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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Monday, January 2, 2012

January 3: Let the Games Begin!

2012 vision board, created
by one of our participants.  WOW!
Flex your brain.
To ready for the harder core poet games, let's start with some simple creativity-flexing exercises-- two or three small ones a day.  Try to do them all, but if your brain sticks, don't sweat it.  Something's better than nothing.  We'll begin by working to increase inter-cranial connectivity.

Today:  Sensory blending.  Synethesia (when one sense is interpreted in ways usually associated with another sense) is often correlated with creativity.  Some folks are born that way-- but you can build yours up.

1)  SMELLS:   Research suggests that language and other forms of cognition often trump olfaction.  That's allegedly why most of us have a hard time describing smells in any uniform way.  And during one study, people in a scent filled room being directed on a time-intensive task never noticed they were being blasted with lavender or vanilla.  Our brains like to do one thing well, and make the rest background.

Go smell something,  Now write about it.  A line or two will do.  Describe it as best you are able.  Does it bring up any associations?  Emotions?  What color is the smell?  What is it's texture?

2)  VOICE:  I've always been synethesiac to sounds.  They have heft and texture.  Describe a favorite singer's (or instrument) voice.  Use color, texture, or feel analogies.

3)  FEEL/TOUCH:  find something with a texture.  Any texture.  What personality traits can you associate with the way it feels?  Does a color come to mind when you think of that particular texture?

See you tomorrow...
And don't forget, if you're willing, to post all or some of your responses in the comments.


Ilsabe OConnell said...

The smell of chai tea with soy milk – I’ve started drinking this at the Starbucks across the street from where I was teaching, and usually while meeting with one friend in particular, so it reminds me of the past several months, this period in my life – which has been a relatively good and peaceful one for a change –and the support of this loving friend. It is hard to separate the color of the smell from color of things I think are in the tea (cinnamon stick, orange peel, cardamom seed), but if I breathe deeply, I also get something deep purple and scroll-like drifting through the other colors. The texture is both chalky and polished, which reminds me of the stone tiles of a Middle Eastern villa by candlelight. Given the spices, I also can’t help but think of Christmas – so maybe it’s a villa in Bethlehem. Chocolate, if not actually in here, is very close by.

Anonymous said...

I know if I walk away from the computer I won't share, so I'll do this right here,right now with what is close. I tried smelling my address book, but really there wasn't much smell. My empty tea glass has smell. The tea was Be Happy, a Roibos mix. It has a slightly fruity smell. Nondescript. A little peachy, more tropical. My association with the smell is air fresheners, and I had an image of a white tiled public restroom in the Bahamas. The color is pinkish orange.

The textures around me are smooth or slick, the computer, the glossy paper cover on my address book, the tea glass. I touched them with my hands, held some to my face and smelled them. I thought of nervous sweat, the way my empty hands feel when they are sweating. It is not a pleasant sensation. My visual image was born of longing for rough- brown corduroy, tree bark.

I am sensitive to smells, tastes and touch. Nuances of sound often escape me.

I can't figure out the comment status. Will annonymous work? Khalila

speck said...


kitty #1, Ashik, presented the perfect subject matter for today--cat fur to bury my nose in. i am not allergic to cats, can understand why those who are might not empathize with my report. strangely, there was not much scent, or perhaps he is so present in my bed and rooms that my entire background scent-field is Fur. but the touch, ah the touch: grey (not gray, but the inscrutable grey of twilit sky) furry clean buzzing yearning softly fuzzing gently warming cloudy enveloping inviting softness.

so, back to smell--eucalyptus sprig: sharp pungent sticky astringent cooling, a little sickly to a healthy nose but healing to a sickly nose. the smell much yellower than the actual blue-green leaves, aggressive plant-ness, memories of a eucalyptus tree in AZ backyard shaped like an inside-out lung, swapping CO2 and O2 with me.

so now I am trying to think of a voice that sounds like eucalyptus, a little piercing but wise, not sweet but necessary--perhaps Anaïs Mitchell with her Hadestown musical.

Jana Svoboda, LCSW said...

Ah-- a sensory playground. Thanks, speck, Khalila, Ilsabe. These were a delight to read.

Kiesa Kay said...

Zenzero means ginger in Italian. . . . . even the word sounds zesty and delicious. On my walk with my dog, I saw a seed pod and cracked it open. Inside were the small, round brown seeds that my cousins and I called hot rocks, covered with gushy goo in bright celadon. The scent blended sour sprouts with mild mud and a hint of ginger. And I was transported in time, like Proust with his madeleines, to that time of brown seed pod hot rocks and splashing into the lake even in autumn, as long as it wasn't frozen solid.