I like to think in sounds as much as I like to think in pictures.
I like to think auditorily as much as I like to think visually.
When I see a word, I think of the meaning of the word, and I see the word as a picture, the shapes of the letters.
When I hear a word, I think of the meaning of the word, and I hear the word as sounds, pure sounds.
When I was little, I heard words as sounds more than I thought of their meanings. Often, I didn’t think of their meanings at all, so I didn’t think verbally at all. I thought auditorily, with words as sounds. Speech was sound as much as music was sound. The difference between them was that one put me to sleep, and the other woke me up.
Speech put me to sleep.
When I was three years old, I liked to hear the sound of people reading. I liked to hear my mother read to me from my little kids’ books, which told stories about frogs, princesses, princesses kissing frogs, frogs kissing princesses, and princes and princesses kissing, after the frogs had turned into the princes. I didn’t care about the stories in the books. I didn’t care about the characters, and I didn’t care about the plot. The pictures were nice, but I wasn’t totally enamored with them either.
Instead, I was totally enamored with the sounds. I liked to hear the sounds, the sounds of the words, the sounds that I heard, over and over and over, again and again and again, every time that my mother read me my books, many many many times. I knew all the sounds and all the orders of all the sounds in all my books. I knew them after hearing them once, but I liked to hear them over and over and over, again and again and again, the sounding of them each time the same as the sounding of them the first time, the time from which I knew the sounds of their sounding. To hear the sounds, the same sounds, was wonderfully relaxing, so relaxing that it put me to sleep, as stories should, with their sounds, their sounds, their byoootiful sounds…
Music woke me up.
When I was three years old, I attended preschool. At preschool, I had four major activities. One was walking in circles doing nothing while the other kids played side-by-side or face-to-face. The second was escaping or attempting to escape the premises early, late, and often. The fourth involved the bathroom, to be left to the imagination of the reader, and the third was turning into a Roomba® whenever the teachers turned on the music.
Whenever the teachers turned on the music, I turned into something that most closely resembled and captured the spirit of a Roomba®, of all the things that I can think of at the moment. I would sing and dance and ping and prance, bounce and pounce and spin and grin. I loved the music, and I sang, danced, bounced, and spun to it moar moar moar than all the other kids combined. I loved the music, all of it, and it didn’t matter whether it was old or new, this kind or that kind. If there was music, then I was a Roomba®, a verry merry berry quuute one.
Turn on the music. Turn on the Roomba®.
Vroom, vroom, vroom, vroom, vroom, vroom, vroom!
Spin, spin, spin, spin, spin, spin, spin!
Dart here! Dash there! Oh no, you missed a spot!
Dart there! Dash here! Oh yay, you got the spot!
As with the books, I knew all the sounds and all the orders of all the sounds in all the songs. I knew them after hearing them once, surprising the teachers with the exuberant expertise that also confused them. The child who had never spoken a word to them was suddenly able to sing and sing well, learn and learn fast. To them, I sang the songs, word for word, right after I heard them, magically. To me, I sang the songs, sound for sound, right after I heard them, naturally. Sound for sound, I sang the songs, and I didn’t even know that the songs had words, or that some of the words in the songs were the same as some of the words in the books. In the songs, the words sounded different than they did in the books, so, to me, they were different. They were different and unrelated entities. They were sounds that sounded different.
How could sounds that sounded different be the same word? Ridiculous!
How could sounds that sounded different mean the same thing? Absurd!
What were words anyway?! What were meanings anyway?! What were words and meanings anyway? Nonsense!
Take them away. I don’t want them. I don’t need them. I don’t care about them. I care only about the sounds, the sounds, the byoootiful sounds, tone after tone one-by-one, or all the tones all at once.
I care about hearing sounds, and I care about making sounds. I don’t care about the stuff between the hearing and the making, the words with their meanings, the verbal communications, or the notes on their lines, the musical notations. For me, singing from a page of lyrics ruins the experience of singing, and so does playing from a sheet of music. I like to sing and play from the sounds themselves, the sensory experiences and pure perceptions undiluted and unpolluted by words or notes. I like to sing with my eyes closed, even in front of an audience, the better to focus fully on the sounds, the sounds, the byoootiful sounds. I like to play by ear only, from the sounds only, only the sounds, the sounds, the byoootiful sounds. On a sheet of music, I don’t know which squiggle is which sound, or what the strange squiggles mean. I don’t know theory of music, and I don’t practice music. I know only the hearing of music, crystals clinking, and the making of music, clinks crystallizing.
The sensory experience of sound, the pure perception of sound, the full focus on sound, these are what thinking in sounds is like for me.
When I am thinking in pictures, my mind’s eye is busy, the pictures flashing up, flying by, twisting and turning in space, and twirling and whirling like the teapots, teacups, plates, bowls, knives, forks, spoons, and candelabra from the “Be Our Guest” song-and-dance number of Beauty and the Beast, or the lobsters, crabs, oysters, flounders, sturgeons, stingrays, squid, and octopus from the “Under The Sea” song-and-dance number of The Little Mermaid.
When I am thinking in sounds, this is what I see in my mind:
I like to hear sounds and make sounds, strong, simple, and pure, pure, pure sounds, and a song-and-dance number down the street in the rain always clears my mind, clearstalcrys.
Song-and-dance numbers down the street in the rain, song-and-dance numbers through the fields in the snow, more people should do them. They clear the mind, clearstalcrys. I think that they could be good for world peace.