Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Discovering Myself...

Tragically in class today I found out I'm a freak.
Apparently I have Grapheme-color Synesthesia.
I never knew it was weird that some letters had colors in my mind's eye,
Or that all the days of the week associated with a color.
Monday-Sky Blue
Friday-Dark Blue
Weird. Weird. Weird. Weird. Weird. Weird. Weird.
I do have a crazy memory of my childhood when I asked my mom what color she thought a day of the week was. She looked and me like "what?" and I dropped it and didn't even think twice about it. I assumed I wasn't asking the question quite right. I mean, when it's Thursday the whole day doesn't automatically seem bluish-gray. It's just the thought of the word in my mind.
The discussion in class went all over today, from skydiving to philosophy, but this is the part that stuck. My brain is weird. But I was just researching it, and I found out a lot of famous artists, musicians, authors, and poets were synesthetes. Franz Liszt, Charles Baudelaire, Leonard Bernstein, Duke Ellington, Jean Sibelius, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakav. Wow. I am not feeling as freakish anymore. Except I've just been reading the statistics and they think that anywhere between 1 in 23 people have it to 1 in 100,000. But obviously a lot of people don't even know they have it, like me before 1 o'clock this afternoon. I mean, I always knew this was part of me, but I never knew it had a name or is called a condition like it's a sickness or something. Honestly, I think it helps me memorize (and believe me, I am a good memorizer.) I'm good at memorizing quotes and lists and poems and music and well, anything I feel like knowing word-for-word (or being able to play note-for-note). I don't write things down in a planner very often, but somehow I just remember when things are. Maybe it's because the days have colors. And I am an excellent speller. Sometimes words just look wrong. Is it because the colors of the letters I have in my mind aren't matching up? I don't know. Possibly.
It sounds like Synesthesia affects some people more than it affects me. Sometimes I can associate music with color, but that just feels very natural. Some of the composers I was reading about have each key in a different color, or even each and every note with a color of its own. I don't do that. Some people have every single letter with a color that never changes, but for me it's just most of the alphabet. The firmest in my mind is the days of the week, although I think the names of months kind of have colors too. Numbers don't really have colors either, well, maybe some of them, but it's not as strong. Some words as a whole even have a color association for me. Other people "taste" words. Or like that book The Man Who Tasted Shapes. That's a different kind of synesthesia than I have. Some actually see the colors of the letters on the page as they're reading. It's not like that for me. It's more like I grew up and saw a letter in a certain color on Sesame Street or something and it just stuck with me in my brain, so I associate it. I don't actually see it with my eyes; I just picture it that color in my mind's eye.
So, discovery of today: I am a Synesthete. A Grapheme-color Synesthete, to be precise.

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

I always knew my Dani was awesomely awesome!! How is my Dani??