Hidden Kingdom (Chapter 2-adding page 9)

To see the complete Chapter 1, use the following link;https://catchafallingstarbook.net/2018/11/24/hidden-kingdom-chapter-1-complete/

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An Unexpected Gift 

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This post is a movie review for Thor : Ragnarok , though I don’t really plan on talking about the movie very much.   It was an excellent comic book movie in the same tongue-in-cheek comedy tradition as Guardians of the Galaxy.   It made me laugh and made me cheer.   It was the best of that kind of movie.  But it wasn’t the most important thing that happened that night.

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You see, I spent the weekend in the hospital thinking I had suffered a heart attack during the Thanksgiving holiday. I thought I was facing surgery at the very least.   I knew I might have had an appointment to play chess with the Grim Reaper.   It is a lot to worry about and drain all the fun out of life.

Well, one of the things that happened that day, Tuesday, my first full day out of the hospital and, hopefully, out of the woods over heart attacks, was that I received my new replacement bank card because my old one had a worn out, malfunctioning chip in it.  So, I took my three kids to the movie at the cheapest place we could find.  I tried to run my bank card for the payment, and it was summarily declined.  I had activated it previously during the day, and there was plenty of money in the account compared to the price, but it just wouldn’t take.  So I had to call Wells Fargo to find out whatever the new reason was for them to hate me.  It turned out that it had already been activated, but a glitch had caused it to decline the charge.  While I was talking to the girl from the Wells Fargo help desk, the lady who had gotten her and her husband’s tickets right before us put four tickets to the movie in my hand.

The middle-aged black couple had lingered by the ticket stand before going in to their movie just long enough to see a sad-looking old man with raggedy author’s beard and long Gandalf hair get turned down by the cheap-cinema ticket-taking teenager because the old coot’s one and only bank card was declined. They were moved to take matters into their own hands and paid for our tickets themselves.

That, you see, was the gift from my title.  Not so much that we got our movie tickets for free, but that the world still works that way.  There are still good people with empathetic and golden hearts willing to step in and do things to make the world a little bit better place.  The gift they gave me was the reassurance that, as bad and black as the world full of fascists that we have come to live in has become, it still has goodness and fellow feeling in it. People are still moved to pay things forward and make good on the promise to “love one another”.  I did not have a chance to thank them properly.  I was on the phone with Wells Fargo girl when it happened.  The only thing that couple got out of their good deed was thank-yous from my children and the knowledge that they had done something wonderful.  I plan to pay it forward as soon as I have the opportunity.  Not out of guilt or obligation, but because I need to be able to feel that feeling too at some point.

I do have one further gift to offer the world.

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After we got home from the movie, I opened an email that contained the cover proof for my novel, Magical Miss Morgan.  Soon I will have that in print also if I can keep Page Publishing from messing it up at the last moments before printing.  It is a novel about what a good teacher is and does.  It is the second best thing I have ever written.

Sometimes the gifts that you most desperately need come in unexpected fashion.

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Horatio T. Dogg… Canto 6

The Lair of the Evil Professor Rattiarty

“He’s actually daring to come into the barn again,” reported the turncoat barn cat, Greeneyes.

“Has he got that stupid boy with him?  That Bobby fella?” asked Whitewhiskers Billy, the number-three rat in the gang.

“Not just him, but the two fantastical friends, too.”

“You mean the baseball-bat boy that killed ChickenKiller?” asked Stupidrat, the number-last rat now that ChickenKiller was nothing but bones in the gravel by the pump house.

“Not just him.  Also, the beautiful princess that always wears blue clothing and always looks so gorgeous that I almost fall over dead.”

“Horatio T. Dogg is so brazen and conceited, Boss, that he thinks he can dare to come sniffing about your kingdom without so much as asking Greeneyes for permission,” said Darktail Ralph, the number-two rat.

“You must be patient, my anxious minions,” said Professor Rattiarty in an oily voice from the darkest shadows in the stack of haybales.  All you could see of Rattiarty’s hideous face were the two glowing red eyes staring out at everybody from the darkness.  “Sooner or later Horatio will make a mistake.  We will have him fatally outnumbered and make an end to him.  Remember, the old Dogg is getting old.”

“Right, right, Boss. We’ll be patient.”

“Greeneyes, get up on the highest hay bale so the humans can see you.  They will see a barn cat and think that no rats could possibly be around,” ordered Rattiarty.

“Right away, Boss.”

                                                *****

“Look, there’s a barn cat up there,” said Mike.  “There’s no way there are any rats around in here, or the cat would get ‘em.”

“That is a fine-looking cat,” said Blueberry.  “He looks fat enough to have eaten several rats.”

“That’s Greeneyes.  He’s in with the rats.  Rattiarty gives him chicken parts and other food so the corrupt cat will be the lookout for the evil gang of horrible rats.  They are probably up there right behind him, giving him orders, and using him to spy on us.”

“Bobby, you are mentally insane sometimes,” said Mike. “Rattiarty?  I bet you have all of the rats named already, don’t you?”

“Well… yeah.  Horatio sniffs them out and tells me everything.”

“What are their names?” asked Blueberry.

“Well, there’s Darktail Ralph, Rattiarty’s right-hand rat.  And then there’s Whitewhiskers Billy, and Stupidrat, and ChickenKiller… but he’s dead.  Mike, remember the rat you killed with the bat when you and the Pirates were out here doing batting practice?

“Oh, yeah.  So, that rat had a name, did he?” said Mike.

“Of course, he did.  Rats are people too, aren’t they?”

“NO.  Just no.”

“Bobby, I appreciate your wonderful imagination even if Mike doesn’t,” Blueberry said sweetly.

Bobby grinned at her. If only…

                                    *****

“The dog is coming right NOW!” screeched Greeneyes, just before he disappeared from the top of the stack of hay bales.

Horatio T. Dogg, with his green hat on his head and Meerschaum pipe in his mouth, appeared in his place, cooly looking down into Rattiarty’s lair in the hollows between the hay bales.

“So, Professor, we meet again,” said Horatio.

“But not by accident this time.  It was all part of my plan,” said the voice behind the glowing red eyes in the darkness.

“Oh?  How so?”

“I lured you here to show you I survived our last encounter after all.  And my rat forces are growing again.  Did you really think we would be satisfied with just turkens this time?  They are no challenge.  I killed Little Bob with a mere thought.”

“Oh?  It was you that convinced him he was a penguin and could swim underwater in the horse tank?”

“No, I… er, um, I mean… Yes!  I killed him with mind control.”

“I don’t see how.  Little Bob only had a tiny chicken mind.”

“But I have already worked my magic on the Niland family.  Do you know why Grandma Niland passed away?”

“Lung cancer.”

“Ah, but who caused that cancer?”

“Not you?”

“How did she get infected with cancer?”

“Cigarettes in the 50’s when teenagers thought it was cool to smoke?”

“No.  My talents as a carrier for disease. I did that.  And I am warning you, you don’t know how to stop me before the next one dies.”

“What next one?”

“Um, probably the Grandpa.”

“I can stop you by killing you all right here, right now with my teeth and claws.”

“Stupidrat!  Attack!”

“Yeah, let’s attack now guys!” screamed Stupidrat as he stupidly leaped at Horatio’s growling mouth.

The other rats all quickly withdrew into the shadows.

                                    *****

“That’s just one dead rat. And your dog probably grabbed it before the cat could.  We saw him scare the cat away.” Mike was frowning darkly.

“Really, Mike!  Horatio says they were all up there, plotting to kill my Grandpa.  This one sacrificed himself so the others could get away.”

“That’s not exactly what I said,” said Horatio.

“Oh, sure!  An evil rat professor with glowing red eyes.  And they are going to take down Butch Niland, your wise old grandfather!”

“Well, it’s true.  Horatio told me.  Sorta.”

“You and Blue and your imaginations!  I don’t believe you two!”

“I believe you, Bobby.”  Blueberry always believed Bobby, no matter how strange a thing it was that Bobby claimed.

“You both better learn what imagination really is before bad things happen to you both.  You can’t make your way through life by juxst making up stories about it.”

Bobby nodded silently.  Mike was right.  He needed to know what imagination really was, and how God meant for him to use it.

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What Dreams May Come?

Lately I have been having problems with passing out during low blood-sugar moments in the middle morning, early afternoon, and shortly after supper, usually when I have already had a snack and my sugars haven’t balanced yet. When I pass out, perchance… I dream. Vivid dreams. So, for art day, I will post images I have made based on dreams I have had.

This one has shadows on everything. I exhausted three pens drawing shadows. Yet, there are no shadows on the child-figures. In the dream, they were glowing white ghosts.

Snowboy is one of the main villains in The Bicycle-wheel Genius. But the boy-robot made entirely of snow, ice, and circuitry first appeared in a 1978 dream that happened while I had a fever from the flu.

This dream is a mental-disturber caused again by fever. Here the two gigantic toys play with the little girl. I was not actually in this dream. I was an observer floating above. I think the bear was inspired by a Care-Bear.

This picture has all the elements of the actual dream, the candle, the line of glowing pixies, the sleeping princess, and Prince Charming. But nothing here looks like it did in the dream. The prince and the princess were both young teens that I did not know in real life. The fairies were larger and a lot more obviously nude.

I actually passed out while writing this post. It happened right here, before I could post this dream of living colors. All the colors were in motion in the dream, something I couldn’t really represent here.

I knew when I dreamed this dream that the Bambi-kin in this dream were members of my family, but at the time I dreamt it I had not met my wife yet, let alone had three kids of my own. Yet I knew that it was not my family at the time of the dream because one of my sisters was not there.

This is from a dream I had in college at Iowa City. I made an entire cartoon out of it called Babysitters Hate My House, It is about a babysitter having a horrible time with my two sons as she loses control when they show her the man in the basement that, “Daddy built out of a kit.”

And, finally, this dream featured not only the spirit stag and the medicine man, but the bolt of lightning in the background. The Dakotah people say having a dream with lightning in it makes you a “lightning dreamer”, a magic man, or a shaman. So, I guess that qualifies me to be one.

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My Heart Diminished

I got word yesterday from my sister that Mom is in the hospital again. She went to the hospital emergency room in the middle of the night Friday night. There they found concerning enzymes in her bloodwork.

Today I got another call. She was transferred to the cardiology unit in Mason City in the middle of the night last night.

They are going to go in with a camera and look around her heart for whatever blockages are causing the troubles and putting in stints wherever they are needed.

A year ago my father fell ill. He had a stroke caused by Parkinson’s Disease last July. He died in November on my birthday.

I know what to expect. She will not pass away at this time. But she is 86. She lost the man she was married to for over 60 years. I have other relatives who died shortly after losing their spouse, their one true love. I have to be prepared.

And, of course, a little bit of me will die too. We are not immortal. But our lives were good lives, full of love, and we will have lost nothing by reaching the end. It is not the destination. It is the journey that is all-important.

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Homely Art – Part One – Thomas Kinkade

Fantasia  These images can be found at http://thomaskinkade.com/

I honestly have a thing for artists that critics hate and common folk like my parents and grandparents loved.  Norman Rockwell is a bit like that.  He enjoyed commercial success as a magazine illustrator.  That is about as far from avant garde art as you can get.  But what can I say?  I don’t call myself an artist.  I am a cartoonist and all around goofball.  I don’t do serious art.  So the questions surrounding Thomas Kinkade bounce off my tough old non-critical hide like bullets off the orphan of Krypton.  I love his pictures for their gaudy splashes of color, his way with depicting puddles and water of all sorts (splashes of splashes), and his rustic homes and landscapes of another era.  This is a man who does lovely calendar art and jigsaw puzzle art.  He is roundly criticized for factory production of “original” oil paintings which are actually a base he created and made a print of painted over by an “assistant” artist or apprentice.  But I don’t care .  I like it.  And you used to be able to see his originals without going to museums, in art stores at the shopping mall.  He is unfortunately dead now.  For most great artists, that makes their work more valuable and more precious.  Kinkade’s art hangs in so many homes around the country already that his fame has probably already reached its peak.  Look at these works that he did for Hallmark and Disney and various other mass-market retail outlets.  I dare you not to like it.

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Other Folks’ Artwork

There are many, many things I appreciate about other people’s artwork. It is not all a matter of envy or a desire to copy what they’ve done, stealing their techniques and insights for myself, though there is some of that. Look at the patterns Hergé uses to portray fish and undersea plants. I have shamelessly copied both. But it is more than just pen-and-ink burglary.

I like to be dazzled. I look for things other artists have done that pluck out sweet-sad melodies on the heartstrings of my of my artistically saturated soul. I look for things like the color blue in the art of Maxfield Parrish.

I love the mesmerizing surrealism of Salvador Dali.

I am fascinated by William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s ability to create photo-realistic and creamy-perfect nudes.

Basil Wolverton’s comic grotesqueries leave me stunned but laughing.

The dramatic lighting effects employed by Greg Hildebrandt slay me with beauty. (Though not literally. I am not bleeding and dying from looking at this picture, merely metaphorically cut to the heart.)

I even study closely movie-poster portraits like Bogart and Bergman in this Casablanca classic poster.

I could show you so many more art pieces that I dearly love to look at. But I will end with a very special artist.

This is the work of my daughter, Mina “the Princess” Beyer. Remember that name. She’s better than I am.

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Norman Rockwell

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When I was a boy in the 1960’s I looked forward to Grandma Aldrich’s Saturday Evening Post arriving at the end of her farm lane in the mailbox.  We were at Grandpa and Grandma’s farm north of town almost every day.  I often went to get the mail.  This one magazine was supremely important to me, not because I liked to read the articles, that was too much like school, but because of the wonderful pictures on the cover.  Norman Rockwell had established himself by that time as THE cover artist.  He wasn’t on every single issue, but he was on most.  And the world inside his paintings was filled with the kind of gentle humor, beautiful color, and wisdom tempered by love that I wanted to imitate.  I wanted to paint just like that… and if I couldn’t, then I would find a way to tell stories in words the same way I saw them in his oils.  I could gush more about the humble painter from New England, but I think it would serve my love of his work more just to show you what I mean;

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The Never-Naked Nudist

Today I have a low-grade fever. A slight cough. No sign of Covid yet, and I am fully vaccinated. But I have been to Walmart without a mask and get regular flu regularly. And it could also be a sinus infection again due to high pollen counts and neighborhood grass-cutting.

But the truly frustrating thing is that I had planned to go tomorrow to Bluebonnet Nudist Park, give them a copy of my nudist novel, and meet some of the members of that establishment that I didn’t meet in 2017.

The frustrating thing is that this marks the fifth time that I had planned to go back to Bluebonnet for a second visit. And now the plans are canceled yet again by illness.

As ever, I remain mostly a closet nudist. Me being a nudist now in the twilight years of my life is mostly a joke I tell, only loosely based on reality.

Part of the problem is the fact that I simply waited too long in my life to give in to the urge to be a nudist. I was one from childhood onward, but always too afraid of the unknown to try it openly. Especially after being assaulted at the ripe old age of ten.

My real opportunity came when I had a girlfriend in the 1980’s whose sister lived with her husband and children in a clothing-optional apartment complex in Austin. I met nudists there fully committed to the lifestyle and who encouraged me to join the movement, even after I broke up with that girlfriend. There were limited opportunities to become a nudist then. A park near Houston, a park near San Antonio, a nude beach on Lake Travis (Hippie Hollow,) and clubs in the Austin area that met in members’ homes. I only ever visited those places with clothes on. I never actually tried it. And now that I am old, I regret the opportunities missed.

Now I am old and ill and unable to express my love of nudism and naturism except through art and fiction. Of course, it has always been a very visual-only experience for me. No touching was ever involved. Whatever sexual feelings there were were always sublimated and deeply buried or strictly controlled.

And, as always, I didn’t absolutely need to share these normally private sort of details, but it seems my art and writing make me far more naked to the world than walking around a nudist park ever could.

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That Silly Old Writer, Me!

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I was invited to take part in the “My Writing Process” blog tour by a fellow young adult fiction writer, Stuart West.  (https://stuartrwest.blogspot.com)  Stuart is the author of the Tex, the Witch Boy series of paranormal YA thrillers.  He is something of a mentor to me, and easily the best published author I am personally acquainted with.  Before you take me seriously, you should definitely check out his blog.

For this little exercise, I have to answer four questions, then invite three other authors to do the same.  I’m a little slow on getting others to agree to this plan, but I am shameless when it comes to opportunities to talk about my own writing.  I will post the three authors later this week, after I am done begging and bribing.  

Step 1: Acknowledge the person and the blog site that invited you to take part.

As you can see, I’ve done that above, but here is the second mention; Stuart R. West .  (https://stuartrwest.blogspot.com

Step 2: Answer four questions about your writing process.
1)      What am I working on?
2)       How does my work differ from others of its genre?
3)       Why do I write what I do?
4)       How does your writing process work?

  1. What I am working on now is a story that is sequel-requel-prequel to my novel Catch a Falling Star.  That means that it uses characters from that novel, a bunch of new ones, and some from other stories of mine as well to tell what happened before that novel, during that novel, and after that novel.  Silly plan!  Believe me, I realize that while sweating over re-quel details (a phrase that here means a retelling of parts of that novel – I do also realize I stole this particular conceit from Lemony Snicket).  The book will be called The Bicycle Wheel Genius about a scientist who is a super-genius inventor trying to live incognito in a little Iowa farm town after leaving government service.  He is trying to live down a family tragedy while at the same time befriending the boy next door, avoiding government agents and assassin robots, dealing with an alien invasion by invisible alien frog people,  juggling time travelers, creating rabbit-men, and engineering old-fashioned high-wheel bicycles. 
  2. How does my work differ?  You have to ask?  Unlike all the careful plotters, step-by-step writing crafters, and picky editor types out there, I put words and ideas in a blender, mix on the “Are you insane?” setting, and then let it all come pouring out into pages and scenes and chapters (although I call them cantos for some bizarre reason).  I also have to admit that I base a lot of my characters on real people that I either grew up with in Iowa, or met over my thirty plus years as a mostly middle school teacher.  And these stories have percolated in my head for twenty to thirty years.  Did I mention already that I am not a person who thinks in straight lines?  You can tell by the shifts, reverses, and loopty-loops in this paragraph that much of what I call humor comes from my purple paisley prose (a phrase which here means overly ornate, wordy, and down-right convoluted sentences and paragraphs).  (Thanks again, Lemony).
  3. Why do I write it?  Let me think.  Could it be because teaching middle school students for too long leads to insanity, and if the insane are going to be useful in society, they have to do something at least mildly interesting for people who live in the real world?  I mean, if I just sit in a room all day drooling and counting and re-counting my Pez dispenser collection, that wouldn’t be entirely helpful.   Writing honors all the people I have known, alive and now departed, who touched my life and made a difference to my heart.  It also helps me make sense of things that have happened to me over time and shaped me as person… hopefully a person you might like to get to know.  And you can know a person through their writing long after they are personally worm food.  How could I live without Mark Twain or Charles Dickens in my life, and both were dead long before I was born?  And I know you’re going to ask yourself what makes me think that other people couldn’t live their lives better without knowing me?  But don’t ask.  I have developed a certain amount of wisdom over the course of my life, and I know I really don’t want an answer to that question.
  4. How does my writing process work?  I have taught the writing process in the classroom so many times, that the only answer I am still sane enough to give is that everyone’s process is entirely different.  I can, however, drop an insight or two on you.  First of all, everything I have ever written is still a part of what I call Prewriting… with a capital P.  Everything ever written can be rewritten and improved.  Secondly, it is important to re-read what you write.  I hate typos and mistakes in what is supposed to be “finished” writing.  It is the reason I hate the entire experience of my first published novel, Aeroquest.    That writing will never be okay until I have a chance to re-write it and re-tell it and re-everything it.  Dang it.  Thirdly, you must carefully consider who to allow to have input on your rough draft and re-worked copies.  Even some professional editors don’t bother to try to see things in a way that reflects the fact that they care about what you have written.  You need someone on your side to share it, and love it, and cherish it the way you do.  Only that person will give you input that is worth listening to.  Fourthly, if you reach fourthly your list is too dang long.  And finally, publish it.  Share it.  Don’t put it away in a drawer for the mice and spiders to read when you are long gone. 

So, Stuart, how did I do?  I hope at least it proves what you have known all along.  That Mickey guy writes like his hair is on fire and his pants are unraveling… in front of girls.

(Three writers to be named later will take up this same blog tour… I hope.)

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Synesthesia (Part Two; The Color of Music)

Okay, so on the synesthesia tests I didn’t score as a synesthete on the music/color test.  But I was extremely synesthetic on the tests for color/months/days of the week.  I was a little over the mark on letter/number/colors synesthesia too, but it was more a problem with manipulating the color-selector device when I don’t have a mouse to use on my laptop.  The test for music did not test the way I see colors with music.  They wanted me to respond to what color each individual note seemed to be, and that isn’t even close to the way I experience it.  For me, the perfect description of how synesthesia works for me is Bach’s Tocata and Fugue in D minor as it is depicted in Fantasia.

I was shocked when I first saw it.  The colors are wrong for this piece, but the visual experience is almost exactly how I experience music, especially wordless instrumental music.  The only problem with this piece is that the overall color schemes are wrong.  But this comes about because every synesthete sees the colors differently.  And I have no doubt that at least one of the artists who created this had synesthesia.  If there were more reds, yellows, and magenta in the opening and more indigo contrasted with silver later, this interpretation would be perfect.

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Music synesthetically works in two directions for me.  The picture above, called The Wings of Imagination, makes me think of La Mer by Claude Debussy.

If you listen to the piece, don’t look at the YouTube illustration, look at my picture if you want to see the music the way I do.  The following song, Don’t Worry, Be Happy, is a multicolored song that I can best express with the colors in the picture I call Rainbow Peacock.

Rainbow peacock

The full range of primary colors together in one picture, or one song, always means completeness, fullness, and happiness to me.  If there is absence of one or more of the basic colors from the color wheel, the mood and emotion present in the song or picture is altered to something other than happiness.  The Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky goes from the indigo and navy blue of fear and confusion to instances of angry red and feverish orange.  It would look something like this in the theater of my imagination;

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And one of my favorite instrumental pieces of all times, Prelude to the Afternoon of the Faun by Claude Debussy, is full of melancholy and sexual tension, deeply felt vibrations in the depths of my stomach, and would look like my picture Sleeping Beauty with its teal and blue melancholia juxtaposed with candle-lit yellows and wood brown mixed feelings of joy and anxiety.

Beauty

Now, if you have waded through all of this goofy color-and-music analysis from a source whose sanity is questionable at best, you probably have no earthly idea what any of it has to do with anything.  But if you have that aha!-moment and see it all clearly too, then I suspect you probably are a synesthete too.  Poor you.  It is not a treatable condition.  But it is also not a burden.  Learn to enjoy it.  It resonates in your very soul.

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Synesthesia (Part One; French Blue Monday)

This link will help you understand Synesthesia

Francois spotlight

Yes, Mondays are blue.  Specifically French blue.  Every day of the week has its own color.  Sunday is golden yellow, Tuesday is a yellow-ochre,  Wednesday is indigo blue and sometimes changes to blue violet, Thursday is burnt orange, and Friday is solid wood brown, and of course Saturday is rich pure red while Mondays are not just any blue… they are French blue.  I learned the names of these colors from being a painter and using oil paints.  I experience these colors every week and they help me maintain the calendar in my stupid old head.  I began to realize when I first heard about the colors of the wind in the Disney movie Pocahontas that there was something to this everyday thing, something different in the way I see the world.  I have in the last few years learned that this condition has a name.  It is called synesthesia.

 

 

It has been suggested to me by more than a few people that I don’t really perceive the world the same way “normal people do”.  When I was growing up, and going to school, I never had trouble remembering to capitalize the first word in a sentence.  I did however, have a great deal of difficulty with capital letters on nouns.  Looking back on that difficulty now, I can say without a doubt that I was having trouble not because I didn’t know the difference between proper nouns and common nouns.  It was because things like the word “dog” or “chair” had to begin with the right color.  Dogs are blue when you are talking about the color of the letters in the word.  But small “d” is blue-green, not true blue.  It doesn’t fit as well as the dark blue capital “D”.  And chairs are orange-red when you write them down, while the small “c” appears light green by itself.

sunnyface2

Sundays are Sun-days, and that’s why they are golden yellow.

I am told that most synesthetes are taken by surprise when they learn that they are seeing things differently than other people do.  I certainly was.  I always got funny looks whenever I described Thursdays as orange, or the month of November as sky blue.  My classmates in 4th grade thought I was nuts… of course, it wasn’t just for the orange Thursdays thing.  I was not a normal kid in any real sense of the word.  I always suspected that if I could look at the world through other people’s eyes, I would probably see the color green as what I called red, or that glowing halo that surrounded things when organ music played in the Methodist church would no longer be there.  But once I learned how synesthesia works I knew it was true.   The visual part of the brain can be scanned to show activity, and lights up on the scanner as if the brain is seeing bright colors when Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is being played while the subject of the scan is actually blindfolded.  I am told that synesthesia is more common in left-handed girls.  My daughter, the Princess, tells me that she also sees color on printed numbers and letters.  She is left handed and also gifted at drawing.  I suspect she inherited the synesthesia from me.

Creativity

Synesthesia probably explains what this nonsense is all about.

Now, I acknowledge the fact that my synesthesia is self-diagnosed and not proven by any of the methods the articles I have read about the condition talked about.  But my personal experiences always seem to fall in line with descriptions of letter/number/color combinations and music/color combinations that I have read about.  And if I do have it, it is not the same as any of my six incurable diseases.  It is not a bad condition to have.  In an artistic sense, it might actually be a good thing.  I could use some good for a change.  Good doesn’t usually come from weirdness… not my weirdness, anyway.  (Oh, and capital “G” is lime green… as is the word Goodness).

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