Family, Life, Parenting

Thinking in a New Way

 In the book Write a Poem, Save a Life, the author had a section discussing synesthesia, which we are familiar with. Ella has often requested to be included on the blog and the podcast, so I interviewed her earlier this summer. 

When my youngest daughter was in first grade, she was singing a song one day and in passing, casually mentioned to me how the school bus doors had a specific taste when they closed.

“You mean, have a specific sound?” I said to her.

“No, they taste like macaroni and cheese,” she replied.

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I never gave it too much thought because she always thought outside of the box and she’s super creative, so I let it go. But over the years, she’s mentioned other things similar. Numbers having a gender, shapes that have taste, flavors that have a sound. Then last year, she said that she had a friend who also felt the same way.

I googled it and found out that it is called synesthesia.

According to WebMD:

-You don’t have any control over it. 

-It’s begins when you are a child. So if you didn’t have it as a child, you won’t develop it as an adult.

-Although she is right-handed, it is said that left-handed people are more likely to have this. 

-This is more likely to happen to creative people, which she is. 

-It could be hereditary.  

It’s fascinating, but I’ll let the interview speak for itself.

I used some of the prompts that were included in the book Write a Poem, Save a Life

Photo by Magda Ehlers on

What are the genders of the numbers 1-10? 1 is a female, 2 is a male, 3 is non-binary, 4 is a male, 5 is a trans-male, 6 is a trans-female, 7 is a male, 8 is a female, 9 is a female, 10 is a trans-male.

What is the taste of anger? Very spicy with caramel, but not hot in temperature.

What is the taste of fear? It tastes sour, bitter.

What is the taste of joy? Cotton candy.

What is the smell of sadness? The inside of a school.

What is the smell of the color purple? Playing Wii with Anna. Smarties, and Pixie Sticks.

What is the color of sleep? Dark navy blue.

What is the shape of sleep? Circles.

What is the texture of loneliness? Sticky.

What is the sound of sunshine? Birds.

What is the sound of yellow? Squeaking.

What is the sound of blue? Ocean waves.

What is the sound of pink? Music.

What is the sound of love? Giggles.

What is the taste of blue? Every food combined, a lonely muck of feelings.

What does green taste like? Sweet and sour. But each green is different. Certain greens are sweet and others are sour.

What is the shape and color of sadness? Circle and black.

What is the texture of peace? Soft and squishy.

What is the sound of snow? Scooping ice cream.

I love the way her mind works. I wish mine was as vibrant as hers.

Have you ever heard of synesthesia?

40 thoughts on “Thinking in a New Way”

  1. My mind is blown. I’ve never heard of this and did a quick search after reading your first paragraph.
    I find this so interesting; isn’t the mind just amazing?
    I know I can relate to a few things, like how sounds can give you feelings of color or emotion, but my mind certainly wouldn’t be able to answer all of these questions with such certainty.
    I do love how creative her mind works. What a special young lady you have; does Ella enjoy writing as you do?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The mind is so fascinating!

      She is truly unique. I believe that people are assigned to you in life in order for you to learn or to teach you a lesson. I feel that way about Ella.

      She doesn’t enjoy writing but enjoys telling stories through her artwork and cosplay.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I read a novel where one of the main characters had synesthesia. I wish I could remember the title for you. It also reminds me of a children’s story I wrote years ago when my son, who was five, told me that his feelings were in more colors than the big crayon box, but a friend of his only had feelings in black and white. It won a national fiction competition put on by Writer’s Digest.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If you eventually think of it, please let me know! This year, I’ve learned a lot more about it thanks to social media and research. It’s fascinating.

      What’s the title of the children’s story you wrote?? That is amazing! What an incredible accomplishment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! The story was called The Colors of My Feelings. I won the contest, but never found a publisher. I looked on Amazon and found the book. It’s called “Lost and Found” by Jacqueline Sheehan.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. When I was very young, I told an adult that my mom was an orange & black butterfly and warm like sunshine but sometimes she was a purple-blue flower that smelled like earth. (Adult me even knows which butterfly -Monarch – and which flower – periwinkle groundcover – that child me meant.) I was so young, I spoke without thinking and the reaction of the adult (nothing awful, prob gentle confusion) made me realize this was “weird” & I should never share this type of info again. So I didn’t really. How amazing to read your blog & see it is a thing! Your daughter is so lucky to have you… open minded & encouraging & curious. I’m sure the adults in my life would have been similarly ok, but back then there was no internet to change “weird” into “another perfectly acceptable variation”.

    I enjoyed reading Ella’s thoughtful answers to your q list and musing on my own. Also, for me, cities and towns that I’ve lived in are (literally, not figuratively) distinct smells, tastes, textures, etc. This has made travel (even planning trips) a unique, multi-sensory experience. It is a happy thing to realize other people, like your Ella, sense things similarly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, Maddie! This means so much much to me! I adore the fact that you and my daughter are connected in this way. Is it okay if I tell her about you?

      I agree with you that I am sure the adults would’ve been okay, but the world is so much more open today. Much more open than it was when I was a child in the 1970s and 1980s.

      This makes me so excited for her future, and it adds a new element of excitement that I hadn’t considered: travel. I can’t wait for her to explore the world and experience it with her special gifts. 🙂


      1. I’m so tickled by your reaction Kari. Of course you can tell Ella about me! 🙂

        I confess a small part of me can’t quite believe other people don’t experience things this way. And now I’m wondering about other things. Like, what happens when you read a restaurant menu? For me, I read and “taste” as I read. Sometimes smell. Makes deciding slow but delicious (or not lol). Surely this is way of experiencing is more common though? This is why sharing is good! And why this era is so cool. They actually talk about things!

        I’ll have to read about synesthesia, see if more resonates with me. But it feels spot-on. Thank you so much (you & Ella!) for sharing this!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Aww, I’m so glad that you felt “seen” today. This makes me so happy for both you and her. I just told her about you, and she said that she likes that you and her have in common synesthesia and horses.

        Kindred spirits, indeed. 🙂


      1. I think I saw a special about it many years ago and was instantly envious. I remember a woman was in her late teens before learning it’s unique… she commented to her friends about a guy’s name tasting delicious. I think she eventually married him!

        In the 70s there was a commercial for cassette tapes which had “redder reds and bluer blues”. I’m guessing the person who came up with it had synesthesia.

        It’s cool that your daughter appears to do shapes, colors, and tastes. Many people only do one… like seeing sound as color or tasting words. I don’t think it’s common to do all three!.

        It must lead to exceptional creativity because their everyday world is so much more creative than ours!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Kari, did you read about *music* synesthesia? With your deep connection to music, I think you would find this flavor of synesthesia partic interesting. I’m continuing to learn and think about this subject, but good gravy the music thing hit home.

    Basically, big thanks to you and Ella! Mind blown over here. Not exactly sure this is me…. but just knowing this exists unlocks some long-standing questions for me. Please tell Ella she is totally awesome and I’m so happy to be kindred spirits with her! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My daughter, now 27, has a friend who has this! She is an incredibly intelligent, creative, and artistic person. When my daughter told me about her, it was the first time I had ever heard about this! Your daughter sounds amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s fascinating, isn’t it? I’ve learned so much about synesthesia in the last few years, and I still have so much more to learn!

      Your daughter’s friend sounds amazing. I love that my daughter and she have this in common. 🙂


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