|evening sky, 6/1/12|
When you have a peculiar experience, it's common to notice evidence and reminders everywhere. I've become acutely aware of how much we talk about smell and taste in daily life, even in our slang: "sweet!" and "that stinks". And I always loved smell and the memories it instantly evoked. One of the hardest parts of this year was losing my father, and not being able to recall him through the scent of his belongings. After my mother died, even years later, I could bring her back in the most vivid way just by going into her closet and inhaling the scent of her bathrobe. I have my father's cedar chest, and it saddens me that it is now just a visual piece.
There is no describing the paths scent carries us on. It's hard enough to describe a smell. Try it. Often scents are articulated by the memories associated with them--fireworks smell like summer, the 4th of July; pine like Christmas and the forest we walked.
|smells like: nothing.|
With the passage of time, there is the robbery of memory. Now it's harder to recall the scent of an apple or of a blade, and what's left is a ghost of impression, drifting. There is a very real sense of loss of pleasure. If you're familiar with learning theory, you may have heard of primary reinforcers. There aren't many. Food, sex, sleep, satiation of thirst. Always first food is mentioned. Without smell, food becomes more of a secondary reinforcer. It staves off discomfort, but it doesn't give pleasure.
|how did that guy know about the nose? (A+gallery's photo)|
Thanks for bearing witness. Suffering decreases when we are heard and seen; that's what my work is all about.
Today's video: it just made me smile.