Monday, August 17, 2009

Seeing Things

So, I was having coffee this morning with the gang over at Erica Orloff's blogspot (my favorite morning virtual cafe), and Erica blogged about how she wonders if people see colors differently. Is the blue that I see the same blue that you see? Immediately my mind wandered, and I had two thoughts.

Can someone have simultaneous thoughts?

One: It reminded me of Wendy Mass' book, A Mango-Shaped Space, one of my favorite middle grade books. The book is about a girl, Mia, who thinks that she is normal until math class one day, when she tells the teacher that it would be easier for her to get the correct answer if she wrote the numbers in their proper colors. She actually sees numbers and letters and sounds with different colors.

"Everyone thinks I named my cat Mango because of his orange eyes, but that's not the case. I named him Mango because the sounds of his purrs and his wheezes and his meows are all various shades of yellow orange."

And in real life, it is a real thing-- called synesthesia. In the beginning of understanding synesthesia, doctors thought that maybe there really is a color signature attached to different letters, numbers, sounds and tastes. For example, that the letter 'G' is always bright blue. However, there was no consensus of color signature. Different synesthetes experienced different colors for 'G'--and everything else. I imagine that experiencing life with this added sense is both disruptive and amazing all at once. Naturally, there are artists and authors who have experienced life in this fascinating way.

Two: My second thought was about how everyone has a blindspot in the center of their vision. The brain unconsciously fills this in, so we never know what it is that we aren't seeing. I have been kicking this idea around for a while--there is a main character in my head who is blind, but thinks he can see. (I've been trying to change him to a female, but he won't budge. He's stubborn as well). But, that character is going to have to wait-- he's two books down the queue of books that I'm writing.

But I have to ask, what do you think is in your blind spot?

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