I adore California summers (yes, I insist that it is summer already). I love the warm to hot days and the sun and the cool night air. It makes me so aware of my skin and of the sheer joy of how it feels.
It's very interesting -- after reading Diane Ackerman's A Natural History of the Senses
, I sort of came to the realization that I don't really use all five of my senses to the same degree. Er, I mean, I suppose that is rather obvious, but it wasn't something that I used to think about before. But I do more now, particularly after reading mrissa
's posts on smell and scents and BPAL perfumes and realizing that I have no nose for scents. It's something that I would like to pay more attention to. It's also very obvious when I'm living with fannishly
, who has a much keener appreciation for physical beauty than I do. And I've never really been a big music person -- I love music, I love the emotions it invokes, but I can't analyze it to the same degree that some people can, and I know my musical taste is very, very odd.
The scent one is particularly intriguing to me right now, especially since I'm waiting for my first BPAL imps order to come in and because I've been having a whole lot of fun playing around with fannishly
's perfume collection (having a girly roommate is fun!). I don't even know what type of scents I will like, which made picking the BPAL imps very random and difficult. I'm not sure if I don't like musky at all, or if I just dislike the alcohol base on most perfumes. I used to think that I hated all perfume, but I think it may be that vaguely artificial smelling alcohol base, because I don't have this problem with essential oils or scented soaps and lotions. I do dislike a lot of scented candles, though, just because they smell too strong and too sweet. I particularly dislike the smell of vanilla when it's not associated with baking, just because it tends to be so overwhelming. And I very much cannot pick out different notes in perfume yet, much less different flower scents or anything (with the possible exception of roses, because I love roses). So I'm very much looking forward to the BPAL imps. I'm much better with food and cooking smells or nature smells... perfumes tend to confuse me a little. I like things like the smell of grass and the smell of pretty much anything cooking, of fresh coffee and of clean laundry. I suppose they are more life-smells than fancy smells, but now I'm totally intrigued by the perfumes and oils!
The thought that I have no real attachment to beauty is also very interesting, considering that almost everything I do is very visual. And yet, it's not the visual that gets to me the most -- the visual is merely how the information is conveyed in books and on the internet and on tv. I'm not very good at noting visual parallels or motion or whatnot, and so it often takes me multiple viewings to actually get a vid. It's always interesting reading yhlee
's assorted tv posts because I'm generally a character-focused person, whereas she is very good at spotting visual motifs or visual foreshadowing or the like. I took a class on Japanese film just because I have no idea what the language of film is, and this is just really interesting that I don't pay that much attention to these things, given that I read a lot of comics and manga and watch a lot of tv. I don't know... I appreciate things like sunsets and beautiful architecture and the like, but it's not as ingrained in me as some other things are.
Music-wise and sound-wise, I'm completely awful at analyzing. I really wish I had taken a class on music theory or the like back in college. Even though I learned the piano when I was a kid (like all good Asian children, heh), I don't quite "get" music, if that makes any sense. I've taken singing lessons and such, and while I have a fairly good ear for tune, I don't really analyze music or listen to it on anything higher than a very instinctive level. I really wish people would talk about music more, because it's something that I wish I knew more about. jonquil
's posts on musicals and the like are fascinating because of this, as are yhlee
's posts on music theory, which goes completely over my head.
The two senses that I pay a great deal of attention to, though, are taste and touch. The taste bit is probably not at all surprising to anyone who reads this LJ, given how much I talk about food and how much I love food. I love how things taste, I love the layers of them, I love how cooking different things together and in different ways brings out different flavors. I don't quite appreciate wine yet, but I think I am growing to more and more (this is all my dad's fault), and I totally get the cheese thing and how some cheeses taste clean and fresh (mmmm, goat cheese), and how some taste milky, and how others are strangely sharp yet sweet. And then there are the slightly nutty ones, and the somewhat sour ones, and then the layers of tastes. I love garlic. I love how herbs bring out flavors, and I love simply cooked meats and vegetables so that they just taste pure and clean, and I love food with just enough salt to leave the smallest impression that is sometimes there and sometimes not. This is the only time I really do pay attention to scent, when it's associated with taste. I don't know if I'm particularly good at tasting, whatever that means, but it's something I am very focused on (mmmmm, food) and something that I derive a great deal of pleasure from. A good meal is one of the very basic joys of my existence, and a sublime one is often remembered for years to come. Er, why yes, me and my dad will go around and talk about that meal we ate at that restaurant several years ago in France and how good that salmon was or something. Hee hee.
The other one that I think I really tend to pay attention to and didn't realize I paid a lot of attention to is touch. I didn't really think about it much before, but I think I am a fairly tactile person. I may not care that much about how something looks at times as long as it feels good next to my skin, and I don't buy clothes that have fabrics that I don't enjoy touching. If it's too itchy or scratchy or just feels too rough, I don't want to wear it. I could lie outside all day and feel the heat prickling my skin or the cool breeze, and I very often lie indoors all day on my very, very comfy bed with cool cotton sheets that warm to the touch and down pillows. I like being warm and cozy, and I like touching things. I find that when I go shopping, I like running my hands over all the clothes, just feeling the different textures. I like cotton clothes the best -- I like how clean cotton feels, how soft it can be and how forgiving it can be, I like how it just comes out more and more worn after several washings and dryings. I like textures and nappiness, I love silks and velvets, but not taffetas so much. I like the way skirts swish around my legs, and have I mentioned how much I like cotton shirts? I love the way wood feels when it's been worn down and touched often, and I love the warm squishiness of my rats' tummies and their fur and their little paws and whiskers. I like the way things feel on my skin. I think this is why I've been enjoying knitting so much -- it's so tactile. Going to a yarn store is so fun, and there are so many different kinds of yarns to feel and touch and rub, and knitting itself requires that yarn run through my fingers all the time.
I don't know... what do other people tend to notice?