How does one begin to describe the taste of the sunset?
I know a little of its taste, because I watched the sun breathe deep of the glowing clouds. I smelt the sweetness of the air trapped in its final rays, and heard the hush of twilight’s gentle feet, and felt the cool touch of the night sky…
How does one begin to describe the taste of Papua New Guinea?
I know a little of its taste, because I watched the land breathe deep of the culture engraved upon its lush, green face. I smelt the dust and the dirt, and heard the throb of voices and the pealing echo of birds, and felt the sting of the flies and the warm clasp of friendly hands…
I have tasted the earth and the sky. And both have altered my taste in a profound and irrevocable way.
And now, I realise, I have been spoilt by the taste of the sunset; I have been spoilt by the taste of PNG.
I have been ruined of all future ignorance.
Because no longer can I see a sunset and not remember that soft, layered, unfathomable taste of the clouds. No longer can I think of PNG and not feel again that harsh, mysterious, beautiful heartbeat of the land and the people.
My smile is tainted by their sweet taste.
Yes, I tasted the sunset – I wish I could bring you a sip of its glimmering nectar.
Yes, I tasted Papua New Guinea – I wish I could bring you the feel of its shimmering drum.
But how does one describe the taste of the sunset? All I can bring you is the words that linger in the afterglow.
And maybe, just maybe, you’ll taste the sunset too.
© Emma McGeorge 06 August 2014
(“PNG Sky” photo credit: Anton Lutz)