Monday, July 18, 2011

You Smell That?

Why is it that the poet tells
So little of the sense of smell?

As Christopher Morley suggestively asks in his poem ‘Smells’, one may wonder the blatant truth.

Why is there so little written about sense of smell? Is it because men have less olfactory sensitivity? Or is it because in our neck-down-texting-twitting-browsing-status changing redundant occupation has made us impervious to all our senses, with the exception of ‘sight’ evidently.

Now days the norm is to stare at bright colourful images, images bursting out from the flat screen, from the berries, from any square object consisting of a digital screen.

Do these actions make us the so called ‘civilized species’?

Do we consciously deprive ourselves from intellectual senses?

Are we helpless without our visual perception?

These questions and many more about the aforementioned sense keep hounding me diligently in every season of the year. Reason being as one can ‘smell the seasons changing’. Also because weather permits our noses to whiff in diverse ways, I will not go into the science of how and why. Though I will mention that some scientists believe the evolution of sight has weakened the sense of smell in humans.

It is also known that the sense of smell is the first sense to respond to danger such as fire, pollution and rotten food. Our dear sense of sight is quite deceiving in that respect. Let’s not forget what a good friend our nose is when it comes to sense of taste. Of all the meaningful purposes this under rated sense brings, my rationale for its love is Nostalgia. Nearly everyone has experienced a moment when a faint fragrance brings a memory of a long-lost moment in time crashing back to the forefront of their minds. Often we will have forgotten about the event completely, yet it transpires our unfathomable minds have filed it neatly in some unreachable corner of the brain, primed for instant retrieval.

Human beings tend to emphasise vision over all other senses, but our sense of smell is important enough to evoke its own form of déjà vu. Perhaps the foul and strange smells we experience today will be associated with fond memories in years to come.

The sense of sight though, as important as ‘love at first sight’, cannot be the principal defining aspect of the human consciousness.

It cannot be superior to the erogenous, stimulating, heart pumping, and tingling, caring sense of touch.

It cannot take over the mouth watering, lip smacking, finger licking, sweet and sour sense of taste.

It cannot have the power over hearing ‘I love you’ or ‘congratulation’.

It does not take the throne away from the muskiness of perfumes, dewy floral roses, your moms baking, freshly ground coffee, recently mowed grass, burning wood, center page of an old book, air after rain, may say more?