a change of senses


Loosing one sense is often compensated by the sharpening of the remaining other senses...

Now in my case it's the gradual fading of my eyesight that is bringing ever new learning challenges into my day. Being a very visual person in the core, it's always been a dance for me to deal with the knowledge that the vision I have will decrease more and more with the years - to the point where I nnow at age 40 am back to school learning the skills of a blindman. Non visual computer interfaces like the Braille diasplay, whinch obviously require me to first learn Braile - reading with my fingers. Touch typing is the other major skill I now *have* to learn, as looking at my keyboard won't really cut it anymore.

(my remaining vision is still quite usable for readong on screen, but the point of my schooling is not what I can see now...)

A thing I observe increasingly often these days though... is the shift in senses I use to experience my world. I've always had good hearing, not so much in terms of measurable values, but in terms of being able to discren source, type and location of a sound in my surroundings.

A more recent development is that I notice smells more and more. But unlike with sounds, this sharpening if the olfactory awareness is actually a source of confusion to me. I was musing in why that might be so - after all don't we all like those stories about the dog-man hybrid, using the sharp sense of smell in conjunction with the human intellect to solve crimes and other such tales?

To me scent has two big disadvantages - and the *stink* of things is not really counted here.

I guess the real issue I have with expertly using smell to na*igate my world is not so much the sense in itself... but much rather my inexperience in interpreting it - and using the gained data to my advantage.

For example I notice a scent... but often I just can't say just *what* I am smelling. It's a bit like looking at two images and thinking "these two are not the same" but not being able to say why, how they differ. You just know - or feel - they are differnet.

The thing about scent location is really just using one sense in a way not appropriate to it. Scents drift, they are carried on the wind. They are simoly NOT sounds.

All this reminds me very much of what is known about humans that have perfectly healthy eyes but never learned to see. Or even those born blind who might gain the chance to see through a later operation... sadly many never learn to cope with the newly gained sensory input.


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