The Green Season
Spring Ensemble gown and hat portrait photographed by Valentina Sadiul
There’s been lively discussions this month on the Synesthesia List focused on cross modal perception and color. Several threads on the topic of grapheme-color synesthesia have been quite active, with much mention of childhood associations that inform one’s colored letters. While I wrote about my own chromatic alphabet in a recent post, I want to briefly revisit colored letters. I also want to take a quick look at color in regard to my spatial-sequential synesthesia and its association with the vernal equinox.
I have a brightly hued synaesthetic association with the concept of Spring. I see the vernal season as matching Crayola spring green, which, in my youth, was my favorite shade in the jumbo 64 crayon pack. That pale verdant color overlays my concept of the months of March, April and May, although in my spatial-sequential synesthesia I still see the months distinctly in their individual hues. While I don’t feel that my grapheme-color synesthesia was deeply informed by the colored letter toys of my childhood, such as blocks and alphabet magnets, I do feel certain that the spring green Crayola has influenced my spatial-sequential synesthetic perception of the Spring season, draping my senses in a soft haze of chartreuse.
The word “spring” is a medium blue, tinged by the almost sapphire hue of the letter “S”. Like many other synesthetes with grapheme-color synesthesia, the first letter of any word tells me the color of that word. With the word spring, it doesn’t matter which definition of I’m thinking of; all of the nouns and verbs “spring” are a beautiful blue. So too is the proper noun Spring that denotes the season.
I call the hat and gown in the photograph above my “Spring Ensemble”. The combination of the sapphire blue embroidery on the gown and the pale green tulle on the hat really captures my cross-modal multi-sensory experience of the prima vera.