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Ambience Courtesy of The Who - an If collab

2000-12-18

feeling kinda how a girl feels

December collab for If...:

If you were able to lend one of your five senses to a person born without, which one would you give? What would you forgo so another could experience?

Ambience Provided by The Who

interesting question, this one. being the analytical sort that i am, my first question was - without... what? are they only missing one sense? more? all? without knowing the boundaries, it's hard to make an informed decision. seems odd to me that i'm trying to apply scientific reason to a largely emotional idea. there you go, tho. tells you how in touch i normally am with my senses, doesn't it?

hm. two different answers, i suppose. i'd give them my sense of touch or sight. if they were missing every sense, i think i would give them my sense of touch. Helen Keller comes to mind when thinking about this. touch is one of the most basic, powerful senses. with little more than her sense of touch and a dedicated teacher, Helen Keller was able to express her self, and what a rich self that was. the touch of a loved one can make you feel as if you're in the safest place in the world. running barefoot in the grass, or in the sand, feeling the sun on your shoulders or the rain dripping down the collar of your coat - these connect you to the physical world, and other people, in a very concrete way. it also gives you the possibility of communication, on many levels.

would i be willing to give that up so that someone else could connect with the world? i want to say that yes, i could do that without reservation. because that's the christian thing to do. but selfishly, i'd miss the feel of silk, the touch of a lover, the little scritches from kitty landing on my lap, the fragile warmth of that first spring day. could i live with that, so that someone could live an expanded life? i'd like to think so.

if someone were just missing one sense, or at least had one or two... then i think i would give them my sense of sight. this would be a hard one for me, but the very things that would make it hard are the reasons to give this one. i'm a very visually oriented person. ask me about a quote from a book i've read, and i can tell you pretty closely how many pages into the book, left facing or right facing page, and relative position on the page. i remember faces, but can't recall names to save my life. visual arts, material culture - that was my major in college. the way someone looks, the way a room looks are visual snapshots from which i read a wealth of information. clichèd tho it might be, would you want to go thru life without having seen the perfect sunset? i was visiting a friend in New Mexico nearly 10 years ago, and he was working at the opera. the first night i went to the opera house, i forgot that it was an open air theatre. when i stepped thru the doors onto the cocktail patio, the sunset took my breath away, because it was such an unexpected beauty - to think you were walking inside a building, only to be presented with a flame red and orange sunset over the foothills, was a visceral treat.

and i love books. love love love books. cracking open a new book and sinking into a good story, finding yourself in another place, revelling in someone's mastery of wordplay - these are all things i would not want someone to miss.

and in thinking about all this, my choice is very much informed by where i am in my life. sight and touch are valuable to me because of where i've been, who i've become. could i have offered up either of these earlier in my life? i don't think so. even now, it wouldn't be an easy choice. but i've had the gift of all five senses for my entire life. and while i won't divulge my age, i'll say that i find myself referring to 'those kids' more and more often these days. it's easier these days to let go of some things i used to think were important, as i continue to learn that there are some things, such as honesty and understanding, that mean more.

of course, it *is* a shame that the question was bounded by the five senses. my sweetie was willing to offer up his sense of humor in a heartbeat, altho that could be a dangerous thing to spread around the world. and another friend was even quicker to volunteer his sense of guilt. {g} a bunch of cards, my friends.

yesterday :: tomorrow

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