Taste

As I eat my breakfast each morning, I love to watch the wall. The wall of the abandoned building across the street, that is.

It is in the stillness, the sameness, the repetition of my attendance, that my sight deepens.

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One morning, I suddenly perceive the weathered shoe on the windowsill of the 17th window, till now a chameleon, in its perfect lime off-white. The following morning the word QUEEN appears – delicately scratched into the alcove of the once-was-mint-green rusted over door.

Time shows, and the interplay of tags are genuine – a fine blood-red scribe mid-wall is echoed further down in bold block letters, standing like elephants feet on the mossy footpath. The peeling wallpaper inside the 23rd room runs in waves with sharp crests, mimicking the broken glass, still in the grip of the window-frame. The variations of ochre on this wall are infinite – a surface many a painter would be proud to claim as his work.  The human stories have evaporated. Now it is the dust that speaks to the pigeons, while the dead-end wires dance with their own shadows.

Before we are taught what is beautiful, the sight of a river-rat being devoured by a dog is fascinating. Before we are taught what is delicious, a fistful of sand is a feast like any other.  Acquired tastes and sense of value…

The първи глас (soprano) hits a high C# at full open throated velocity – the sound of a banshee. Satisfied ripples on my skin. It surprised me last year to note how many of my World Choir participants initially disliked, or should I say – hated with a vengeance, the sound of one of the songs I proposed. Because I have listened to this music and admired it for years, it never occurred to me that it could be disliked. That very night, on National Radio, was discussed the nature of taste and how we can only love what we know. And yet, some souls are struck like a gong, while others, not.  The mysterious currents of music continue to move…

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