Cooking dinner on a Wednesday night, I tune in to public radio, actual airwaves, imagine that, not my private device with my private songs hermetically piped into my pre-programmed head, but unpredictable, possibly unfamiliar music streaming out of an antique boom box set on the counter, its antenna pulling in a sexy signal, violins guiding the rhythm of my chopping as the greens are prepared for the cast-iron skillet and an improvised omelet takes shape under my watchful hands and listening eyes. I know the deejay, his name is Dale; decades ago he delivered a load of kindling to my old farmhouse outside Soquel, a carload of cedar shingles torn off his house and about to start a winter’s worth of fires in mine. How we are still alive these ages later I can’t explain, but the sounds of his weekly show on KUSP reliably warm my kitchen as I stir the pasta into the boiling water or toss an ensalada de la casa. I relish hearing how news is overruled, Dvorak and Rodrigo testifying with strings to their passions transcending history, tragedy, language—melodies leaping and keeping time—or some pianist’s fingers pronouncing sounds like the speech of nightingales, unrepeatable, because even though the notes are written and recorded, this moment is temporary, this garlic clove crushed uniquely under the knife blade, this onion’s pungent crescents now sliced just so, this olive oil can only be poured this once while this Prokofiev sonata simmers in the background or a Schumann concerto shimmers like candles on an intimate table where some special occasion is celebrated. This must be how music nourishes, feeding us through the ears as we gaze in each other’s eyes and taste what we’ve made over the years and in the presence of the present, its gift unwrapped on our plates to be savored as we are serenaded by a radio. I couldn’t have foreseen the arrival of these sounds until the surprise of their streaming from the speakers into the heat of our appetites, nor could we have known these classical harmonies before we composed this meal.