Day Three: Words
I’m so excited to share with you, (or over-share with you), that I’m tempted to write thirty posts today. And I could. I truly could. I could type for ten hours straight, not eat, and have a bit of hot chocolate to keep me going. I’d ignore and put aside my three beautiful children, whom I adore, by pacifying them with genuine hugs and compliments, by explaining about my obsession, and by trying to make the lack of my current availability up to them somehow in the immediate future. But I won’t. I’ll only write one post, and then probably come back and recheck the writing repeatedly, dedicating way too much time to editing and spicing the words up some.
The worst (and absolute best), is the way the words feel to me. That’s one of the main reasons I keep returning to the writing. There is a word for it: synesthesia. (From the ancient Greek together and sensation.) Though I might be stretching the meaning a bit. Synesthesia, in my view, is when one sense gets tangled with another. For some people words have taste, for others numbers have color. For me, the experience is somewhat different. Numbers feel masculine or feminine, and have distinct personalities. I literally like certain numbers and dislike others. Some make me feel very comfortable and others threatened. I’ve had this number experience since I was very little. I’ve always liked the number 113, because the number contains all of my favorite digits (well most of them). I am drawn to the masculine numbers for some reason. For me one, eleven, thirteen, and three all have a masculine feel. The number five is a female. Six, he’s kind of on the fence. Four is a girl. It’s odd, I know. Get used to it.
When I think of the power of numbers, as in a binary computer code or the signals transmitted from satellites orbiting earth, and how in both instances symbols are decoded or unencrypted to view on a monitor, I understand how numbers can have extreme power.
Back to how the words feel. I used to think I was experiencing the energy of the person or the thoughts behind words. Now, I’m not so sure. The Kabbalah teaches of the power of the ancient letters. The ancient religions speak of the power of sound, how some sounds are direct connections to our chakras. (Last year my special interest was in spirituality and religion, including sound-healing, and I read about two books a day on the subject for the course of approximately nine months, until I woke up one morning and the interest was gone.) Thusly, from my studies, I can conceptualize and hypothesize about how words can have different feelings of weight. Perhaps I’ve tapped into something unintentionally. Perhaps I’m wired this way. Because of this sensitivity to words, I have a hard time reading in general, especially my own writing.
For instance, the 10 Traits I listed about females with Asperger’s, that list, well, the list feels very heavy to me. Similar to being pulled down by gravity on a high-speed amusement park ride. As a result I keep going back to the list and tailoring the words; the process of returning to my writings is liken to me clipping topiary. I’m attempting to trim off the excess unwanted weight. Trying to figure out what needs modification. And it’s not about adding humor or making the subject matter lighter–not that at all. Nor is it editing to make the message crisper and clearer–not that either. It is the words themselves. Every word feels different, every word a little difficult to punch out onto the computer and set free. I have to go back and change words so the sensation is right, and the meaning is close to the truth of what I’m thinking. In time, sometimes years, the words will feel right. Yet, no matter how long I clip away and alter, I understand I’ll never truly express exactly what my intention and perception is to anyone. That in and of itself, this realization that my words will never actually express the inner workings of my spirit, is a very sobering and isolating thought. I long for that futuristic Vulcan mind-meld, where I can touch a person and know his or her story, and bypass all the words. Then again, I’d miss the words and their rhythm, much like I’d miss the ocean waves lapping onto the shore.
11 thoughts on “Day Three: Words”
The numbers having personalities thing is known to be a form of synesthesia (which is an ongoing special interest of mine). This is the wikipedia entry for it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordinal_linguistic_personification
Thanks so much Laura! I will Check this out. Funny, how it’s your special interest…I mean in a good way. Very interesting. Look forward to reading it. : )
I tried to explain this very thing to my mother once when I was maybe in third grade, (when I first started writing poetry) and she told me to just do my best and ‘leave to God the rest.’ I couldn’t do it. I hung up poetry, except for very personal things like free verse to my own husband/saint.
Now that I’m writing poetry almost daily, I feel more alive than ever. So much of me needs to create in order to breathe. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience. ~ Sam 🙂
My absolute favourite number is 3! When I was a child I discovered my birthday was all multiples of three I practically went off the handles! ( 03/15/1989) I am very proud of this fact and will tell anyone who brings up birthdays. I tend to disregard certain numbers because I just don’t like them. I don’t know why I love three so much because I regard even numbers with more esteem.
Also, I know what you mean about words, I used to write stories and go through the writing over and over with the Microsoft word thesaurus perfecting the “feel” of the sentences. Unfortunately I don’t understand poetry but I absorb myself into first person books and cannot stop thinking about it until I am finished reading the book. If I have the day, I will read until my eyes are sand and I can barely keep my head up. I find it hard to concentrate on work knowing there’s an unfinished book sitting on the break table. Lol. I have a fascination with colours as well, they are what I assign male or female.
On that note, I have already read over this comment and your blog entry several times to make certain that it was in the same context. I noticed my comment lacking a certain lustre but I resisted the urge to edit it lol. I only hope that you ‘get it’ 😛
This is fascinating. 🙂 I understand the “feel” of words completely… sometimes I find myself re-wording sentences a few times over until I get the “feel” just right. X-) But in general, my synesthesia is a little different than yours, though… mine has to do with sounds, specifically in music. I play the bass and sometimes acoustic guitar in a band, and for me, I find that each song is a different color pattern and shape. Each singer’s voice has a different color pattern that has an effect on the color and shape of each song, as does the key in which we play the songs. It sounds quite crazy to most people… doesn’t necessarily make much sense to them… so I usually don’t tell this to anyone, but it’s nice to know there are others out there who do get it. 🙂
I feel the sound, too! and energy and vibration. Thank you so much for sharing. :))) a pleasure to read.
I’m a bit late responding to this, but I just wanted to say how excited I was to find someone else who can “feel” words… For me, different words have different personalities. My favorite words are ones that “sound” or “feel” like what they mean–words like insouciance, wistful, malediction, brood. Others just feel good when I say them; trenchant, eviscerate (love, love, love that one), ennui, etc.
Yes I also have Asperger’s! Love your blog!
thank you. 🙂 Appreciate the message. All the best to you.
Fascinating stuff! I see words in peculiar way. Most are neutral, but many have a distinct gender-related feeling – certain words containing L’s, or the combination of L’s and G’s are ‘feminine’ E.g. ‘tangle’ and is very powerful, but ‘gorilla’ does nothing for me. I like sensual words like furry or bombazine. Calico is definitely feminine. Weird.
I love archaic words, and languages can really keep me absorbed for hours. I read a lot of French and Romanian, and know a fair bit of Welsh, Russian and Italian. Obscure and extinct European languages attract my attention too. I’m an avid reader of poetry, and the use of words, and their origins fascinates me. I have a special fondness for Greek-derived words, such as asphodel, amaranth, asafoetida, chthonic, etc. As for synaesthesia, at times I can experience mirror synaesthesia. It seems quite normal to me.
There’s a beauty in words, but I also see beauty in numbers. Aaargh! I’m obsessed with number theory, especially prime and irrational numbers. I agree they do have genders, but I’m never very clear about what gender particular numbers may have. I just have a vague sense that odd numbers are usually feminine, especially primes. I could bore anyone for hours about this! 😀
interesting. thank you for sharing