the details

by d

curious. i first became aware of this when i went to sausalito. i’m
sure it’d been an experience, just i’d never verbalized it,
conceptualized it in this way.

happened again just a while ago, when i went for my lunch-time walk.
this time, camera in hand, towards the embarcadero. which is a bit of
a walk away now.

it might be because of the way i look at things. maybe everyone sees it the same way, just i perceive it differently. seems like an oxymoron, but it’s possible. perception varies in a multi-dimensional manner, it’s not just one way or another.

i want to say that i’ve always been like this, how i see things. that when i look at people, i don’t see names, abstract representations. i see the skin pores, the mouth moving, the veins below the flesh, the light reflecting off textured cotton. and each time i find myself confronting a human being, that is my immediate experience, and i have to consciously assemble some sort of abstract representation, as in, okay, this is evie, focus, concentrate, she’s trying to say something to you. and i look at her, and it’s like looking thru a funhouse shooting arcade game, shifting layers moving, sensory washes getting in the way, and i try to focus, all right, interpret the sounds her mouth is making.

and when i walk, outside, in the world, it’s a massive sensory rush. i don’t see bicyclist, tree, businessman. i see a million cascading feathery polygons of green exploding in sunlight that’s warm on my skin, i see glint of silver spiraling with black, and rubber taste on my tongue, and hairy legs beneath wool-polyester blend, and everything opens up fractal. buildings are shapes within shapes, perspective, lines converging, space and edge and border and boundary and texture everywhere.

and as happened when i got off the ferry in sausalito, also happened today when i found myself sitting in my favorite spot near where the motorcycles are parked, green trees, parakeets, birds alive, feathers, flight. i finally sat on the concrete grill, and i looked this way and that, and again, i felt like i was in a snow globe, fish eye lens. possibly due to the concave, spherical nature of peripheral vision. i felt like i was in a contained sphere, and all the motion around me was asymmetrical converging lines of motion, fishbowl sky blue wrapped around buildings, and hillside tumbling beneath my feet, and pink trees curving up behind me, wrapping around me.

and i only became conscious of this in the abstract verbal sense in sausalito. i think. and i wonder why.

and like i started to mention, i thought it was always like this for me, that i tend to see the details, and not the larger things. building is a polygon, humans are strange with a millionfold influx of cakey, terrestrial details. but what about that one evening when i was still living in san diego, at my studio apartment in hillcrest, with the sliding glass patio door. how i stood there staring at the wooden chair i’d recently painted, mulberry spray speckles over fluorescent orange so it floated, glowed, was interdimensional, and i forced my mind to focus on it, stay with it, discover, push past, and i stayed with it, stayed with it, and i pushed past what i believed was the concept of CHAIR, it was no longer CHAIR, it was instead the vibrating threshold of what its details wanted to amount to. labels no longer applied. that was around the first time, as i’ve mentioned before, that i walked down the sidewalk along balboa park, and i lifted out my arms like i was an airplane, and i swung in curves down the side of the street, making myself not care that people might be watching, though always so afraid and self-conscious before. (when i finally learned to dance, to feel my body, 5 years later, that moment besides
balboa park is when it started.)

4 thoughts on “the details”

  1. Not to perseverate…

    I mean perseverate because I just got done writing a similar thing on another post…but…

    It sounds like you are in your “right mind”…where words have no meaning and visual sensation or focus is all. There is a book “Drawing on the Right side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards where she explains exercises that artist-wanna-be’s like me can use to get into their “right mind”.

    My son has a diagnosis of autism-lite, and he tells me he sees every detail, also.

  2. it cerainly is the right mind. =) or at least one of many right minds. it’s just all that unbridled sensory perception, and such a thin threshold, sometimes the skin doesn’t have the solidity to support it, breaks apart like tissue paper underneath the weight.

    a tragically delicious sort of decay, i suppose.

  3. Hi; I guess that is pretty typical,of regular human beings, to pick out those who are different than anyone else,and either kill them, torment them,.or even throw them out of the group,or tribe. It’s been going on for thousands of years;other people who do not conform to the group “normalcy” patterns,are not accepted in the group,or often even tolerated. So,I’m not surprised; all my life,I was out of it,cause I was too intelligent. Wish I had been good at computers,I’d be Bill Gates by now,though.

  4. Yep,I get very over stimulated,too,and have to isolate myself a lot; too much,in fact.I have other stuff wrong with me, too,like borderline personality disorder, but the sensory part has always been true for me;since I’m an artist,I use that for art,but also,all my emotions, sight,hearing,feel,taste, is all over sensitive, too. always has been.

    So,like sounds, even high ones,or cars, drive me nuts. I have extra high octaves(they told me,on testing me, as a teen)I can hear,too,so it’s wierd I listen to music a lot,and it effects me greatly.Now,in middleage,I listen to classical music,and opera, a lot,and that effects me very much,I can use it to calm me,or make me think,or put me to sleep, even. People in my family had a lot of musical talent,on both sides, especially my dad’s; my family has definite signs of autistic spectrum,but no one ever got diagnosed; my sister confessed to having “face blindness”,but then took her statement back again,when I tried to say something; she refuses to admit that she has it, now.

    Unfortunately,we also have a lot of mental illness,maybe partly from having to deal with the world with being on the autistic spectrum. Aspergers, that is. Lots of signs my family is on the spectrum. I hear, a lot of Aspies get isolated,cause they can;t deal with the world,and their systems just stop trying to do it,and they withdraw in self defense. I know I do.I also got misdiagnosed, for many years,and just classified as “mentally ill”.


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