Wednesday, August 01, 2007



We all have touchstones. We may not know it; we may not acknowledge the fact, we may refuse to admit little truths. But what is a real touch stone. It is a dark stone such as slate on which a precious metal leaves a trace. So a touchstone is something that lets us know the worth of something else.

I’m trying to remember whether I’ve ever seen an eastern reference to touch stone. My mind comes up rather blank. To think some people spend their lives trying to make their minds blank. OK that’s today’s giggle.

But let me return to my original thought. We all have touchstones.

Sensory related, what are your touchstones? Think for a moment. I’ll go with the five senses. You know them as taste, sight, sound, touch, and smell. Can you think of some of the sensory things you might call your touchstones?

Taste- I’d chalk that up to something like an ultimately good spaghetti sauce. At first I considered a bowl of chili but the spiciness tends to overwhelm it. For me a good sauce is a subtle blending of sweet, sour, hot, salty, rich. That’s the reason I didn’t pick something like a fried salt herring.

Sight- Now this one can really be answered a thousand ways and more, I suspect. Some folks might say the sight of a newborn. Images of parents, spouses, children, a sunrise, a sunset, heck even an ice cream cone. You might think I’d pick some steam locomotive but not today. Remember, touchstone. A mountain stream. That works for me.

Sound. Now this one might really get us rocking and rolling. Just the myriad types of music around up are enough to have us debating what sounds become touchstones. And then of course the sound of voices. I’m really stuck with a sound that I’d call a touchstone. I’ll toss out the sound of a strong wind coming through trees in winter.

Touch. Touch is an odd thing. If you really think about it is boils down to pressure, temperature and vibration. The touch of a small hand and the touch of an old hand are just variations. And of course the issue of what part of our body senses the touch. My feet aren’t as sensitive as say my fingertips. This isn’t as easy as I thought it might be. Touch. The feel of a hammer in my hand. I’ll offer that.

And that brings up the last sense in my list. Smell. I have no idea how many smells we can grasp. And some smells are combinations of many smells. I’ve got a toss up here. I’ve got to think about this one a bit more. A crushed Basil leaf, a cup of honey, ozone after lightning? I can’t say.

That's the surface of my thinking.