Intro: I got to thinking about our senses and about smell in particular. Because smell depends on respiration ... out and in, Expiration and, well, what I call this, Inspiration.
Everybody knows the nose is the underdog of organs, sniffing out odours;
it’s the sceptical smeller ...
the not-quite-sure detective.
Oh sure ... “seeing is believing”
but “catching a whiff” ... can that really be trusted?
Yeah, sight is always right; sight
is always the star, the headline act, the Celine Dion sense with loyal fans everywhere,
always in demand,
operating at the speed ... of light.
But what is the speed ... of smell?
Pretty fast, judging by how fast gas seeps up under the blankets.
As you breathe in, smell gets only about 12 chances a minute to do its stuff,
12 sniffs, 12 unconscious inspirations.
Now, we’ve all been intoxicated by a rose
but what about stoned on lilacs, or high on lily-of-the-valley, or hopped up on peonies ?
And anyway ... do bees have noses?
Yes, the nose is the underdog of organs, the neglected hero of the invisible sense.
It’s the all-is-not-well warning
for those leftovers in the back of the fridge,
or the “something is dead” message you get along a roadside ditch in deer season,
or the carbon monoxide ... oh wait, that’s odourless.
Sometimes Smell brings along its cousin Taste
to give you the real deal.
The kitchen is an olfactory factory.
The roasting chicken, the searing steak,
the crushed mint, the cry of an onion.
So don’t lose your inspiration;
Just follow your nose.
• © 2015 Jonas Barter