Striving for Five

I just reached a difficult class assignment, which gives me pause. We all need to be given a break by something that enters into our life, causing us to think, causing us to wonder how are we going to scale this mountain.

This assignment has become my Mt.Everest because I don’t think I include enough sensory experience in what I write. I think I might have sensory amnesia. I found this out by the teacher’s assignment to look at my past writings and see where I have triggered…

  • Where have I triggered the reader’s sense of sight?
  • Where have I triggered the reader’s sense of sound?
  • Where have I triggered the reader’s sense of smell?
  • Where have I triggered the reader’s sense of touch?
  • Where have I triggered the reader’s sense of taste?

Not that all writing needs every single sense used but surely enough to give the reader enough of a meal to enjoy. I think most of the meals I have been making have been tasteless.

When I was in Japan with my wife, I heard a new word I wasn’t familiar with. While eating dinner, our friend said this dish has umami. My wife responded, “Yes, it does.” I said to myself —what? Excusing myself to go to the bathroom so I might consult my phone, I encountered in the bathroom a toilet looking like a captain’s chair in a plane, full of controls with Japanese words.

Well, going to the bathroom with a mission, not wanting to be diverted, I googled umami. Sweet, sour, salty, bitter are the tastes I am familiar with. Now I hear there is one more—umami. What? You mean civilization has been going on for how long and just now discovering there is another taste. It blew my mind. Anxious about getting back to the table to experience more of this umami, I looked at the toilet again. It was beckoning me. I sat down. I pushed buttons. Oh, I see. I had found a different kind of umami in the bathroom. Maybe there was hope of my writing having some umami in it someday.

2 thoughts on “Striving for Five

  1. Lol, gotta love me some Japanese toilets. To be fair, I had no idea how to use them when I first arrived, because the logos were vague, and I couldn’t read Japanese, but seat-warmers in the winter? That stuff’s gold!


  2. We were there when it was a little colder, so we enjoyed the seat warmer. We talked to an engineer there who travels a lot and brings a portable Japanese bidet with him when he travels. He once got questioned by Customs about it which got everyone in Customs a hearty laugh.


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