Excersise the Senses: Smell

Smell  is the sense responsible for detecting and processing odors. It is a chemo-receptor in which the particles act as a stimulant aromatic or odoriferous detached from the volatile bodies, which enter the olfactory epithelium located in the nose, and processed by the olfactory system. The human nose distinguishes between more than 10,000 different smells. Smell is the strongest sense at birth. (Taken from Wikipedia)

Jan Brueghel (I) - The Sense of Smell - WGA3581
Image via Wikipedia

In the article A sense of smell is said: “We are constantly surrounded by smells. Our environment, objects, animals and people are an endless source of good and bad smells.

Although many underestimate the smell, it is not a crucial survival mechanism, this stands out for having an enormous sensitive capacity . One of the main features of the sense of smell is that it acts to small stimuli.

The smell can capture at a distance and in low concentrations the molecules that react with its specialized organs.

While we have no olfactory sensitivity of animals such as dogs, our sense of smell contributes to the stimulation of appetite and digestive secretions, and prevent the presence of gases harmful to our health. “

As creative beings we are fascinated with aromas. They are always around us, make those special moments of our lives unforgettable. Just as the smell of your newborn, the perfume she wore on her first date, the scent of your child’s favorite blanket, the smell of a particular spice that reminds you of your grandmother’s kitchen, or your childhood. Odors stimulate the brain, well all the senses do this function, but being the strongest it makes us transcend the parameters of time and take us to the past, or perhaps what we’ll accomplish in the future.

In 2006 I had the opportunity to see the movie “Perfume, the story of a murderer” (an adaptation of a novel), ” is the first novel by German writer Patrick Süskind, published in 1985 under the title Das Parfum, die Geschichte eines Mörders. The novel explores the sense of smell and its relationship with the emotional meaning that scents may carry. Above all this is a story of identity, communication and the morality of the human spirit. The story focuses on Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a perfume apprentice in 18th century France who, born with no body scent himself, begins to stalk and murder virgins in search of the “perfect scent”, which he finds in a young woman named Laura, whom his acute sense of smell finds in a secluded private garden in Grasse.” (Wikipedia)

Let’s perceive our world through the sense of smell, and transform our experiences into words. To do this we must find the aromas we like, those that relax us, those we don’t like, and those that, well, go unnoticed because they are constant in our daily lives, for example, the smell of your home.

Search the smell of food, perfumes on your dresser, the soap that you wash with… Take a trip and visit the garden nursery near your home, and dive into a world of strong, subtle and distinctive aromas, such as mint, rosemary, dill, the oregano. Look for roses, orchids, Maragarita… Inhale, perceive! Stroll through the section of the spices and vegetables at your local market. Start cooking! Then take a minute and write what comes to mind, all the feelings, memories and places the scent carried  you .

Unfortunately, the internet does not yet have a device so you can smell odors from other places to explore the world without leaving your computer. Fortunately, smells surround us daily and we can experience them forever.

Share your experiences with us! What was the one aroma that took you on a journey to the past or to an unforgettable moment in your life?

Exersise the Senses: Taste

¡Para la versión en Español, haz click aquí!

When I think of this sense the only word that comes to mind is Mmmmm! Why not? Through it a number of emotions emerge from tasting food and wine. Let start for the sense of Taste will be a very interesting one and full of adventure and seduction.

The taste brings a sea of ​​possibilities. From tasting different feelings are born in our system, shared with a particular flavor and a mood.

Hugo Jesús Montenegro Ruiz in his monograph “The sense of taste” shares in conclusion:

The sense of taste, perhaps the closest of our five senses, has traditionally been considered unsuitable for analysis with a certain seriousness: too physical, too particular and personal. However, in addition to causing physical pleasure, eating and drinking are actions that harbor a symbolic and aesthetic value in the lives of people, and continually inspire writers and artists. Carolyn Korsmeyer explains how taste has come to occupy a place so low in the hierarchy of the senses and why it deserves more attention and respect.

Korsmeyer begins with the great Greek thinkers who classified taste as an inferior and merely physical sense. Then, presents a scientific view of the actual operation of taste and identifies multiple components in taste experiences. Focusing on the objects of taste, the food and drink, ‘observes the different meanings that have adopted in art and literature and in everyday life, and proposes an approach to the aesthetic value of taste to recognize the representative role and expressive of the meal. Korsmeyer’s consideration about art includes works that use the food in contexts sacred or profane, which seek to stimulate or suppress appetite. Her selection of literary passages meets macabre tales of feasting and stories of affinities arising around a table.

With its splendid illustrations and clear prose and appealing sense of taste is an appetizer for those who are curious to know the true meaning of a sensory experience as universal and deeply personal.

Let us take on the task of stimulating the taste, and start writing our experiences on paper.

“Nothing could get tired of eating and drinking if God had not made ​​a pleasure as a necessity.”-Voltaire

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Exercises for the palate and creativity

Is a delight to perform this exercises, and the thought activates my salivary glands, which reminds me of Pavlov’s dogs. We exercise the taste, while black and white catches our experiences.

  • Go to your refrigerator and sample the fruits and vegetables in it. Did you buy ham? Try them, the prosciutto, one of my favorites, is salty and reminds me of a sunny afternoon, I like to accompany it with a glass of red wine.
  • Speaking of wine, do you like it? Arrange to attend a class of wine tasting or arrange a get together with friends at home. Take notes of what others and the instructor will say about the taste of wine. You might ask your friends to take a minute and write in a note what the wines remind them of, what feelings arouse from it.  If you can, buy a bottle, usually in the back it gives a description of its taste, compare these with what you taste of it.
  • We all have a cookbook in our kitchen, right? Open it at random and get cooking. Rejoice then and if you’re not good at cooking, just follow the instructions step by step, the results are unforgettable. Write the experience down, this is a great opportunity to combine the sense of smell and taste.
  • What is your favorite flavor? What memories come to mind? Where does your soul go to when tasting this flavor?
  • Escape to a restaurant you’ve always wanted to visit. In solitude enjoy it and write.
  • Venture to try those foods and drinks you’ve never had, and sometimes ignore them in the restaurant or market.

Don’t forget to share your experiences with us here at Mink! Happy Tastings, dear writer and reader!

PS: You might also want to exercise this Senses: Hearing and Sight.

Exersice the Senses: Hearing Part I

¡Versión completa en Español aquí!

“The auditory discrimination: concerns the ability to recognize, differentiate, synthesize and remember sounds.

Auditory perception involves the ability to recognize, discriminate and interpret auditory stimuli associated with previous experiences. Is susceptible to development through exercise and practice.

Our ears play a major role in stimulating the brain. Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis says that to listen, not hear, is the primary function of the ear. Hearing is a passive process, listening is an active process that requires proper use of hearing. Listening is both the ability to capture information such as the ability to filter out irrelevant information. “

Text sourced from “Waking up feelings” of the CP Working Group Special Education No. 1 Valladolid.

Our world and communities are overwhelmed by the noise or sounds contamination like you may to call. For my part, I live behind a fast food restaurant that is open around the clock, so you can imagine the noise I live with (the evils of living in rural areas). Surrounded by noise and different sounds every day, they become second nature in our lives. We know that a car is coming across the street, because we’re used to that sound. We find it easy to recognize the waves, and differentiate them from the river currents. We recognize the sound of a gunshot and differentiate it from that of a firecracker. Tremble when we hear thunder or an explosion. Breathe deeply when the gentle breeze causes the leaves of the trees dance gracefully.

We can recognize hundreds of sounds apart, but what feelings these sounds bring us? How can we make them transcend to the real world capturing them on paper? Many times we cannot, and should take a walk or a pause in our writing to reconnect with them, to listen and relate.

The quote above tells us that listening stimulate the brain, and that’s something we must do when seat down to create. As listening is the ability to capture and filter information, let’s do the same and hear the sounds around us; taking our writing instruments to capture in them the feelings that arise in us, ideas that come to mind, memories that emerge, relations with other things …

Sounds around us…

It’s good to get out into the world and practice listening, instead of taking notes on what we see or live in a situation at that time. From time to time listening and write. The sounds also bring with them hidden stories. Here I leave a list of sounds that have a home on the internet, for those days when you cannot leave the house. Enjoy them!

  • Spacesounds is interesting to note that space also has its sounds, you will be surprised to hear them.
  • Sounds of nature, accompanied by a video, make this experience audio/visual.

Next Monday don’t miss the second part, but don’t miss anything and get it on your email. Follow Mink by writing your email on the Follow section ion to p of the Facebook button. Share your thoughts and comments or link here your exercise posted in your blog.



 

Exercise the senses: Vision Part II / Ejercitando la visión, Parte II

For the Spanish full version, click here!

The vision in action

Now that the vision is enhanced we can get more out of it. With the exercises the vision is more focused on details and has a good relationship with the brain. That is why we must exercise through action and examine every tiny detail. There are several ways to do it, and they help us to create the description we want to write in our stories, so that the reader can visualize.

Reinvent reality: a visual moment, a situation that we are seeing may be a passage of fiction, we can take it beyond what it actually is.

Our memories: those memories we have and lie in our memory, are a good source of inspiration. Take a specific memory and for ten minutes write what you see, feel free to add, take away…

The action of things: the movement is also part of many descriptions we do in our writing and the only way to capture it in our minds is through vision. The artists perform these exercises their sketch notebooks, for example Michaelangelo, before a painting. The same goes for writers who capture the movement not in drawings, but in letters. Write the action of either a race car, the flight of a bird, a runner, an unexpected move…

Search inside things: go deep into all things, you are looking for the details that are unseen at first sight. Explore as a painter would! The great artists like Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli– to name a few-, were great with details. With them they brought their works to life. Detail help to better conceptualize the environment that surrounds the characters, their emotions, what they are wearing, why they are wearing it, and so on. Explore not only the things you see, also do it with emotion. Take a random person while waiting in line in a store, or while you are sitting down at a restaurant or at a bench in the park and observe, then describe the emotion that you observed in detail.

Viewpoint: have fun with vision and take different roles at that time. Be your characters and look at the world through their point of view. A gothic sees a fog-covered landscape different from a romantic writer. An adventurer sees the sea as a place full of secrets, while a fisherman at sea sees it as a way of survival. There are different points of view, and your characters see their surroundings in different ways.

Comparison: How are the details of something far away? How do they compare these with what is close? How are the colors of a mountain that is at a distance, one that is closest to you? And the trees? To perform a visual comparison, we see one and the other for several minutes, hence we take the differences and we can capture them on paper.

Since you’ve exercised, take a picture that catches your eye. Just as the painter captured the movements, their point of view and the details of the nature and time; do the same, but in your notebook and describe the painting as if you’re telling a story. Write without stopping, as many colleagues have said, without lifting the pen from paper or hands off the keyboard for five or ten minutes. I have a habit I’ve learned, after I write something I leave it simmer, just as the chef does with a juicy steak. Do the same with the letters and return to them in the afternoon or the next day, you’ll see a new perspective and if you want to change something, go ahead.

Share with us your thoughts, comments, and links on the comment section; so we too can benefit from your point of view and learn.


Bonus: A visit to a garden

“Half of what matters to a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination”-Mrs. C.W. Earle, Pot-Pourri from a Surrey Garden, 1897 (Thanks, Jessica)

“The best gift of a garden is the restoration of the five senses,” Hanna Rion

“In my garden there is a huge place for my feelings. My garden of flowers is also my garden of dreams and thoughts. The thoughts grow as free as the flowers, and dreams are as beautiful. “-Abram L. Urban

They say the greenery of nature helps to relax the eye, but by experience I attest that not only helps the sight, but it gives you inner peace. When I want to have a moment for myself, even five minutes until my children interrupt me, I escape to my garden. I seek peace among the flowers; and inspiration amongst the roses, a species with an aroma that will last forever. So I get lost in the green of the leaves and in them I lay my vision so the serenity that emanates from nature flows to my soul. Moments like these do not occur every day, but when they do I hold on to them so they can take away my fatigue. Get lost in a garden, go and walk amongst the greenery. Then, for ten minutes lose yourself in your writing.



Exercise the senses: Vision Part I / Los sentidos: Visión Parte I

For the Spanish full version, click here!

As visual creatures from birth, we begin to stimulate the sense of vision. Family Visual Stimulation Education in his article: “a world through the eyes” tells us:

Through the eyes numerous stimuli and experiences enters the brain of the baby. The eyesight of a child increases rapidly. The child not only distinguishes objects from birth, but can be fixed in one determined for a very short period.

Through stimulation and repeated viewing of objects an adequate basis is obtained for his powers of concentration and attention. After two months, the child learns to place an object in space and develop hand-eye coordination.

You can also expand the field of stimulation with moving objects and color contrasts, encouraging the development of your muscles, clamping capacity and coordination.

To keep the interest of the babies the complexity of the stimuli has to be increased gradually.

To keep our interest alive, look for these stimuli. Before taking pen and paper and cover it with letters’, lets concentrate on stimulating our vision.

Below this paragraph you will find places in the internet where the sense of vision has been stimulated.  Taken through the lens of a camera the photographer sees the world through his eyes capturing it in a photo as he sees it and desires it. Yes, a picture says a thousand words. It talks to us, makes us feel. Take your time as I have taken mine to dive into a visual paradise. After a few minutes of contemplation, I take pen and paper. I invite you to accompany me and write either a poem, a short story what you see and what the picture you chose makes you feel. Let your imagination be inspired by what you see and write without fear and encouragement.

Visual Estimulation:

I think of photographers and the thought gives me the desire to take my camera and watch the world through the lens, as they do. It’s a good idea! Grab your camera and go to one of your favorite places and take pictures. Then download them to your computer and watch them, place them in a file that is unique to the visual inspiration. Choose one of those pictures you took in the day and write for ten minutes. A picture says a thousand words; make yours a few of those.

Share your experiences, leave your comments here or leave us your link so we can visit your blog and share our thoughts. We learn together and share as colleagues!

Next Monday, I’ll post the second part in English. For those who read Spanish the full version is on the site already (just click here), but still share with us your thoughts.

You are sharing!

Michael Muller shared his poem with us, it is in the comments section, and this is the photo he choose for inspiration: