Yesterday over at The Write Practice, there was recently a post on synesthesia, titled “Synesthesia In Literature: Definition and Examples” where the writer talks about the role that synesthesia can have on a person’s writing. Synesthesia is the idea that people experience things differently. For example, a sound could have color associated with it, like for me when I think of fireworks they are red, or names might have a smell. One of the responses described the wind blowing by calling the wind “stiletto wind,” which is a really beautiful description that allows you to actually fill the wind stabbing like a stiletto heel. For my Fiction Friday post, I would like to explore that prompt. This is a mixture of fiction and nonfiction that explores my first visit to the ocean. The prompt says to “write a nature scene using synesthesia to add new sensory layers in your description.”
A loud roar, growing louder with every step into the wind, was the only sound in my ears. I was alone, my feet sliding in the dry sand, sharp rocks and broken seashells cutting into my feet, not drawing blood, but making their presence known. The sun still hasn’t risen, the world is in the dark time when the moon has gone, the stars are brighter, but the sun has yet to wake up the world.
The roar gets louder, blocking out the other sounds, helping to block out my own racing thoughts. They move so quickly through my brain that I can catch one just before it crashes into the wall of no answers. The sand has switched under my feet from biting shells to the squishy consistency of what walking on plato might feel like. My feet are getting colder with every step and all I can see is blue. When I reach the waters edge, I let my feet sink deeper and deeper, wiggling to help them go under. The water feels like ice on my feet and ankles as the tide rushes in only to run away.
I stand like that for a long while, taking deep breaths, soaking in the smell of saltwater, seaweed, and freedom. When I do decide to sit, I back up and sit cross-legged, holding my coffee cup between both hands, having a few silent, thankful moments before the world wakes up to drown the ocean.
Not my best work, but I realized how difficult it is to actually add synesthesia into my writing when I’m being intentional. It’s funny because I experience synesthesia pretty often, especially with sounds. For some reason sounds always call to mind images, and smells always bring about tastes. It’s interesting because when I was writing, I just did what I normally do, which is to write.