Memory is the product of physical sensation, and what we taste, smell, hear, touch, and see forms the record of our life. The island of Lanzarote, so unique in every aspect, triggers each of the five sensations and maps them onto our brain’s cortex. As I set sail from Lanzarote this morning, I need only close my eyes to relive the past month on this idiosyncratic island in the Atlantic Ocean.
Gustatory, the sense of taste–At Arrieta, the succulent flavor of a grilled fish, still simmering, is served on the sand next to the sea. Along the Ruta de Los Volcanes, a chicken roasts over the raw-earth heat of an open volcanic fissure.
Olfactory–Before the first drops of a young Malvasía Volcánica reach my tongue, the aromatic mineral notes of this brilliant La Geria wine fill my head. Even Shakespeare’s characters longed for a “cup of canary.”
Auditory–Sunday morning church bells ring in the Haría Artesanal announcing the opening of the artisans market.
Somatosensory–In a Guatiza garden, the sensuous touch of a single finger moving along the velvet-textured leaves of aloe and agave terminates in a skin-piercing spine. It’s the age-old seduction of pleasure and pain.
Visual–In the historic quarter of the Villa de Teguise, a pretty girl in a colorful dress seeks shade against a whitewashed wall.
This is the Lanzarote that I will remember.
All images © Jeffrey Cardenas
Sailing is not just about the wind and the sea; equally important are the places where Flying Fish carries me, and the flora, fauna, and people I encounter along the way.
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Text and Photography © Jeffrey Cardenas 2021
Let this be a time of grace and peace in our lives – Fr. John Baker