During this Thanksgiving season, I am grateful for sensory perceptions.
Writers are encouraged to include the five senses in our manuscripts, and most of us do a good job with sight and hearing.
But it’s a little harder to add touch, taste and smell without sounding contrived. Even so, this year I am most grateful for the sense of touch.
We can think on a meditative level about how we are touched by the presence of a close friend, a poignant story we read or a movie we watch.
But the sense of touch I want to focus on is the actual practice of feeling the world around me.
Several years ago, I struggled through a clinical depression. Every day felt gray with absolutely no feelings. I was completely numb, walking through life like an emotional zombie.
Nothing. Even pain would have been more welcome than the drab nothingness of living without any shred of hope.
During that time, I completely lost the sense of touch.
Months later, after an amazing moment of healing deliverance, I began to feel again. I drove to Hancock’s Fabric Store. For hours I strolled through the store, stroking the nubby rows of corduroy, the shiny ribbons of satin, the rich texture of tapestries.
I bought nothing but left the store richer and more content. And I still love to feel my way through fabric stores.
Even now, I relish the sense of touch. As I walk outside, I will often pick up a stick and rub my fingers over the fractured wood. Or I’ll grab some leaves and count the distended veins with my fingers.
My jewelry is chosen for its color but also for its feel. Next to my skin, I fine joy in the spherical turn of beads, the chunkiness of stones and the svelte whisper of pearls. I often play with my earrings because the feel of them reminds me of being alive.
When I hug my son, I stroke his stubbly beard. As I pet the cat, I play with her fluffy tail and sing with the vibrations of her purr. The blanket on my bed is velvety soft. As I arrange the covers, I smile and pat the blanket in place.
Even the pens I write with must have a rubber grip, a smooth cartridge and a careful mark on the page.
The joy of touch is a blessing we can easily take for granted. This Thanksgiving season, let’s be even more aware of how objects, clothing, dishes, furniture and life itself feels.
Even as we touch our way through each day, let’s be more cognizant of new textures not previously experienced. Then let hope expand in the treasure of all the senses God has given.
What about you? Which sense are you most grateful for?
©2018 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
Depression and its loss of touch can affect the lives of caregivers. Check out Sometimes They Forget for essays from the viewpoint of a family dealing with Alzheimers.
what a great reminder to consider ‘touch’ as we step into each new day and put pen to paper for our daily prose. thanks for the reminder
Beatrice Fishback http://www.beasattitudes.net http://www.facebook.com/Beasattitudes
Always good to hear from you, Bea. Thanks for the comment !
Thanks for stirring the appetite to heed more deeply this critical sense. Leaves me touched!
🙂 thanks, Jerry !
One thing you mention is going through fabric stores and feeling the material. Is that a Mennonite thing? A farmer’s wife thing? A quilter’s thing? All I know for sure is that I love to feel fabric. I have even asked total strangers if I can feel the fabric their blouse or dress is made of. I can tell if the fabric is cotton, silk, taffeta, velvet, or polyester. I learned this from my mother many years ago. I hadn’t thought of being grateful for that lesson until I read this blog.
I don’t know if it’s a Mennonite thing – I just know it helped me a great deal. And I still love to touch fabric ! Glad I’m not the only one.
I’m just glad God gave us all the senses so we could enjoy His great gifts.
That’s the truth !
I’m grateful for sight. The fresh snow laying on the fields and pines on my way to work. Leaves dancing in the wind. The man whom God painted a beautiful rich dark chocolate color. The sunlight entering the bay window as I write.
Beautiful comment !
Your post truly resonates as I can relate with much of what you have written. Several years ago, I studied the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and discovered my love language is physical touch. It was pure bliss holding each of my children when they were small. As they grow holder, I hope they will allow me to hug them, as your son allows you. Also, fabric and sewing are obvious passions because of this love language. Thank you for the beautiful reminder of all we have to be thankful for this holiday season and every day.
Shall we meet up for a cup of coffee or hot tea sometime?
Would love to meet you and catch up, Shanna! Maybe when you’re off for Xmas break ?
Yes, that would be great. Let’s keep in touch!