Saturday, January 29, 2011

Déjà View

Remember that odd feeling of smelling something that triggers a memory, or when a color inspires a mood, or a physical sensation that gives you pause, and or a sound that sends chills up your spine. We seem to carry around these fingerprints of memories that are embedded in us from the earliest years of infancy. Our bodies seem to automatically react to scents, sensations, colors, and sounds, kind of like, déjà view. 

When the sun rose up to meet the sky the other morning, I not only noticed the beautiful colors, but when I breathed in the cold, crisp air, it made my nose tingle and burn. It reminded me somewhat, of when you take your first bite of barbecued pork that is dipped in hot, yellow mustard, covered with sesame seeds. That burning sensation, that travels up your nose and into your sinus cavities, and you swear that you will never do that again.

Smells trigger strong reactions in us. Like when I walked into the Wood Center women’s bathroom, after the brisk walk up to the view point and back, to watch the sunrise. As soon as I opened the door, the smell of disinfectant penetrated my nose. Not so over whelming that I wanted to gag or cover my nose, but just enough to let me know that it must have been recently cleaned. In a way, I guess that was comforting feeling knowing that someone was on the job. That smell was familiar to me and made me think of hospital smells. It smells clean, but there’s always some other underline scent that you just can’t place. Not too much time spent in the bathroom at the Wood Center, or at the hospital.

The clock rang out, as I walked towards the Gruening Building from the Wood Center, it chimes eleven o’ clock. I entered into the Gruening Building, third floor, and the first thing I heard was the soft swooshing sound of the elevator doors closing. I was there in between classes and the halls were eerily quite. I was use to the hustle and bustle of students shuffling from one class to another. For a few minutes, I was the only one standing there and I noticed how cold, grey and concrete everything was. I reached out and touched the wall; it was cold, but felt bumpy and slick. I could hear someone shuffling their feet coming down the stairs and it made an echoing sound. This place reminds me of one of those B horror movies, that you find yourself saying, just run you idiot. It was pretty creepy there for a few minutes and my mind was getting a little to creative.

As I go throughout my day and start heading home, I’ve encounter smells, colors, sensations and sounds that remind me of memories, places and experiences. Like, I said in the beginning, kind of like déjà view. Yes, I know the spelling is incorrect, but it is a play on words, considering that you don’t always need your eyes to see things and compare. You can use your sense of smell, your hearing and touch to experience the world around you.

I’ve arrived, my mind, and body start to relax, home with my family.


  1. This is a wonderful post, Lee Ann. You have a real gift for making connections and writing them out in a way that is a pleasure to read. I love how you are mixing concrete (the tingle of hot mustard) and abstract (run, you idiot!) observations, and especially how you use sensory images.

    Very impressive. I am really looking forward to reading your first paper!

  2. Lee Ann this is really great! The words flow and connect nicely making it a pleasure to read!

  3. Oh my Oh my...
    I am so impressed! You have transformed words into sensory impressions. I love it when I'm reading something that becomes real before my eyes (and nose).

    I'm looking forward to reading more of your blogs...

    the -g- man

  4. Hey "G" man, you're gonna get sued by G. Gordon Liddy if you keep using that tagline.

    I wrote something about you once "G" man, but after I deleted all the expletives... there was nothing left! heh heh

  5. When I started reading this, I could only think about the smell of burning Apple Cider.