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Monday, June 10, 2013

Senses...

They're a funny thing senses... I've had cause recently to review how I evaluate them. We have five senses; sight, hearing, tasting, touching and scent. All equally important right? You would think so, especially if you're lucky enough to possess all five senses. Thing is, that's not the case at all. For those of us who do have all five senses, it's quite funny how much emphasis you place on the first one I listed there. Sight.

Think about it. What's the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? Open your eyes and check the time, put your glasses on, or look around, or just generally see something. It's hard to ignore isn't it? You can see it's light, sun streaming through the windows for instance. You know it's daytime, you haven't woken in the middle of the night. Judgement. We all instantly judge situations, people, anything, on what we see. I often wonder how many of us would have very different relationships with friends and lovers if the physicality of what someone looks like didn't have any part in how we interacted with each other. Too often in everyday life, our sighted sense is targeted to create an emotional response. It's normal. We expect it. We're judged on the clothes we wear, the size of our bodies, the colour of our skin.

What would you do if you couldn't see?

Then there's hearing. You're sitting in your car, guaranteed you'll flip on the radio and listen to your favourite song, or listen to the news, or infact, anything to do with listening. You'll hear the engine thrum quietly into life, or the indicators clicking. What would you do if you couldn't hear? But then of course there's three other senses left. Not so important really are they? But then, that all depends on how you experience the world. Without your sense of smell, you sense of taste is impaired. With little or no sense of touch/feeling, how do you know if you've hurt yourself and you're bleeding, or fatally injured? They seem so trivial in comparison to the other senses, but imagine if you did lack one of the senses I talk about? The other four would suddenly become so much more important. Crucially so.

Picture

When it comes to writing, I was made aware, that I emphasise sight as a descriptor way too much. I will admit, I am biased in finding eyes rather attractive, and smiles do funny things to my knees, but those who follow me on Twitter will be very aware of the effect the scent of Joop has on me, and also the importance of music in my life. Not to mention how sensual a light drag of the fingertips across quivering flesh can be when done at the right time... and of course, not to forget how the texture and taste of a piece of chocolate melting on your tongue can make everything right in the world. Sight is purely superficial, you can only see what is presented on the outside, and although it can help in many ways, it can also cloud your judgement too. As I develop as a writer, I look to continue to improve my writing to be inclusive of every part of the essence of how we think and feel, to use every sense we possess. To fully immerse my readers in the world of the characters I create.

So next time you have a few moments to yourself, close your eyes and try to describe the sensations you feel. The sound of birds singing in the distance, the scent of newly mown grass, the cool touch of the wine glass stem cradled in your hand, and the myriad tastes of the sweet, fragrant wine. Such simple pleasures.

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