the different tastes might represent. It's a fun exercise to puzzle through this, whether it's fact or fancy. Anybody want to venture some musings? I'd like to hear your ideas before I post my own. Maybe I'll like yours better.
Give it a try:
UMAMI (SAVOURY, MEATY, or BROTHY)
What might your soul be asking for when your body screams out for these?