“Adults are just outdated children.”
Have you ever handed a baby an object and watched it mess around with it?
If you have I’d like you to play that video in your mind a couple of times. Once you’ve done that, imagine yourself as the baby. Do this before reading on.
You done? Great! Let’s break it down.
What’s the first thing that happens when you’re presented with the object?
1) Sight. You see the shape, it’s color and texture.
2) Touch. You feel its weight, texture and contours.
3) Taste & Smell. You see if it’s anything edible or fragrant.
4) Sound. You start waving it around banging it into stuff to see if it makes any interesting noises.
5) Value. You offer it to the people around you to see if it’s interesting to anyone else. If it is it might just be worth holding on to.
Will one of each be enough?
This is something we do this instinctively. We try to form as many associations with our senses to the object in case we need it in the future.
However, as we grow up we’re taught that things aren’t meant to be explored this way.
What we hear are things like: “Don’t touch that!”, “Don’t put that in your mouth”, “Stop staring”, “Don’t eavesdrop”, “Cover your nose, this is gonna be a stinker!” etc.
Nike, you disappoint.
Our parents and grown ups do this to protect us. If from nothing other than social embarrassment. In the process we can get it in our heads that we shouldn’t form associations in this way.
Now it’s time to connect with that inner child again.
I’ve done this with several things but the latest one that I remember was a spring green piece of fabric.
I looked at it, I touched it, I listened to the sound it made when I wrinkled it, I smelled it and I licked it. Yes, that might be taking it a bit far.
But I did it.
Because I wanted to remember it and have deeper knowledge of it.
I remember thinking that it looked like tiny, green, linking chains, it was a little like sandpaper to the touch, the sound was a little abrasive but tickled the ears, the smell was like wet sand by the shore, it tasted like paper and the texture on the tongue was like drinking lightly carbonated mineral water.
Hey, I remember you!
So, this might be a little much analysis to start off with.
Start by isolating your senses. Then use two at once and try to connect with the object in as many ways as you can. This will give you a broader repertoire to choose from. Then you practice linking certain tastes with colors, colors with sounds, sounds with shapes and so on.
This not unlike synesthesie. You know, that thing when people experience music as color for example. Some people develop this naturally. Others, like me, have to work at it.
Also, understand that this is highly individual. I remember a time when I said that I heard a sound as brown my friend who’d been able to do this since he was a kid said: “No, it’s purple.”
Well, neither of us was wrong nor right. We just had different associations to colors, shapes, sounds and so on.
I sincerely hope you try this out, but please avoid toxic/poisonous things though!
Do you remember doing this? Do you still do this? What’s the latest thing you tried this on? Share your experiences in the comments and hit me up on Twitter.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!