Have you ever described something visual as delicious? Or laid eyes on visual clutter and labeled it cacophony ? This is the phenomenon of synesthesia, the crossing over of the senses, and we all do it.
There are even people who see the letters of the alphabet in different colors or have assigned different hues to the days of the week in their mind’s eye. In her book, Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens, How Synesthetes Color their World, Patricia Lynne Duffy describes in depth her such experiences and those of others.
In Buenos Aires I would be awakened early each morning to rattling trucks careening down the avenue at breakneck speed. These behemoths, seeming only to be loosely attached components of scrap metal, hit every bump in the road, surely losing nuts and bolts along the way. As I lay in my bed with my eyes closed, this auditory experience transmogrified into giant mobiles of swaying Mondrianesque rectangles of primary hues.
Last night, Saint-Saens’ Symphony in No. 3 in C minor evoked all kinds of imagery, especially swirling bowls of cake batter with lots and lots of butter. But I think I was just hungry.
Now please, if you will, post a comment and tell me about your synesthetic experiences. I will be listening as I read them.