Aphantasia awareness.

From ‘The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows’.

There are at least two times a week the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig gets opened with the first spotted word reflected upon. It gets you thinking outside the box. It can give meaning to reality. Or non reality. Or bits of both.

This morning ‘Nyctous’ was the word. Here in the photograph above is the meaning.

Yes. I do often have these episodes of middle of night wakefulness. The twilight hours are wonderfully calming. Indoors with subdued lighting and the quiet simplicity of actually nothing disturbing the air. Sit, close eyes and breathe. The outside ambience? Not so much so. Spooky noises do not lead to imaginings. The eyes simply see shapes within the shadows. And those shadows are numerous when there are no limits to space. Something out there that senses your presence wants to travel the width of woodland to check you out. You can’t imagine what it could be. So a fear of the unknown envelopes. So. Outside. No. Not so much.

Imagery? For myself, it doesn’t exist in that ‘stripped down to a simple black box, open to be whatever you want it to be’ at all. The blackness exists permanently. The need for invention lay outside visions that you can produce one after the other or layer upon layer within that black box. Visions, of any form, don’t exist.

Try this. Shut your eyes. Relax. Imagine a tree. Let it develop into the most wonderful tree you have ever seen. Colours bright and rich. Can you add anything? Does a river run next to it? Keeping the tree in the vision. Put the river running in the direction of a small wooden rickety bridge. Is a leaf floating downstream? To disappear under the bridge?

I can’t do that. I simply see that black box. Nothing else can be imagined. Not the tree. Not a leaf or twig. Nothing. A simple black canvas upon shutting the eyes.

So although ‘Nyctous’ can be, and actually is, enjoyed by experiencing the quiet of twilight, it does not allow the mind’s visions to run riot at all. I require that laptop, iPad, a book, pens and paper to allow the mind to believe other stories do exist. Words produce no imagery. So reading for the joy of the meaning and the rhythms of the words is what rocks the boat. That is why poetry and prose, for reading out loud, is so treasured. And that is why a busy visual room, such as ‘The Den’ here, is so important too. Stimulates the senses. Also. What I put into the individual boxes on the shelves to house specific items are forgotten quite quickly. I have to rote learn to identify what is within each one over and over.

Please tap the images below to enlarge.

2 thoughts on “Aphantasia awareness.”

  1. Thanks for expanding my vocabulary. Nyctous is a new one. Sorry, I had forgotten the “mind’s eye” is not something you can enjoy or partake. It is wonderful that you have resources to supplement and add vision.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Danny. The ‘Nyctous’ is a made up word by John Koenig the author of The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. I find it a little gem of a book. It speaks of weird and oddball feelings we all get at some point or other that need a word to describe. Small scenario events to gather under his made up word borne from another source but changed subtly. My lack of possessing a mind’s eye was something I never gave any thought to over the decades. It was a doctor friend that knew exactly what it was when I described it to her. I’ve lived with it all my life virtually. So it becomes second nature re: compensating for what you can’t conjure up imagination wise. Seeking motivation in other ways. Cheers Danny. I’m off to wash my hands now……..damn ink! 😉 All the best.

      Liked by 1 person

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