Are you out of your senses???

My sister recently lent me an excellent book and it has got me thinking about how we go through this life, sniffing, caressing, glancing, harking, and savoring. In
A Natural History of the Senses
, by Diane Ackerman, you start with the nose and move along through our 5 fabulous perception options.

It has me thinking about sensory deprivation. So far, a couple of people that lost their sense of smell in the book feel lost from their own lives, homes, spouses, and that's not to mention the difficulties of trying to actually enjoy food without olfactory assistance. Helen Keller is brought up a few times. Any time I thought of her before reading this I sort of felt sorry for her, but in this book I learn the other side. Her sense of taste, touch, and smell are so enhanced that you might argue she lived a life more sensual and rich than most!

I am thinking of my own nose and a few special scents that are indeed complexly and inexorably linked to my memories. I have a certain conditioner that takes me right back to summer vacations with my dear family down by the ocean. A special Egyptian-reminiscent perfume and there I am on prom night, 17. Warm Vanilla sugar lotion transports me to my college road trip to the eastern Australian coast, and on and on. Do you have any special smells like these? It's fascinating and sad that a loss of smell is sometimes correlated with Alzheimer's disease. It's amazing how scent is so indescribable, yet so effective at drawing us out of our present moment. Perhaps it could also sink us more deeply? In yoga I often apply my herbal eye pillow of lavender and chamomile, I think I'll make it a point to do that more regularly.

I shall continue this theme for a few posts, tune in next time for touch.


1 comment:

Erin said...

It's interesting how we use our senses almost exclusively to recreate the past.

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