October Window

The catharsis I seek is untenable. It isn’t of this world. It lays within a brown envelope full of letters that speak of a time different from this, and although the colours and shapes of this vision are simple and balanced, nothing of this otherworldly composition is incomplete or basic.

My life is full of colour, shapes, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations that I can seldom relate to others, and to which others can relate. My life is a symphonic, dynamic work of art with every word that is spoken, and with every scene experienced, and it can be a lonely place because it seems that few others have a brain that is wired like mine. This part of me I keep to myself, because to those others it sounds like lyrical nonsense when I speak of loud reds, and B-flat greens, smooth purples and mint-flavoured skies. It sounds like I’m tripping, having had a good dose of narcotic candy after having listened to some avant-guard 60s psychedelia.

“Far out man, this is good shit!”

Yeah, my shit is good shit, except I can’t switch it off. I can’t stop sensing and experiencing what I do at any point. Much in the same way that a ‘normal’ person can’t switch their eyes or ears off, if they have eyes or ears to see and hear with. Furthermore, how could I possibly imagine what it is like not to sense things in the way that I do?
Yet I have learned the language of convention, and I laugh along too when I say something as apparently ludicrous as, “I don’t like the flavour of that brick, because its attitude stinks”, however, to me it makes perfect sense, and as I think of it I can see and feel exactly what such a brick would be like. It’s a brick I would give a sideways glance to, and never use to build a house with. Go on, laugh. I would.

Maybe I could meditate it out of my system, choose not to respond to all this stimuli? Yes, why not give that a try. Just let me clear my throat, and find a space between fits of laughter, and floods of tears. Irony can be troublesome stuff, getting stuck in your orifices like dust thrown up by a passing truck carrying big blue aardvarks.

I close my eyes lately, and all I can see is photo after photo of scenes I’ve no recollection of, like a slide-show on fast forward. It’s cool because I’m enjoying each and every shot as I see it, but each one carries its own historical energy stamp, like being shocked with a cattle-prod, except each shock is different from the next, and not always favourable, so the only thing I can do is open my eyes and hope that the light bouncing off my retina is enough to dampen the images speeding past, just as the sunlight filters out the stars in the day-time sky. It’s not always effective, and often I will be aware that I’m still dreaming the dream I had the night before for example, in the periphery of my mind’s-eye, aware of the changing tones of scenery almost superimposed upon what my eyes are physically seeing. Such things can affect the mood of the whole day for me, as my super-awareness plays out entire dramas in conjunction with the dramas that my physical body is engaged in. I call it ‘super-awareness’, because when placed in the context of what is considered ‘normal’, such a description seems fitting.

I see, hear, smell, and sense things that no-one else does, and yet that I believe everyone could if they were open to it. I’m not an alien, or a different species of human being as some may like to profess, because it sounds cute and complimentary, but a way of really saying, “I can’t relate”. There is nothing strange about how I am, any more than there is anything strange about someone whose neural pathways are not all connected.

America CupTo me it is odd that you might not be able to see all the extra dimensions to the cup you are drinking from. I accept that through conventional thought, the cup is just a cup, an inanimate object that is what it appears to be, but that would be barely scratching the surface of its greater reality in my mind. My eyes see nuances in that cup that you might never experience. And as fascinating, or as crazy as that may sound, I cannot describe it to you accept in metaphor and allegory, at which point you lose focus and switch off, because you just can’t relate.

So why am I even talking about it, you might ask? Well, because this is my blog and I can, and because in some small way I hope that someone can indeed relate in whatever way possible. Not that I’m a charity case seeking donations, although that’s how I feel sometimes, but because without those connections I die a little bit more inside each time, to the point that I begin to believe that the world I happen to inhabit really sucks. No one appreciates how resilient I have to be because of my heightened sensitivity to stimuli. Nobody is there to pick me up when it all gets a little too overwhelming.

I often find myself smiling through gritted teeth, because sometimes, to reveal what I’m experiencing would be social suicide. How do I explain that I know the man sitting on the bench across from me is a criminal about to commit a crime, because of the cocktail of colours I see emanating from him, because I can see a darkness behind his eyes that I know no-one else can, but that is glaringly obvious to me? Then to watch the crime unfolding, and feeling helpless because who the hell would believe me without catching him in the act and endangering myself?

That stuff in particular, really, really sucks arse. Being right is not always a good thing, let me tell you.

I try to channel all of this super-awareness into more acceptable artistic mediums that others can indeed relate to, but as with all languages, much gets lost in translation when code-switching, so the art of me becomes obscured and altered. It becomes something else, and my melodious clouds still moving across the sky, just look like clouds in a photographic still. Their resonance is missed, and the artistic expression of the piece is a little less than it was intended to be. Often when I’m going through photographs, I get irritated that the software just cannot simulate accurately enough what I saw before me. The intensity of colour, and the sensations that went with it.

I often feel sorry for others who cannot see what I see, remembering that for me ‘seeing’ means something completely different from the ability to read data through physical eyes. I feel that they are missing out on wonderful things sometimes, unaware of the beauty and the art in the most mundane of things, and of the stories that these things can relate. To be able to pick up an object and listen to its history is truly inspiring. To be able to look at a morning sky and feel the emotions within it is sublime. To be able feel the song in the crowds of people that pass before you is exhilarating. Yet I can’t share that with anyone, because no-one understands, except for animals. They get it.

Gwynnie's lovely paws

Perhaps, not seeing what I see might be a blessing, in that I might feel a little less alone out here in the wilds of Maria-Ville. Also because not everything I see and experience is always so delightful. I cannot switch it off. I even find that I have to ridicule myself in order to sound a little less whiney and sad in my own head, and perhaps a little more acceptably normal. But seriously, you people have no idea.

Maybe I’ll go feral after all. Just let me out at the Potomac Falls, I like the energy there. Now that is a heck of a symphony! Damn shame you’ll never be able to hear it.

7 thoughts on “October Window Through Sunrise Skies.

  1. We can’t hear it because you’ve convinced yourself that people will assume you mad. The truth is that no one’s heard of synesthesia, and if they did, they’d likely think it was pretty cool. I often want you to describe what you’re seeing, but I don’t push it. Without words around it, people will fit this into the little they know and will decide it’s some sort of mental illness, I imagine. But I’d hope they quickly move away from that once they understand.

    Maybe you should paint your world for us.


    1. I would tell you if you asked me, but I don’t speak synaesthete because you’d likely assume I was being esoteric. Like the time I said my camera felt different, and you asked me if I meant was it heavier. It wasn’t heavier, it just felt different. Like sensing a change in mood. I find it hard to explain without feeling very self-conscious and stupid.
      I already do paint my world through words and photography, the rest is up to the recipient.


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