Monthly Archives: June 2009

questions on the loo, issue #6: Which of your senses would you lose if you had to lose one?

This is a common question that i’ve seen pop up in many places, but i never thought deeply about it until my best friend asked me it the other day.  At first, i confidently said, “Smell.”  I couldn’t give up sight; i’m a visual artist.  I couldn’t give up hearing either because i think it’s even more powerful than sight.  Touch was out of the question because i’m too sensuous, and as for taste, well, everyone knows i’m a foodie.  Smell and taste work together, of course, but between those two, i thought smell would be the least useful.  But then i remembered all those days of snuggling with loved ones and breathing in their unique smell emanating from their bosom; those days of hallucinating their smell when i missed them and smiling inwardly knowing that my nostrils had somehow “memorized” their smell; those days of stumbling upon articles of clothing they’d left behind, the pillows they’d slept on, and being hypnotically reminded of the tender memories.  I think i could live without smelling all those other scents i love like that of the rain, the ocean, the fresh-tilled soil, but i don’t think i could give up the scent of the human being.

So which would i lose?  I’d lose hearing.  I honestly think i appreciate dead silence more than the most sublime music, the pristine sounds of nature, maybe even the human voice.  Sound is more often an irritant to me than a pleasure.  There are surely things i’d miss hearing, especially water and wind and certain voices, but when i imagine myself first without smell and then without hearing, i see myself much unhappier in the former case.

Now it’s your turn:  which would you lose?  And a bonus question:  if you could choose one last thing to sense before losing your chosen sense, what would it be?  I chose hearing, so i’d choose to hear my love’s voice, whoever that may be at that moment.

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