It’s a quiet morning, the members of my household all working in different tasks. Working together, but separate. There’s the sound of a neighbor’s friendly conversation that can be faintly heard through the window. The cawing of crows outside the front of our home is not so faint. But there are songbirds, too. And an occasional motorcycle or loud-ish car passing. There’s the tinkle of Ellycat’s bell as she wanders from room to room looking for a warm lap. And the living room is full of soft morning light.
A few days ago, Catgirl asked me about my synesthesia, specifically curious about the types of sensory cross-over that I experience. I don’t have the common variety of text-to-visual synesthesia. Rather, I have visual-to-sound and touch-to-visual. I explained to her that it’s why I can find it so difficult to shop in a mall or in an unfamiliar grocery store–the ‘loud’ designs of the displays create a tornado of sound in my head. It’s hard to process so much visual-sound all at once. It makes me want to find a dim quiet place to sit down and close my eyes. But, on the other hand, if I’m somewhere like an art museum and can take time to savor each painting, the result is far more melodic.
Lately, I’ve found that images with rich brown-grey colors are yielding such peaceful-quiet tones in my mind. There’s something about their softness that makes me breathe a little deeper and feel more relaxed. It’s almost beyond description, the way my mind makes sounds from images–so I don’t know if this makes any sense at all to someone who hasn’t experienced it. It’s similar to the way I feel when I read some poetry, such as the classic “Lake Isle of Innisfree.”
Here are some of my recent favorite “quiet” photos:
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
By William Butler Yeats
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.