This is why synesthesia fascinates me. I LOVE hearing from ‘synnies’ around the world, and I thought I’d share this with you. Read more comments following my blog post What Color is Your Alphabet. (There’s also a synesthesia category on my sidebar with everything I’ve posted about syn if you’re interested.)
Here’s a recent comment I got from a synesthete ….
I have Synesthesia, I have for all my life as far as I can remember.
The first time I can remember being aware of it acutely, rather than subconsciously, was when I was in first grade or kindergarten trying to explain to a friend that 5 is maroon and flat, 50 is darker and deeper in the middle, like a shallow well or wading pool filled with…umm, red; 500 is ripply, and 5,000 is like n undulating wavy ocean made of blood-red velvet–but 2 was gold-ish, 20 was like a yellow fuzzy hill, 200 was like a field, and so on (but not as eloquently, I was about 6 at the time). After a few minutes I gave up on it and dropped the subject.
Then about 10 years later I read ‘A Mango Shaped Space’ and I was completely floored.
I have ‘associative’ Synesthesia — as I’m reading I don’t see them in any different colors, but I’m aware in the back of my head what colors they are, the same way you know what an elephant is, for example-it’s big, it’s a mammal, it has a trunk, and its name is light green-blue.
Numbers and letters also have personalities.
They also have ‘group dynamics’-for example, 8 and 4 don’t work together well because then 3 will get jealous and 5 and 7 and 9 don’t get along well at all. The letters seem to form cliques based on colors-J, K, H, and L are friends-J/K/H are all shades of pink. L is yellow but it likes to hang out with pinks because the other ones closer to its shade-Y and 7 and F-are all kind of elitist. Z and X are also pink, but they’re snobs who would rather do their thing than hang out with those losers farther up in the alphabet. A’s overly friendly and likes to hang out with b, C, and G, but A’s kind of clingy and her friends would rather be left alone.
I wish I had more spacial syn than I do-I know someone who sees concepts as little floating auras that change color and shape depending on what she’s going to do, and grow smaller or larger depending.
I only have time set up in a ring-like a floating belt about a foot from my waist, or a skirt. Whatever time it currently is is at about 11, if you’re standing in the center of the clock and facing 12. They’re in little bands, and every ‘measure’ of time, like an hour or a month, have the same length as all the others in it’s group, but distinct colors. They’re arranged in a band with seconds on top, then hours, days, weeks, months, and so on. Seconds are about a quarter inch thick and all of them are silver/blue, minutes are about an inch thick and turn darker and redder the farther they get from 6 AM, then hours all have tints and are about 3 inches thick, days are about a foot thick and colored distinctly, and years are about 4 inches and the color changes with the year but I only see 1 year at once. They tick like the second hand of a clock. They’re not always there but when I think about the time it’s always like that.
Isn’t that a remarkable way to experience life? Are you synesthetic? Know anyone who is? Wish you were?