Sensing Choices

If I had to lose of my senses, I would hope it would be hearing. It’s a tough hypothetical call, trying to choose which of our taken-for-granted senses we would keep and which we could afford to discard. I love them all. I am sure one can adapt as needed to various stimuli without certain senses but luckily most of us never have to think about it.
The sound of my children’s laughter, the sound of wind rustling in the trees, the sound of my husband’s satisfied mmmph when… well, lots of sounds are really enjoyable and make me feel good inside. The ocean. Birds. Christmas carols. But I would still trade this particular sense after weighing it against the others.
Especially sight. That one’s my favorite. Colors. Smiles. Oceans. Mountains. Vistas in nature and in the city. Looking into someone’s eyes for answers, reading, solving puzzles, writing. I love touch and smell and taste as well of course. Smell and taste are inexorably linked, as studies show these senses are strongest at evoking memories and sensations. The smell of grass takes us to a summer’s day. Baking bread to our grandmother’s kitchen. Babies, lovers, old books, all too precious to inhale. Homemade cookies, fruity wines, kisses. Too tangible to leave behind. The feel of a child’s hand grasping yours, a lover’s hands caressing yours, smooth velvet, bumpy rocks, sand between toes, your hands touching everything and committing it to memory.
But I love the gifts my eyes bring me best of all. I am a visual learner for the most part. You know when you have to take those tests in school to determine if you’re a visual, audio, or tactile learner? Yes we use them all together but usually one will prevail as dominant. Sight for me is a dominant need. It’s how I best process information at my disposal. I love looking at pictures and taking photographs. I love to read and write. Watching people’s body language and facial expression like some sort of FBI profiler to best gauge my responses. I would choose sight over all and be rid of the noise of this world.
Luckily, this is not a choice I see having to make anytime soon. I can go on licking and poking and squinting and sniffing and cocking my head to hear the world rushing towards me. Now just to find a way to express my appreciation for these senses… I have no idea.

“my mind is
a big hunk of irrevocable nothing which touch and taste and smell
and hearing and sight keep hitting and chipping with sharp fatal tools
in an agony of sensual chisels i perform squirms of chrome and execute strides of cobalt
nevertheless i feel that i cleverly am being altered that i slightly am becoming
something a little different, in fact myself
hereupon helpless i utter lilac shrieks and scarlet bellowings”

ee cummings


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