Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Senses

Hello, all!

I went to the hospital today to visit a friend that was recently in a car crash and is now recovering. He's partially blind in one eye now, and I can't help but think about sight. Not just the physical ability to see, but to "see" as in to understand, and of course the different ways in which we see each other.

Has anybody ever asked you which you would prefer-- to be blind or to be unable to hear? What about speaking? I still don't know how to answer that. I rely on my eyes; beautiful images inspire me, but I love music and the sound of voices. And honestly, I talk too much.

It's weird though, to think about how we take such things for granted-- the senses that build our world. I can't imagine living without one or the other; it is hard to imagine how my vision of the world would change with my ability to experience it in so many different ways. How would it be to be deprived of one of those senses? Would the world change dramatically? Would you miss the sense that you lost? Would your perception of yourself change?

That's the other question I have about sight. We all see the world differently, of course, but literally-- what is the difference? We don't have a way to tell. Do you ever wonder about how other people see you? Or the ways that you see other people? Do you see them clearly? Are the colors the same, the faces? How does that differ from how we see ourselves? I mean, not just physically-- when we are looking at others, do we perceive them as their physical selves or as something else? Do we see them through rose-tinted glass?

Are we capable of viewing people objectively?

I always wonder how people see me. I know well enough how I see myself and though I shouldn't care about what others think, I'm honestly curious about the way they perceive me. What am I to the people around me? To friends, acquaintances, family...?

Are our perceptions of people locked or do they change?

I think our perceptions can change, as our eyesight does. But as our eyes grow weaker with age, do we see better or worse than we did when we were younger, at least in the figurative sense? How would we perceive others if we could only "see" them through a certain sense?

Do we associate particular senses with particular people? Like, when we think of friends, or we notice something about somebody that is customary to somebody else, how do we associate it? (That didn't make sense. ... ha, punny.) For example, do you associate the scent of a person most with them or their voice? How do all of the senses come into play when we "see" somebody?

I wonder sometimes if I am seeing the world in a way that is clear-- do I see the people around me as blurry lines, or do I see them like I would characters in a novel? How does my perception of people interact with their reality and their perception of me?

I guess I'm trying to say that sight is complicated. "Seeing" physically and perceiving are different from each other, and even then, everything is skewed. Our senses allow us to "see" people, but we could be misunderstanding.

Sorry about the fifty million questions in this. If you have your own answer for any of them, I'd love to hear! (HA.)

Also, sorry about all the puns. :)

A demain!
-Aly