Synaesthesia Discovery

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Time Travel Synaesthesia – Past, Present and Future


imageSkye and Thomas have been dreaming about inventing a time machine since they were very young. They often talk about their time travel ideas. A major triggering point of their time machine concept was the fear of death. Both thought if they could invent a time machine, none of us would die. I also think the idea was manifested by their strong time-space synaesthesia.

One of children’s favourite cartoon shows is Regular Show. They were absolutely hooked by it. I didn’t realise that the real reason behind children’s love of Regular Show was the time machines portrayed in the show. We felt that children spent too much time on Cartoon Network, so we stopped subscribing the pay TV when the school year started.

Since then, Skye wrote an episode of Regular Show himself. He asked me what J. G. Quintel, the creator of the show, would think of his story. Skye suspects that Quintel has synaesthesia too. The reason is simple. How can someone who creates so many episodes that give Skye non-stop synaesthetic feel not experiencing it himself?

In one episode, four characters, Mordecai, Rigby, Muscle Man and Hi-Five Ghost, were attending a Night Owl contest. The judge froze them because they were fighting. They ended up stuck in a museum and time traveled to a few thousand years into the future. The scene on TV triggered off Skye’s almost real experience of traveling with those four characters, living through the entire time, and seeing all the changes happening. At the end, he travelled back with them to the present when they became unfrozen.

“The feel was sensational. I loved it! But a few times, I was in the middle of my synaesthetic time travel, you or dad came to switch over to a channel you wanted to watch, or forced me to go to bed, spoilt all my fun!” I was quite sad hearing his remark.

Skye tells me that both traveling back and forward in time gives him synaesthesia. In another episode, two friends, Mordecai and Rigby, used a time machine to travel back eight hours. On the TV screen, there were only one Mordecai and one Rigby, but Skye immediate saw two Mordecai and two Rigby through his synaesthetic projection, one in the past, and one at present for each of those two characters.

Skye asked me if I had similar synaesthetic experience, My answer was probably not quite like that. But I often see myself at the end of a timeline in the future. This kind of imagery appears regularly. My husband thinks I am a bit crazy and plan too far ahead, and worry about things that no one else worries about because they are so many years away. However, to me, the time points of future events are where I stand, and are like my baseline. They are bright and beautiful. I can sense what will go wrong in those future events more than most of other people, quite likely is due to my own time-space synaesthesia.

My occupation, as an ERP architect, gives me plenty of opportunity to apply this talent as my job requires forward thinking and target state focus. The reality is that the road leads to target state is full of challenges. My time view of future is present, and present is past often makes people raise their eyebrows as everyone is still trying to get through current problems, I am already calling out what implications we will have at the end of the timeline because of this and that. I see those implications and consequences as messy and cloudy. They put a stain on the otherwise beautiful and bright picture, which I have to live through. It makes me uncomfortable. However, being able to see future has made me a remarkable strategic thinker.

The other reason that time travel played on TV gives Skye so much synaesthesia, I believe, is the motion. The concurrence of time, space and motion can give a synaesthete some unexpected effect.

Sometimes, as I stopping the car at a red light or a STOP sign, seeing another driver in a moving car can make me feel I am moving too. It is actually a bit dangerous as the moving sensation naturally makes me want to start moving. I used to wonder why I felt that way. I am finding more and more answers through synaesthesia discovery of my children. It is indeed a self awareness journey.

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