Senses by Shel Silverstein
A Mouth was talking to a Nose and an Eye.
A passing listening Ear
Said, Pardon me, but you spoke so loud,
I couldn’t help by overhear.”
But the Mouth just closed and the Nose turned up
And the Eye just looked away,
And the Ear with nothing more to hear
Went sadly on its way.
I don’t take my vision sense for granted. I started wearing glasses when I was 8. I delayed that inevitable event for as long as I could since, in my kid mind, failing even a vision test and taking that news home was a parent-child deal breaker. I waited so long that the school nurse called our mother and asked why she hadn’t taken me to the optometrist. The nurse’s test equipment was correct and I did need glasses. If you are a near-sighted kid and you’ve never worn glasses, the first wearing of corrective lenses is remarkable. I kept looking at things in the distance, taking my glasses off and realizing they had disappeared, putting the glasses back on and seeing them re-appear. Incredible that I didn’t know I closing in on blindness until I could see.
It was the same thing with my first hearing test a few years ago when the technician told me I have “some” hearing loss. Years of hard rock concerts followed by working on heavy construction sites with no hearing protection have diminished my ear power. I evidently don’t have the smellability I used to have, either. Bob’s sister Pam diagnosed an antifreeze leak when she passed the Dodge; neither Bob nor I had smelled the odor. Within 2 hours, the truck’s water pump died.
If smell is going, I’ve probably already lost taste. I’m talking taste buds. Taste in most other things has always been an issue for me. That hasn’t gotten markedly worse, but that might be like my hearing and vision loss. I will be the last to know.
My sense of touch is still intact so it will have to start carrying the load. Maybe I can develop my other senses. I have common sense and a sense of humor which can compensate for my eyes and ears and nose. William James said that “Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.”
I like that.
My brain sense often gets so worried about time and accuracy and ego that I get deep vertical lines between my brows and I could open a twist off top with my bum cheeks. My common sense tells me to take a deep breath and lighten up. My sense of humor makes my ego do a pratfall.
My brain sense has an incredible ability to measure things, money and abilities and even love. My common sense tells me that the important things aren’t measurable. My sense of humor looks at my savings account and winks.
My brain sense looks in the mirror and sees a 60-year-old woman. My common sense reminds me that I have enjoyed every ounce of fat and celebrated every micrometer of laugh lines. My sense of humor picks up the expensive face serum and tosses it into the trash. My brain sense and common sense exchange a glance and retrieve it.