This Chai Tea recipe is part of the Samuji Holiday Projects and it got me thinking about talking because the recipe is illustrated, not written.
If you think about talking it’s kind of amazing how we can put into sounds the things we imagine in our heads. How millions of people agreed that for example a certain combination of sounds means a hollow object made of a certain type of material that can contain things you drink. It’s seriously weird if you think about it too much. And talking about it too much, makes you sound high.
Anyway. I read of a man who lost his ability to recognise objects. He was able to describe them carefully and with immaculate detail, but his brain was unable to comprehend what the object was called, or what the object was made for.
Here is a chapter of the book, where the man, Dr. P is given a glove by his neurologist and he is trying to describes it, trying to understand the object he is holding.
” ‘A continuous surface,’ he announced –‘infolded on itself. It appears to have’—he hesitated—‘five outpouchings, if this is the word.’
‘Yes,’ I said cautiously. ‘You have given me a description. Now tell me what it is.’
‘A container of some sort?’
‘Yes,’ I said, ‘and what would it contain? Does it not look familiar? Do you think it might contain, might fit, a part of your body?’
No light of recognition dawned on his face.
No child would have the power to see and speak of ‘a continuous surface . . . infolded on itself,’ but any child, any infant, would immediately know a glove as a glove, see it as familiar, as going with a hand. Dr P. didn’t. He saw nothing as familiar. Visually, he was lost in a world of lifeless abstractions. “
Lifeless abstractions. An object, or a word is only as meaningful as the purpose and the spirit behind it.
Later in the book Dr.P accidentally slips the glove in his hand and realises what the purpose of it is. “It’s a glove! But of course!
Try the tea. Cinnamon and nutmeg flowers make so much sense right now.