Your money or your life

This weeks assignment in my advanced memoir & autobiography class:  “…you are encouraged to find meaning in other sounds, and to convey that meaning largely by describing the sounds themselves.”

Where do I begin?  I can be lulled to sleep by the sound of heels clicking in a mall or chalk on a chalkboard.  Water trickling, ice clinking, waves lapping, rocks tumbling or bacon frying all hypnotize me.  A tiny fraction for example.  I played the drums for years.  I was never very good but my kit always sounded better than everyone else’s.  Once I understood that my passion for music had so much to do with the sound of it as opposed to melody and lyrics and not that I didn’t have a profound appreciation for those things, I plotted a course to become an audio engineer.

I knew I knew.

I did just that.

It’s a huge subject for me.  What I’ve come to realize is that it’s not merely sound that stirs me so vehemently.  It’s all my senses.  I can’t know that I’m different in this way, but I suspect it.  I’m so easily overwhelmed by what I observe.  I love to cook.  It occurs to me to be enjoyed by the same part of my brain that was so rewarded by mixing records.  It’s all about the combination of flavors and textures.  My repertoire is not extensive but what I do, I do well.  I try to pair my efforts with an appropriate wine.  Sometimes the wine is complimentary and sometimes it represents a ballast or contrast.

Smokey old vine Zinfandel with homemade pizza, sauvignon blanc with an arugula and asiago salad  or port with Stilton bleu cheese for example.  I taste each dish and its oenophilic accompaniment in my head before I begin.  I never cook with a recipe.  I gather all the flavors ahead of time and commence to combining them.  I’m not opposed to recipes, it’s just that they don’t often look like they taste like what I imagine in my head.  My approach confounds my mother somewhat.  She’s an excellent cook but doesn’t always understand my seat of the pants approach.  I can taste it ahead of time or I wouldn’t be able to prepare it.  I can see the meal complete with the soft focus f-stop photography of a food magazine.  I almost always plate it myself.

When I read or write, it’s a movie in my head.  I see it, smell it, hear it and taste it.  The best records I ever made I could hear almost complete in my head within the very first days of recording them.

It occurs to me that this assignment is meant to be about the senses in general and with obvious reason directs focus to one in particular.  I can’t separate them however.  I’ve no idea whether this makes me somehow different or unusual.  There is no way for me to ever know because I simply cannot climb into someone else’s head.  Most of my friends are artists of one kind or another.  I think it’s because they see and interpret things with the same degree of awe that I do. I believe everyone one does to one degree or another, it’s just impossible to measure or quantify.

Dude, it’s so subjective.

The distinguishing characteristic of humans from all other species is without a doubt, art.

Imagination is the purest and most important sense and I know I’m intimate with it.  For me it is fundamentally intrinsic.  I see it in my head.  I can feel it and touch it.  I can’t help that it is my prevailing impetus.  Without my hyperactive imagination, I would be blind.  I was in analysis for a time and my therapist told me I was hyper vigilant and commented often on the noise she was sure I experienced in my head.  I would rather die than have it somehow revoked.  I imagine that were it to disappear, I would go gentle into that good night.

Drinks for my friends.

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