07 December 2009

Sacrificed Sense

Have you ever played one of those mind bending "what if?" games with someone? Ya know, you're passing the joint and you get to talking about weird shit? Or have you, like me, just pondered strange stuff on your own as you looked longingly at your stash box and tried to swallow down a cheap beer? Well, I have done the latter a lot lately and something I came up with was this: if you had to give up one of your senses which would it be? Smell, taste, sight, hearing, touch or speech? Without hesitation I chose speech.Why?

Well, my most important sense is hearing. That's a no brainer. While it makes communication infinitely easier that's not the reason I would never choose to give it up. Nope. I'd never give up the ability to hear because I couldn't live without music. Couldn't do it. "Oh, I can't hear anymore? You got a gun handy so I can stick it in my mouth? Sorry about the mess. Bang." No question. Take away my hearing and dig my grave.

My next most important sense is sight. I don't cherish it as much as hearing but I don't know how I'd handle never seeing a sunset again. I don't know what kind of life I'd be living if I couldn't see the afternoon sun streaming through the bright green leaves of spring. If I couldn't see the moon? Forget about it! I also know it would hurt like hell to not see my young cousins grow up. That would gut me. So, no, not willing to give up my sight.

Next most important is probably touch. And this is because I think daily life would just be incredibly difficult if I couldn't feel what I was touching. Can you imagine trying to use the bathroom if you couldn't feel? Or wash dishes or drive a car? I don't know how I'd function if I couldn't feel. And the biggie of touch is typing! I couldn't make it without that. I guess it's possible to learn how to function without feeling but I'm not willing to go there.

Smell and taste are up next. I put them together cuz, well, they just go together don't they? Peas and carrots, chocolate and peanut butter, toast and jam, smell and taste, see a pattern? While I would greatly miss the smell of rain and the smell of bacon frying I'd be much more willing to give those abilities up than others but there is another sense I would sacrifice in a heartbeat. And that's speech.

I've got very little use for the ability to speak. I don't like to talk all that much. In recent years I did most of my talking when I was stoned and now that's past and I'm back to talking only when absolutely necessary or when reunited with friends. I don't get to leave the house very often and I have only a very few friends to visit anyway. And, even when I do get to visit with friends, I talk for a little while to catch up and then I'm all talked out. When I was very young I virtually stopped talking for over a year. I did the baby noises thing and was starting to say a few words and then my sister was born and I stopped talking. Just like that, barely a word for a long time. I would answer a question but that was it.

And then, one day, I started talking in complete sentences expressing complete thoughts and ideas. So, clearly, while I wasn't talking I was still comprehending, I was still thinking and learning and growing. I just didn't feel the need to tell anyone about it. Later that night, as my Mom tucked me into bed, she asked me why I went so long without saying much and my answer was pretty simple: "I didn't have anything to say." I have no memory of any of this because I was too young. But I totally understand because I still feel that way. If I don't have anything important to say I don't talk. To me, speaking is necessary when answering a question or when expressing something important and that's it. It certainly isn't enjoyable or fun; it's almost a necessary evil sometimes.

There is one problem with this whole idea of giving up the ability to speak: I guess the ability to sing would go along with it. And that would seriously suck. I love singing, I love to sing! And I'm pretty damned good at it if I do say so myself. And I do. I can't sing like I could when I was a teenager. After all, I've smoked a lot of weed since then, had chronic bronchitis for a number of years and developed allergy induced asthma. And, to top it all off, I haven't done a scale since the day I graduated high school. There's also the sad fact that I haven't had much reason to sing about in the last few years. So, no, losing the ability to sing wouldn't make for too much of a change in my life. But I would still miss the hell out of it because when I feel like belting it out, and I really can, I love it.


If I was a nun-type person who took a vow of silence I don't think my chosen god would accept it as a virtuous decision as keeping silent isn't difficult for me, not in the least. I can happily go hours and hours and hours without saying a single word if given the chance. I'm just not a vocal, verbal person. Nothing infuriates me more than those individuals who, for whatever reason, talk incessantly. It's a waste of energy and incredibly irritating to boot. I don't waste words and I nearly always say exactly what I mean and nothing more. I don't play head games because they're all essentially games played with verbal tactics. And those things hold no interest for me. I say what I mean and there's no point in reading anything into it because if I had more to say I would just say it and not make you guess. Period.


As I've gotten older, harder and meaner I've become more like that in my writings. There aren't any hidden meanings, no insinuations, no intimations. There's no reason to read between the lines because there are no lines to read between. I don't play games and I don't employ much subtlety. I don't tolerate bullshit and I don't serve it up. I've got lots of ideas, opinions, questions and just outright blatherings to share but the internet is my chosen method for communicating these things. I love words, I love words! But I greatly prefer them typed and spell checked.

What sense would you be most willing to sacrifice?

12 comments:

Leathra said...

Well...honestly smelling and tasting. I honestly barely have either of those senses as it is, and it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to give both up. I would miss the smell of candles and the smell of rain, but that would be it.

It would actually probably make my life easier--what I put in my mouth is ruled by taste, and I have some seriously screwed up taste buds. I'd be able to eat and enjoy so much more than I am able to now--vegetables, for example. If taste didn't matter I think life would be a lot easier.

Aquila ka Hecate said...

Hmm..unlike you, I think I could stand living without my hearing (hel, I'm going deaf in one ear as it is!).
Music - yes I love it, but I'm also sometimes irritated by it.

I can hear it all in my mind, anyway. All the time.

I'd be far more devastated by loss of my sense of smell, I think.

It's said to be the last sense left to us, as we slowly lose all connection to the outside world...

Love,
Terri in Joburg

Griffin said...

Well I used to be extremely introverted and silent for years. Then I came out of myself and suddenly I had a lot to say. I haven't stopped talking since! I love to talk to make people laugh, to make them think, even to be provocative about ideas and challenge conventions... and yet... I honestly think I'm with you Livia. I wouldn't miss not talking because I would write what I want to say.

"I love words, I love words! But I greatly prefer them typed and spell checked."

Well my spelling is very good, but I admit I prefer to write by hand with a fountain pen. There is just something about drawing the cyphers on the page - their line and curve... and then - their meanings. I too love words, spoken or written. They have been my way of escaping from the world when I needed it.

Need my sight and touch. Can't and won't live without my senses of smell and taste. But then overall, I don't much like life anyway and would happily die with the knowledge I'd never need my senses again.

But that's just me.

Riverwolf, said...

I agree with you--I'd sacrifice speech. Seems we all might be better off if we talked less anyway, given how words can hurt and be misinterpreted. But would I have to give up writing, too? Is that like cheating?

But gotta have taste (love cookies), hearing (music!), touch and sight (falling down hurts).

Riverwolf, said...

Like your new look--where'd you get it? I think I may need a change myself.

Livia Indica said...

Hi Leathra! Yeah, I can kinda see how losing the abilities to smell and taste would potentially solve a lot of problems, especially for those of us on the "fluffy" side.

Hi Terri, yeah, I guess if you're already losing your hearing it wouldn't make to much difference to lose it altogether. It would just about kill me though! I didn't know that the sense of smell was the last to leave us as we die! That's very interesting!

Hi Griffin! Hmm, I never thought of that but I'm very introverted too. Maybe, if that ever changes, I might want to talk more. I guess anything is possible. I like writing by hand as well but can only do so much of it before my hand starts to hurt like hell. Not to mention that the more I write the worse my handwriting gets. There's also the important fact that I can type much, much faster than I can write longhand. It's nice to know that you don't like life much, same as always. ;-)

Hi Riverwolf! Nope, speech is different from communication itself. I couldn't give up writing either! I agree: falling down hurts!

This Blogger template came from Pyzam; they have templates for blogs as well as various social networking sites, etc. They've got a great selection and it's free. You've just got to put up with the little thingie below the Blogger navbar and most of the templates have the word Pyzam somewhere in them and while some are virtually invisible, like on this one, some are obnoxiously conspicuous.

Griffin said...

Perhaps your hand hurts after a while because of tension. When I was a kid I couldn't write by hand much because of the tension in my shoulder. Being left-handed (sinister!!!) made things trickier too. But I use a 16th century script called Cancellaresca and it mean I have to write slower. This means I think more about what I want to write and enjoy the experience more.

Like you tho' I can type a lot faster than I write. Yep, same as always, dratted stoopid life! ;)

Livia Indica said...

Yep Griffin, you hit the nail on the head there! I've always had a big problem with tension which is only worsened in difficult situations. I worked in a hospital for over a year, mostly in the ER, and had to quit cuz of the stress. Some time later I found a few ink pens I'd used during that time and they were all bent from me gripping them so tight.

Marion said...

Your renovated blog looks amazing!

I read your very excellent post a couple of times before I could figure out that it would be touch which I would not want to sacrifice. Touch is magic for me.

I'm with you on the speech, however. You could be me...I don't have much use for inane conversation, either. I heard someone (can't remember who) say that is why writers write, since they can't express themselves through speech. As good a reason as any other.

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

I'm with you on the hearing. But then...

Mr. Ludwig Von Beethoven was, and imagine the concerts he heard that we never will-- all right there in his own head...

Sight-- I can't imagine having never seen, but I could likely live without it now that I know what blue and sunset and eyes look like...

Smell? Nope. SURVIVAL. And nostalgia... :D

No way on this Goddess Green Earth I'll EVER give up touch. Giving OR getting. Helen Keller--- all other senses gone, she communicated. Because? She had TOUCH...

Nice post, Liv...

Livia Indica said...

Yeah, you're right, touch is pretty damn fine too!

Livia Indica said...

Hi Marion, I think you could be on to something there. I don't like to talk but I love to write! I'm glad you like the new look around here!