Imagining Without Images

I remember a conversation I had with Snow a while ago. I was trying to take her photo, but she didn’t want me to. I kept asking and she asked me why I wanted her photo so badly.

I told her I like to have photos, so I can look at them sometimes while she’s away. She told me just to close my eyes and think of her.

I didn’t understand at the time. I didn’t know that it’s considered normal to be able to picture a loved ones face in your mind and she didn’t know that this was something I just couldn’t do.

It’s strange, now I’ve found out that visualisation isn’t just a figurative term of speech.

Apparently, most of you reading this will be able to visualise images in your minds eye. This is something I’ve just never done and something I have a hard time understanding.

For me, my thought processes work with words. When I imagine something it’s almost like I write a story in my head. I think of facts and features and related things that I have memorised.

When I close my eyes and imagine a sunset, I can’t picture how it would look. I can’t summon up the orange hues that tint the sky or the pink hazy edges as it dips below the horizon. I can’t see the clouds that seem to glow in the fading light, nor can I picture the long, dark shadows cast by the silhouetted trees or the way the water ripples with light and shadow. I can imagine it though, in words, as I just typed.

I know what a sunset looks like, I can describe it and think back to the places I’ve stood and watched the sun go down. I’ve seen many sunsets, but while I can remember the descriptions of how they looked I’m unable to bring those images back into my mind. I can’t relive the experience.