Monday, March 9, 2009

January is a White Rabbit

I have been blessed with a neurological phenomenon / crazy awesome organizational tool known as synesthesia. In particular, I have spatial synesthesia which causes me to view time as an actual 3D image in my mind. When people mention days of the week, months or years, I see a timeline in my head for each of these measures of time.
My years are split into decades with the 80’s being closer to my left hand (in front of me) and the 2000’s being off to the right, almost as though I haven’t reached them yet.
My weeks are one timeline, Sunday through Saturday. Saturday does not connect around to Sunday. At the beginning of each week, I just start a new timeline. Each day consists of a “pocket” in which I place my duties for the day. For example, tonight I have to meet with Katie, so Monday’s pocket is filled. Unfortunately for me, the pockets are not transparent, so a lot of the time I know I have something to do on a particular day, because the pocket is full, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it is.
The month timeline is the most interesting to people. My months arch, with December and January at the tallest peak, and the summer months at the lowest. As autumn begins, the months curve up. Spring curves down. In addition to the curve, my months have colors. January is white. December is a cold blue (but Christmas is, of course, red & green). March is red, like a clay court. April is a light spring blue, but my birthday (the 17th) is yellow.
There are other, super cool, forms of synesthesia, where people attribute colors to words, smells to music or people, or personalities to letters of the alphabet. I know of one person who has shapes for each of her months, and yes… for her, January is a white rabbit.
I didn’t realize that the way I saw things was different than the way others (don’t) see things until about a year ago. It’s interesting, huh? We can think one thing is totally normal until someone points it out to us that it’s not. Something to think about.


  1. I think I have something similar. My years are on a long time line and I see them in decades. It goes from left to right in time with the current year being on the right side. The background is black and text is white. I usually hover in front of the 80's, 90's or 2000's. I also see events a long the timeline.

    My year start in January and slightly slant downward right ending in December. It's also 3D and I can move around it. And the previous year is behind it. It varies in color depending on what I referencing.

    My week starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday. It's black & white also. I do have "To Do" items on them depending on what's going on. And sometimes Sunday is raised slightly above the other days.

    I have always wondered if anyone else saw dates and time in their head like I did. It is really cool. I do wish I saw more color though. :)

  2. As always, I am super jealous that I don't have synesthesia. I really enjoy that your pockets aren't transparent so you forget what is in them. Not that it is cool that you forget stuff but it is hilarious that you blame it on opaque pockets. I knew you would write a blog post about this. It lived up to it's potential. Thank you.

  3. I love this and wish I could see time so visually. We have friends who can taste through his skin, I wouldn't want that supertalent.