Thursday, January 28, 2010

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Our December snow blanket protected my root crops for over a month.  A few days ago I finally managed to dig some up.  Dinner last night included crummy carrots and perky parsnips.

"I fed carrot peels to the chickens," Karen said this morning.

Think apples.  "Carrot peels?" I said, "Where did you get them?"

"From dinner last night," she said.

Think apples.  "We didn't have carrots for dinner last night," I said.

"Yes we did, with parsnips and cabbage," she said.

Light bulb.  "I thought you said apple peels."

It's not an age thing.  It's -- well -- I suppose it's what Tolle says in A New Earth -- not listening to the "now."

A few years ago, when I was an arrogant twenty-something, I assumed everyone saw things the same as I did.  I'm not talking worldview or viewpoint.  I knew people had different opinions.  I'm also not talking about inattention.  I realized that people who witnessed an event remembered it differently and often inaccurately.  Nevertheless, in general, I thought everyone, unless disabled in some way, actually saw, heard, smelled, sensed the same objective experience.  Something cold was cold.  Green was green.  Wet was wet.  A middle "C" was a middle "C."

Then one day I was put on hold.  Music began to play.  While I waited, I switched the telephone receiver to the other ear.  I returned it to the first ear, then to the other, again and again.  Weird.  Each time the music moved up or down a half-step in pitch.  To this day, I don't know if it's my ear or my brain.  But a "C" isn't always a "C."

"Was it an epiphany?" says Virginia.  She's teasing me.

"No, but gradually I've lost confidence in what is real.  I may still be arrogant, but I'm interested in what others think happens."

"Especially when they see ghosts?" It's Virginia again.

Especially when they see ghosts.

[How about a comment?  What have you noticed?  If you have trouble entering a comment, leave the URL blank, choose Anonymous, and add your name or not, as you wish.]


  1. I know you're not asking me to comment but I'm going to anyway. I thought it was so funny that you kept saying carrot and acting confused. It would have been different if you acted confused but didn't keep repeating carrot while you were thinking apple. I'm glad you told me what you were thinking so I could laugh at you, I mean, with you.

  2. Sometimes I wonder if people see the same thing when they see a carrot or whatever or is what I see unique to me. I mentioned the idea many years ago to a friend and he said "that is ridiculous". He was always kind of arrogant.

  3. Thanks kpannabecker and 6 sheep and a llama,

    I suppose books have been written about this, but it may be time for another.

  4. As a musician, you would notice a pitch difference. When I was a teen, I noticed I saw a slightly different color cast through each eye. I found it very amusing. So much for "seeing is believing", I thought. Is it yellow or is it pink? Of course, now, if I'm working in Photoshop, it drives me mad. So much for philosophy.