Monday, August 3, 2009

Massive storms and mallows and synaesthesia

First, white rabbits, an old saying for the first thing you do on the first of the month, bit late, but I just realized it's August. And a lovely bush of pink mallows by the local Plainsboro Pond, as a bouquet for the birthdays of all those friends whose day is in August -- HS very soon, Eepy, too, PaulabethL, Liane, and no doubt other people who will be all annoyed that I forgot them, sorry, but take the flowers as yours, too.

Major huge ginormous storm yesterday, tornadoes not far away, but we were spared, however we had a pure black sky with incredible amounts of rain falling, the kind you can't even see through.

HP was not well, needed a prescription, but his nurse said, okay, I spoke with the doc, she called it in, and YOU ARE NOT TO GO OUT FOR IT IN THIS STORM! heh, nice team looking after both of us. I waited till the storm abated, found that the computer system of the whole area was down because of the storm, so the pharm had to write out everything by hand, couldn't process the whole script, but gave me two pills to get HP started, since it's antibiotic, better get into it right away, and it was quite exciting all in all.

I did get a walk in,the soccer field briefly became quite a picturesque lake, and I got a pic which is taken in the water, reflecting the black sky with a bit of sun attempting to emerge.

And the sky suddenly recovering after the storm. This is why I love to live here -- constant interesting stuff in the sky.

Today I got out for a while as HP's aide was taking care of him, and went down to Plainsboro Pond at the end of the street I used to live on, and found a bunch of big snails enjoying the sun at the edge of the dam. They can't normally get up there, but the water was so high it floated them up. At first I thought they must be frogs and I crept up quietly so as not to make them jump away and lose my pic. Then realized they were snails. Oh. No rush, then.

And there were minnows darting about in the drowned grass at the pond edge. When the water gets so high it involves large amounts of the surrounding land, somebody downstream pulls the plug, or opens a causeway or something, and the water level sinks down.

Couldn't resist the historic marker, either. It's one of the few around here that don't record a british defeat in the W. of I, this being one of the places that calls itself the cradle of the revolution!

And all this leads to synaesthesia....which is where two or more senses join forces, so that you hear a name, see a color, shape, hear a sound, that kind of thing. August brought it to mind, since I see a rough shape of white and grey, all striated, like worn out limestone, always have whenever I hear or see it. Interesting concept. Some of us have synaes. to a marked extent, and I'm happy to say I'm one of them!

I used to introduce adult art students to it, particularly using the sense of smell, and this time of year if I taught a summer workshop, I'd bring in herbs, and have people smell, see and remember. Smell is a function of the limbic, primitive, brain, and that's why we get rushes of memories, whole scenes, with some scents. And it works the other way too -- you can imprint the current event for future memory, using scent.

Color works this way for some of us, too: I get literally a bitter taste in my mouth with some dark yellow shades, and a sweet taste with paler yellows, a ghastly taste with some purples, really awful, and with some pinkish beiges. And so on.

Names have shapes and colors: Gabriella is a big swirling flounce of white satin, moving. And the odd thing is that the images never ever change. Some of them I've had since I was a little kid, never change. All my family's names had colors and shapes to me.

I had correspondence last year with blessed Oliver Sacks when he had written Musicology, where he was talking about sounds and colors, in relation to music and other pursuits, and he asked if he could use some of my thoughts in the paperback that was coming out, same title, which pleased me no end, to share the ideas.

And he duly credited me, used some stuff in a footnote, and sent me a copy to save me the trouble of buying one. Inscribed it, too. So that goes to show why synaesthesia is a Good Thing!


dogonart said...

Synaesthesia is new to me. Never heard of it before. I love learning something new and what a good word for scrabble!

Gabriella said...

Big swirling flounce of white satin, eh? :)

dianesowo said...

Diana is buttermilk.

annie1931 said...

Wouldn't synaesthesia be fun to feel/have/know...I've read about it, and now I know someone who knows first hand.

Lovely photos, Liz, particularly the reflection in the Pool.

Vibes to HS for good riddance to the bug.

Sparky2 said...

I can't tell you how much - or even "why" I so enjoyed this particular posting ... I suppose it just seemed like such a "normal" bit of my own world - only with a lovely English accent that made it special.

Ok. I'm sure you're having a good giggle over that - all the better. ;-)