The are many different meanings to the word senses but according to the Oxford dictionary when used as a noun it is a faculty by which the body perceives an external stimulus. The second meaning is a feeling that something is the case. But when looking at synonyms the same words are used: sensation, feeling, and awareness. The first is meant to include the five senses; sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. Those five words in itself are amazingly powerful. And the second is to have a sense of something or someone.
Take for example the sense of smell and what that does to the pysche. Anytime I smell pine I think of the forest or Christmas. Immediately. No second guessing. Certain smells bring me back to my mom in the kitchen cooking her Italian fare for the holidays. The aroma of flowers, too many to even begin to mention. My favorites are Jasmine, Lilacs and Peonies. Jasmine because of Los Angeles in the spring and Lilacs and Peonies because of spring in Cincinnati. Two different springs and two different memories. It also gives me a sense of being aware of my surroundings and how beautiful they are at that moment.
The gift of hearing is one I never want to take advantage of for so many reasons. To hear a baby’s first cry as they come into the world or to hear a beautiful piece of music is something that changes you forever. What comes to mind is when a person who has never had this gift finally receives it by having an implant. The look on their face when the first sense of hearing becomes apparent softens even the coldest heart. And the sense of gratitude the loved one receives when they know that their voice is finally heard.
As a make-up artist I can’t even begin to express how vital my gift of sight is to me. My father was an artist and was pronounced legally blind when he was just 52. He was a master of color and the inability to do what he loved broke his spirit. But he found peace later in life and was determined to continue to read. At times he read five books a week. I once told him I was going to the library and wanted to know if he wanted me to pick him up a book. He loved mysteries so I asked anyone in particular. He told me to start at the letter M. He had read every mystery novel up to then. His own personal visual was the images that he was able to experience in the written word. And my vision of him holding a book up to his nose to be able to read through his thick glasses taught me that if you are determined enough anything is possible.
I remember being in Paris at the famous Laduree cafe and tasting what has to be one of the most magnificent desserts in life.
Ah, Rose and Raspberry Saint Honore has to be one of the highlights of taste. The piece de resistance is the delicate rose flavored whipped cream that caresses the ladyfingers and raspberries. We had just finished ours and were watching the reaction of the woman sitting at the table next to us as she took her first bite. She let out a sigh that expressed how we felt. She looked over at us and we all smiled in blissful agreement. All of the senses seemed to be working in overload just from one dessert. Our connection with each other was universal.
The sense of awareness, sensation, recognition and consciousness is something I never want to lose. I can’t imagine what life would be like without the sense of feelings and wonder.