I see life in neon. Usually. It’s really not an exaggeration- I just experience the world that way. Typically, I love it this way. It means that I can soak in a beautiful morning till my heart just about bursts with joy, that I experience excitement and energy in a really dynamic way, and that I get passionate about things and throw my whole self into a project or person who needs my attention. It also means that my lows are typically lower too- so when I’m discouraged or down, it can feel pretty dismal at times. But to me, it’s worth it for all the joy I get to feel.
My husband tends to see in shades of gray. I used to ask him to rate the dinner I just made on a scale from 1-10 and I couldn’t figure out why we hovered at a decent 7 almost every night. It’s not that he disliked the food, he just found it satisfying and was content. 6.5 was pretty gross (don’t repeat this one) and 8 was worth celebrating! As you can surmise, Jon is my rock and without him I’m be all kinds of crazy.
One of the most productive conversations Jon and I ever had was one where we talked about how differently we see the world. It’s not that we had never talked about this, but suddenly we came to a new discovery (this was after at least 10 years of marriage!).
Jon commented “It’s like you’re talking in football fields and I’m talking in centimeters!” (And actually, to be accurate I’d have to delete the exclamation mark, because he rarely speaks with exclamation marks. But I’m writing, so it stays!) How intriguing! In some ways, he feels like I inflate reality, and I feel like he dulls it down- and yet it’s just a matter of how we experience life. As we peeled back the layers further, we realized that the best thing we could do is learn to “convert”. If I’m trying to convert centimeters to inches, there’s a formula to do that (“divide the length value by 2.54” google reminds me…). When I’m talking in football fields, Jon can learn to convert to centimeters (“what does that look like in centimeters?” How can I understand that on my scale?) And I can do the same when he’s talking in centimeters.
I wonder if sometimes that’s why I find it hard to fully express myself in music. 6’s and 7’s are great and all, but I need to find 9’s and 10’s, and 2’s and 3’s. What does that “look” like with music writing? Perhaps that’s one reason I’ve felt drawn to explore orchestration in a way I never have before. Perhaps the variety with timbre and color will help me express to a greater depth. I won’t know till I try!