I’ve always thought my brain worked a little oddly. Those who know me personally would agree too. 😉 If I counted the times co-workers turned their heads at me in astonishment at the thoughts that pop into my head, I’d be a rich woman. Now I have a little proof!! The proof isn’t about thoughts, though. It’s about the concept of time.
To ‘splain simply: I “see” time. When I say “see,” I don’t mean “imagine,” I mean it’s something that just happens immediately when I think about years, months or days of the week. Kind of like how you immediately think of an apple if someone says apple. You don’t have to go through any effort to generate this vision in your head.
Once in a great while I would bring the subject up to others. The simple question was: “How do you see the year?” Most people replied either they don’t “see” anything or they think of a calendar. Last week, the subject came up again and while I was explaining what I “see,” a co-worker said: “Me too!” Later on she sent me a link to something on Wikipedia about synesthesia. It turns out that there are many manifestations of synesthesia. Mine is spatial-sequence synesthesia, and for me is strictly limited to the months of the year, numerical years (i.e. 2010, 2000, 1990, etc.) and the days of the week.
Quote from Wikipedia:
“…In spatial-sequence…numbers, months of the year, and/or days of the week elicit precise locations in space (for example, 1980 may be “farther away” than 1990), or may have a (three-dimensional) view of a year as a map (clockwise or counterclockwise)…”
And get this!––I “see” the year counterclockwise, numerical years counterclockwise, and the week clockwise! What’s up with that?!!
From a more general viewpoint, meaning if “I” were to step back from what I see in my mind, this is what I would see. This is how I “see” the year right now in October. In my mind’s eye, I am always “standing” in the current month. The current month is always largest in perspective for me. Now, it’s not true perspective, so much as just relative to where I am. The months are always in the same orientation. I just move to each month as the months progress kind of like a play piece on a Monopoly board.
Below is an alternate view of the same thing. Sometimes for no reason at all, this view has hills too. Usually the hills dip in the winter. Just kind of comes and goes for me.
In the example below, it shows a more usual viewpoint for me (which is up close) while “I” am “in” October. Note that September is behind me in the past, out of my view. My “back” is turned so I can’t see the summer or spring anymore. All I see when I’m right in the month are the winter months approaching. I see only the upcoming months, up to about March.
Many synesthetes see colors (which is called color synesthesia) associated with the months and days, but I don’t. I don’t know whether that would be cool or annoying.
On another note, I also feel mentally and physically displaced when I travel. I am inherently aware of myself not being on the usual part of the planet I hail from. Figure that one out! My co-worker can relate to that one too. 😉 I wonder if that’s another form of synesthesia or just weird-o?
The brain is amazing. I think if I had never become an artist, I would have liked to study the brain or the universe. Fascinating stuff.
FINALLY: The WINNER of the free giveaway for the Halloween Paper Chain Garland is giddy99! Hooray! I’ll contact you via Flickr to set up the hand off. 🙂 Congratulations! All the costumes were great, but giddy got me with the silly factor. Lol. Black eyed pea…heehee…
Until next time, happy stitching and remember to make time for fun!