Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Great things about being blind. Hearing colours?
I was bothered for several hours by that quote about 80 percent of a storytelling experience being visual. It really perturbed me a great deal. I thought, "Wait a minute. Here is something I thought was so accessible and you are telling me it isn't? Darn sighted people!" And then I thought more about sounds and how I am so lucky to hear what I hear. I think what I hear is more tuned than what those with sight hear. Not that my hearing is better or more acute. Just that I focus on it more. People often ask me about colours. How I perceive colours. I usually think of them as textures or sounds. Tomorrow, I will write about the textures. For today, I will focus on sound. One of the things that drew me to storytelling was the sound and rhythm of the human voice. The way people tell stories, there speech patterns, intonation, cadences. Of course, I've always been a voratious reader so that storytelling was a natural fit for me there too. But, back to sounds. Voices evoke colours for me. I imagine those bright, high clear voices as being gold or silver. Deep rich voices as being dark colours. Calm, soft quiet voices as being greens or blues. Also being a musician and lover of music, music does for me what I imagine beautiful paintings or sunsets or awesome landscapes give to those who can see. The hearing of an orchestra with all of its different timbres and colours would be (I would imagine) like looking at a painting. Hearing beautiful harmonies sung is like that too. So beautiful, so calming, so inspirational. The cello is a dark colour, the flute is gold, the guitar is a rich blue, the drums are red or orange. Every genre of music has a different sound, a different feel, a different colour to it. When people say they feel sorry for me because I can't see, I should say that I feel sorry for them because they aren't hearing all they can hear.