According to scientists, we humans have receptors for between nine and twenty one senses available to us. Imagine! Up to twenty one points of entry to the world! I say imagine, because we do not appear to be aware of most of those senses. Beyond the five well-known ones, who thinks of their sense of equilibrioception (the sense of balance) or proprioception (the sense of the body’s position in space) – unless they go wrong, of course. What is more interesting is the use we make of these ‘inputs’! The emotional, geographical, cultural, historical worlds we build around them.
In this issue, twenty one contributors explore the senses – the primary but also some of the secondary ones – and the ways these interact to create a sense of place, rootedness, memory, history, and cultural identity. Using the taste and feel of words, the images captured on camera and in paint, their own individual experiences and associations, the artists reflect on the senses in diverse, entertaining, fascinating, remarkable ways and create the world of the senses anew for us to savour and celebrate. It has been a pleasure to host their contributions to the theme of edition #14: Locating the Senses in Language/Place!
Alegria Imperial, originally from the Philippines, now writing from Vancouver (Canada), explores in her haibun, “the tiresome coldness of winter, the longing for spring and its blossoms to spark again, a self-consoling reflection on what eventually awaits yet for now ‘this longing/at moonrise/the only star’”. See here
Elizabeth Kate Switaj, writing from Ireland, in her ‘Memories of Place: Fruit’ considers the way the taste and sight of two different kinds of fruit, persimmons and mangoes, can bring back memories of place. A slight difference in the variety of fruit means a different experience of memory entirely… here
Kristina shares with us a walk among the ruins of Paestum, an incredibly peaceful place, and draws our attention to the neighboring museum and the ways it imbues the ruins with a sense of place and time. And after the sights and the history, pizza with mozzarella and courgette flowers! What a treat! Here
Penn Kemp, writing from London (Canada) says, the “two poems in ‘A Carnival of Senses’ celebrate the senses, celebrate language, celebrate place, in this case my bedroom”. Here
Brigita Orel writes: “Senses are the inciting sparks of stories and poems and the places and times at which I became aware of them shape how I use them, maybe even how I interpret them.” In her essay, she reflects on the difficulties and challenges of writing in a foreign language rather than her mother tongue, and what it means to think, feel, or sense in a language other than your own. See here
Maria Pierides, Kent (UK), explores her sense of landscape using a non-verbal medium, painting. In her blog, she speaks in the language of color, image, movement, shape, density, contrast… In Gallery 3, Time and Tide, she explores the seascapes and landscapes of Kent and their relationship to time, culture, and history. Here
Martin Willitts Jr, writing from upstate New York (USA), in his poem ‘Dear Diary’ interprets the story of Hansel and Gretel; and he knows a trap when he smells one! Here
Jean Morris (UK), in her haiku/haiga reflects on her experience: it “has been lingering as a taste and texture of
icy cold in my mouth since the moment I saw/wrote it, last month before the weather changed.” Here
Steve Wing, a visual artist and writer living in Florida (USA), in his work reflects his appreciation for the extraordinary in ordinary days and places. In this contribution, he writes about the unique cultural texture that some fragrances like copal acquire. Here
Abha Iyengar, writing from New Delhi (India), in ‘The Senses: Diverse Renderings’ immerses herself in sensations – she has jasmine under her pillow – in poetry written for this theme. Here
Fiona Robyn, from the UK, whose ‘mission is to help people connect with the world through writing’ writes: “To prepare yourself for nourishment, you need to allow your eyes, ears, nose, fingers, mouth, head & heart to open.” A true feast in ‘Feed your Head’ Here
Jim Martin, writing from Munich (Germany), in his ‘The Visitors’ takes us on a fascinating and mysterious journey, beginning and ending in a Tuscan farmhouse. Here
Cathy Douglas, writing from the US, says: “In my adopted home state of Wisconsin, winter is a big part of our image. As the snow melts and the lakes thaw, we experience a brief, muddy identity crisis known as March”. Here
Karyn Eisler, Vancouver (Canada), in her blog ‘Living ?s’ reconnects with her senses in Heviz. Where is Heviz? More important: what is Heviz for Karyn? Read Karyn’s post and see! Here
Michelle Elvy, writing from New Zealand, in ‘Close your Eyes’ explores the body and its history as a landscape, or rather an open book… Here
Dora, of ‘turns of endearment’, finds sanctuary in immersing herself in the experience of color… “an almost religious, aesthetic experience”. Here
Sherry O’Keeffe writes: “The Shoshoni Indians had made the river valley their home long before I showed up on the gravel bars, looking for the sound of a crow. I learn from their language to see the world as never belonging to any one, not even to the crows”. Here
Nine’s memoir piece is filled with emotion, color, images. Looking back, now in New Zealand, she tells us how she said goodbye to Berlin. Even now, she says, “it’s still largely what I think of when I think about Berlin” in a blog entry, which “I wrote almost about year and a half ago” Here
Siddartha Beth Pierce contributes 6 poems, each covering sensitively and thoughtfully one of the six senses… “making angels on the ground”. Enjoy here
Steve Wing and Dorothee Lang, in an e-logue that moves back 35.000 years in time, reflect on neolithic art and modern works that reach back in time to capture the past in film, in image, and in story: “A sense of place in time” Here
Stella Pierides, writing from Germany and UK, in her haibun ‘Other Worlds’ explores the sometimes hallucinatory qualities of the senses. Here
A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to this edition. I enjoyed reading your entries and getting to know your blogs – do let me know of any mistakes in your entries and I will try to correct them. I am going to be a more regular reader and contributor from now on! A huge thanks you to Dorothee Lang, too, the founder of this blog carnival, and the ever-present support and inspiration to the changing guest editors.
Edition #14, this edition, was put together by Stella Pierides. She is a poet and writer and blogs here. She tweets @stellapierides. She also has a facebook page and would like more friends! Apart from that, she looks forward to the next edition #15.
Edition #15 will be hosted by writer and poet Abha Iyengar, who lives in New Delhi (India) and blogs at abhaencounter.blogspot.in and tweets at @abhaiyengar. The feature theme of Abha’s edition is “Encountering the Other in Language/Place“. Contributions are invited from writers, poets, and anyone with an interest in this topic. As always, we welcome a wide variety of posts. Guidelines here