After days turned to weeks and then months of not keeping up with my writing, I will be making a concerted effort to share my sensory pursuits more regularly. i have so very many to share. In April, we took a trip to Utah, and I saw something beautiful and majestic every day. I’m still sorting through pictures and reliving the astounding memories, some of which will find their way to this blog.
Working at my new job, I had the opportunity to see (and listen to) the hours-long parade that is the largest Veteran’s Day Parade in the country, the America’s Parade. It was exciting to watch from our office window and see them setting up and getting ready. There were bikers, drummers, bagpipe players and vocalists. Hearing the different sounds throughout my workday made for interesting productivity, some sounds being better for getting things done than others. It was great to experience this and comforting to see the painstaking time and care that was put into honoring our vets.
“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.” ~G.K. Chesterton
Did you enjoy coloring as a child? I always loved a new coloring book and a set of crayons (the 64-set with the built-in sharpener was the best). Naturally there is a lot to be said about the familiar scent of a fresh batch of crayons, but I also always loved smelling the paper of the coloring book. There was just something very distinctive about it- merely thinking about it can bring up the scent in my mind.
One of the other ways I relieved stress and found a comfortable spot to sit in trying times was by coloring. When the workpile was a little larger than normal, lunchtime was a great opportunity to bust out a coloring book and crayons. There’s almost something meditative about it, and I gained great comfort out of the swish-a, swish, swish-a swish-a sound of crayon against the nearly-rough textured paper. And the meld of the scents– always a delight.
Today’s post showcases a coloring book and colored page from my lunchtime artwork:
I’ve never been to Las Vegas, and I don’t think I ever should be there. I just got back from a short trip to Atlantic City, and the lights, noises from all the different slot machines, second-hand smoke, glittery embellishments, and other sense stimulation was uncomfortable for me. If I stayed too long in the casino, all the whizzing and whopping and biiiiinnnnnnggggg!!! whooooooppppp!!!! wee-yuuu-wee-yu-weeee-yuuuuuuu!!!! baaaarrrrrriinnnnnggggg!!!! noises would have gotten the better of me. I could close my eyes and see unflattering neon signs splash across my mind. It was just not the sensory stimulation that would be appealing to me. It was brash, a little abrasive, and sometimes unnerving. I’m going to assume that having all of that in even more excess might just do me in.
The main purpose of my trip was to spend time with family, which of course is always nice. I did indulge in a little slot machine action (Mystic Bayou penny machine) and walked away with $167.84. It only took me about 15 minutes before I was way ahead of my initial investment of $20, so I just allowed my 40 free spins to spin on and on (which probably took another 15 minutes), and checked out with my winnings. Mission accomplished, done. That’s usually my tactic- aim to win something or at least break even, and quit while I’m ahead. I don’t enjoy gambling enough to do otherwise.
Yesterday while at work, I heard this slight “shattery” noise, quickly followed by the sound of small objects bouncing on a hard surface. In the next second or two, I felt something touch my forearm, leg, finger.
Turns out the elastic of my crystal bracelet finally gave way and broke, taking all of the sparkly crystal beads and silver trinkets with it. I was able to collect most of the fallen pieces, but what I was struck by was the effect on my senses. I can practically still hear the sounds, feel the beads falling, taste my wondering of the “symbolism” of the bracelet breaking.
Though I’ve never worn it as an amulet, it did bring to mind the traditional understanding of a Turkish evil eye (called “Nazar Boncugu” as per Merveonur– thank you!)- that when it breaks, any “evil” or “bad luck” has been reverted from you. The noise and sensation of the beads dropping all around me certainly caught my attention!
There was a time that I actually had an evil eye amulet (from Turkey) break a couple of years ago. I’m not so certain about it having done its job of protecting me from harm. After carefully vacuuming up and throwing away all the pieces, at least one little glass shard escaped me and got into my foot! Imagine the symbolism of an evil eye amulet bit getting stuck within the individual it was supposed to protect. Eeek!!
Luckily, I take things like that with a grain of salt. My approach is that it is fun to ruminate about, but not to put much stock into. In any case, this non-amulet bracelet that just broke alerted my senses to the sounds and sights around me, and that is exactly what I seek in each and every day– a little more sensory awareness and enjoyment of my surroundings.