Synesthetic Envy

I have always wondered what it would be like have Synesthesia.  I even love the sound of the word as it rolls off my tongue.  “Synesthesia is perceiving sensory data of one sense with another, eg, seeing sounds, hearing colours or colours can be perceived to have taste or smell.” Blending of the senses or blending sensory experiences is something that I have experienced most of my life that I am aware of anyway but I am certain that I do not have this unique aptitude.  I have met only a couple of people who actually have this extraordinary gift.  Envy is not considered the most attractive connotation for yearn but it seems to fit my obsession with this neurological phenomenon.  I consider myself a hyper sensitive creature and thus my creative impulses are felt deeply.  My experiences are saturated in colour and emotion.  Transmission and perception is exaggerated many times which makes for curious interaction and understanding.

I fantasize about what it would be like to actually see my name in colour or to smell the number 7 or taste my favorite piece of music.  I love the feeling and look of certain words like *language or fluid or intuitive.*  Or how about *organic or raw, composition or compassion.* I don’t know.  Maybe its just me.  Words hold all sorts of literal and figurative meanings for each person.  They induce mood swings and even certain colours,  their names I swear I can taste them and I bet it has something to do with the very nature of my experiences with the particular colour that it reminds me of the taste of a particularly luscious fruit for example.  The photo I posted the other day in which I titled it Persimmon, Curry, Lime.  I felt that I could drink a tangy summer cocktail of that trio.  My sensory experience was quite real…enough to make my mouth water.  And so another story about colour and how it moves me, how it arouses my senses and leads me circulatively.

I imagine this topic will be revisted from time to time as one who admits openly to desire, must return again and again in order to satiate.

I welcome feedback of any kind should anyone wish to share their own Synesthetic or sensory blending experience.  Colour Stories are welcome too.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

Cool Lemon Meringue

9 Responses to “Synesthetic Envy”

  1. 1 Kelly March 31, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Don’t you feel that as artists we dance on the rim of the cup filled with these sensations all day long. At least I feel this way. It is a gift to be able to take the time to notice details, hear notes that others miss, feel the depth of color, the touch of texture. Yet, this is a gift that anyone can cultivate to some level. We also have the ability to turn the volume down when necessary to function in the “real world” to some degree. Yearning to turn the volume up to hyper perception is healthy and is a continuation of our daily self education.

    Cool Lemon Meringue, I taste it. Good eye.

    Thank you for sharing your musings with us. A nice meditation for today.

  2. 2 Kim Mettee March 31, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Yes. Yes and Yes. Lovely thought processing Kelly. Thank you.

  3. 3 Brian March 31, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    When I was a child, we had magnetic plastic alphabet letters that were all different colors. I was fascinated by those and still mentally visualize letters in color. If this were truly synaesthesia, as it is described, I would actually see those colors. But I don’t see the colors, I just feel them, and they feel “right.”

    We had a colored xylophone, too, and I still think of the notes of the musical scale as having specific colors. I don’t experience those colors when I hear the musical tones, though, I just think the colors when I think of the note names, and they are probably the same colors they would be as regular letters. I have several colored dots on the side of my guitar neck and they correspond to the colors I associate the nearby tones with.

    For me, it’s not sensory; it’s more a relationship between color and language. Different words, like days of the week, have color associations. I imagine that lots of people make associations like this, or can if they were asked to. I read somewhere that most people think A is red. I think it’s green, but B is red.

  4. 5 hazel anne design April 2, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Hooray Kim! What a great place for you to meld and process all that you do. It’s addictive and fun! I’ll be sure to subscribe. love anne

  5. 6 Alison Grant April 11, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Hi Kim,

    This is Alison Grant and I have been searching for you since I took your summer class through Mayfield Heights rec. department. I am unable to take your class this summer due to my summer schedule; however, I was wondering if you will be offering any evening classes in the summer? I would love to take something with you again.


  6. 7 Rachael Wagoner July 3, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    I didn’t know a thing about synesthesia or realize I have it until a college math teacher asked us to consider and volunteer information about our favorite numbers. When it was my turn to reply, without hesitation I said that I love the sparkling, transparent, violet of the number 9. Looking back, I now understand why the room became so quiet and my instructor looked at me as though a number 9 had squeezed out of my head… how funny is that!

    So after that day, I researched the condition and learned that I was a synesthete. I read that it can be genetic; however, in my case, it is not. Although I can’t be certain, I think mine came from having an epilectic seizure when I was four years old. You might know this, but according to some research, a seizure can cause a person’s neurons to interact in a way that enables different forms of synesthesia. For me, letters, numbers, and days of the week are in colors. For learning purposes, I have to literally ‘see’ a new concept in writing (such as a name or a phone number) so that I can translate it into its visual color patterns.

    Anyway, thanks for your sharing your thoughts and time.
    all the best,

  7. 8 Kim Mettee July 3, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Thank you Rachel for sharing your story. I am so excited to hear from an actual Synesthete. I am envious. I would love to sit with you sometime and learn more about your gift. And what a gift it must be. I am captivated my the sheer notion that Synesthesia exists and how it can transform one’s experiences via colour and texture and pattern and that numbers and letters and days of the week as with you, can have such depth and sensitivity. Just beautiful.

  8. 9 Helle jorgensen April 5, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Hi Kim,

    I’ve been wondering what it’s like to not have synaesthesia.

    Some years ago, and to my surprise, I discovered that I was a synaesthete. My alphabet and numbers are coloured and have personalities; they are also arranged in patterns. Sounds and smells also have colour and texture. For example, a bird’s song evokes a changing and moving pattern of colours, patterns and textures. Human voices too.

    Synaesthesia is part of my thought processes – I don’t think I’d be able to function without it.

    Thanks for writing about this fascinating subject!

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March 2010

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