All Senses Are Sight

20 Feb

by Stella De Genova

We’re almost through this grueling Chicago winter and on this unusually warm day in mid-February (which actually means we’ve reached 32oF), I am taking the elevated train downtown. 

The sun is so bright, it’s glaring.  The first thing I notice is a splash of bright colors on the woman’s head scarf sitting in front of me.  The sunlight is directly on her scarf and it stands out so intensely.  I look around and that’s the last of the color that I see.  Everyone’s coats are black or gray.  Are these the only color coats people buy anymore?  Probably not.  What it really means is that when the sunlight hits my eyes, it throws my vision into either a white-out or turns everything into silhouettes.  In fact, all of the figures around me are now black or gray.  This can be disconcerting at first, but I’m not afraid.  I can close my eyes and my brain starts to see with my other senses.

As I sit in this chilly metal box called a train car, I notice the warmth coming out of the vent under the window.  And I feel the swish of cold air swirl around my head and ankles every time the doors open.  There is a sway to our ride as we move forward and I can hear the scraping of wheels on the iron rails laid across wooden beams.

There are lots of smells to be found on a train ride and thankfully, none are too unpleasant this morning.  There is soap, laundry detergent, oily hair and some kind of flavored coffee. 

It’s early and everyone is still sleepy.  This is fine with me because on this morning train, no one is excited, agitated or tense.  Sometimes, I imagine I see the auras of everyone’s energy around me and today, the auras are soft and quiet colors.  I can hear some quiet, muffled voices  There’s usually at least one rider who has headphones that entertain us all.  I’ve heard every genre of music on train rides through the years but today, just a muffled synthesized beat to go along with some anonymous rap song.

I feel the train move and stop.  Doors open.  Doors close.  Move again, stop again.  People shuffling past.  Some sit and some stand.  I can feel their presence.  As we get closer to my stop, the crowd thins.  We are now in between tall buildings and the sun is blocked.  Now, only fluorescent train car lights shine on us.  Are they tinted blue or yellow – or is that purple?  No matter, it’s not as important to me as it used to be.

“Next stop: State & Lake” blares the taped announcement through the overhead speakers.  Stop daydreaming, it’s time to go.


5 Responses to “All Senses Are Sight”

  1. Walter Dydo February 21, 2014 at 12:53 PM #

    Hi Stella,

    I enjoyed reading your post.  As it is, Al is a poet, and you have become an excellent writer.  I will look forward to more of what you say and be proud of whatever other talents you achieve.

    Love – Mom


  2. Andrea Kelton February 21, 2014 at 4:33 PM #

    Your descriptive account had me on the train with you!

  3. March 25, 2014 at 4:34 AM #

    Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!

    • visionthroughwords March 25, 2014 at 7:32 AM #

      Sorry, I don’t know about Yahoo news. This blog has been up for a couple years already and they may have picked it through time. But thank you for enjoying Vision Through Words.

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