January 30, 2007

slide over here and give me a moment

1/30/07

How bizarre - I had my first neti pot experience last night before writing yesterday's entry. I'd seen them in friends' bathrooms before (and destroyed yours on accident, Lee and Suz!) but I didn't know how they worked. I thought you were supposed to put boiling water in them and just breathe the steam or something. I had no idea you actually irrigated your own brain.

Once you get past the feeling of being six and having swimming pool water go up your nose, it was actually quite amazing. I did it like seven times because when you get to my age - one's indeterminate late thirties - there are very few new sensations. I was committed to feeling this one to the fullest.

Which leads to today's CODE WORD... what was the last time you had a Truly New Sensation©? On a huge scale, the birth of Lucy opened up an awareness I truly didn't know humans possessed. On a tiny scale, there's the neti pot. On a different part of the scale, there was my adventures with strep throat in December, which was a kind of sick I recall only vaguely from grade school.

No matter the quality, the incontrovertible fact of getting older means any Truly New Sensation must get more rare. When was your last?

Posted by Ian Williams at January 30, 2007 11:59 PM
Comments
Posted by: jif at January 31, 2007 1:42 AM

i am procrastinating the day away - you have just given me another outlet...

new sensations - have you ever done nutmeg? that was a new sensation..one i can recommend - but do it with someone who knows what kind of nuts...

the garlic butter pepper crab that we had at trishna in mumbai was a new sensation - a food orgasm.. unbelievable.

along the lines of your strep throat, the ghiardia that i had in october was a new/old sensation - took me back to my peace corps days, wretched stomach aches and every-5-second bowel movements, if you could even call them that..

the sensation of utter fear after being awaken by a huge explosion as rockets hit a compound a few streets over..

being at my cousin ashley's wedding in june - the first wedding i had been to since my own - was a new sensation - since getting married, i look at weddings in a completely new and different light.

and the sensation of having so much work to do that you don't even know where to begin so instead you procrastinate by posting in the comments section... not new at all...;-)

Posted by: Beth at January 31, 2007 4:13 AM

When we moved back to Brooklyn three years ago, I felt the sensation of being at home for the first time in my life, in a place I've deliberately chosen to be.

Not to be a downer, but when my dog, Jordan, died, my heart really did ache (I recently read that there's a physiological reason for this: at a time of extreme grief, the body is producing more hormones than the heart can handle--is that an adequate distillation, Dr. Neva?).

Crossing the finish line of my first marathon (which was a new level of physical pain): that triumph was singular. And then my brother bought me a blueberry-strawberry smoothie, and I'd never tasted anything so good.

After my baker friend taught me how to make an apple pie and I baked my first one solo (I'm an exceedingly late bloomer in the kitchen), I felt like I could do anything. Jump out of planes, hike across the country, you name it.

Posted by: Anne at January 31, 2007 5:05 AM

Not to be maudlin, but when my parents died within two years of one another, I suddenly felt this awful void and cried, "Oh, I'm an orphan!" It was spontaneous and weird. I was only in my late 40s, but I felt as if I'd been shoved to the edge of a precipice ... next in line for the big sleep, as it were.

On a happier note, the second day of our stay in Bogota when we were adopting some of our kids, I was lying on my bed with our 6-week-old new daughter, admiring her as she slept. And there was an almost audible "clang" in my chest -- yeah, my heart -- and I was overwhelmed with the feeling of falling in love and also knowing I would never be free again. That baby had cast a golden chain around my heart forever. It was instantly clear to me why parents fight to the death to protect their young'uns. Yep -- at age 16, she still owns my heart. :-)

Posted by: Anon at January 31, 2007 5:07 AM

MDMA. Very strange. Never had a drug before that was so physically intense. Didn't end up feeling like I loved anyone, but after the first hour or so felt very good and very lucid. Don't think I need to do it agian.

Having a second child finishing high school, and realizing that the first child did nearly everything completely differently. As if every child is your first child.

Posted by: CL at January 31, 2007 5:19 AM

Great topic! Haven't had one in a while, but I think that's why I have been writing (or trying to write) teen books...it allows you to describe the wonder of discovering new sensations once again. Being a writer is a good excuse for anything. ;)

Posted by: Claudia at January 31, 2007 5:41 AM

The first time I felt my babies move inside me. I had always prided myself on knowing my body really well, but this is a whole new world.

Posted by: hilary at January 31, 2007 7:38 AM

GREAT topic ian.

1)singing, really singing, for the first time in my life

2) breastfeeding. the whole....experience.

Posted by: jason savage at January 31, 2007 8:09 AM

it's more shallow than others, but I have to say the first day I spent time on the ITunes Music Store.

Posted by: Salem at January 31, 2007 9:23 AM

I had lunch with a woman who liked me yesterday.

Posted by: Joanna at January 31, 2007 9:31 AM

I think getting older means plenty of new sensations - just bad ones!
Since baby #2, I sometimes turn quickly and have the most sickening feeling that my hip is popping out of joint. My chiro has explained that it's actually the sacroiliac joint. Didn't even know I had one.

Posted by: xuxE at January 31, 2007 9:45 AM

i had one two nights ago!

i joined this thing called scarycow, which is kind of a movie competition similar to that 48 hour movie thing except longer. i joined with no idea what i was going to do except go have fun and see what was going on with it, because it sounded so cool, and i figured worst case i could just do some producing (which wouldn't exactly be fun but it's something i can contribute).

but then... the weirdest thing happened... i started getting all inspired like crazy to write or direct something.

(oh, and i had this big amazing revelation that i actually do this all the time, i kind of through myself into something in a peripheral way, not realizing exactly what i want to do, and then once i'm up in the mix i figure it out. like when i joined a band that needed a drummer but i eventually figured out that what i really wanted was to play bass. so that revelation was almost like a side benefit of the new sensation because i don't usually have any revelations about myself...)

but anyway, 2 days ago, for the first time EVER in my whole life i stayed up hella late and wrote a script. it's extremely short, just a script for a movie trailer, but still, it has dialogue and directions and it actually made sense and it didn't suck!

i've been in a weird state of euphoria/disbelief for the past two days. i feel like some lightbulb just got turned on in my head or some neurons are re-wiring or brain furniture is being moved around or something. it's kind of like, i don't know if i was holding myself back in some way and this opened the box on some dormant creative path or if something new just happened to me. but net-net, who cares!

so i stayed up late again and wrote another completely different script last night, almost just as a test to see if the first one was a fluke. this one seems ok too, and i think it is better!

i don't really know if the explosion-of-new-creativity sensation stacks up there against rolling on E and adoptions and fear of bombs going off, but i must say, this is fucking fabulous.

Posted by: A at January 31, 2007 10:25 AM

Great topic.

For someone who struggled with an eating disorder through her teenage years, running a half marathon in training on my own for the first time was pretty inspiring. Admiring my body for its strength and sheer capacity to deal with such stress was literally awesome. To an extent, that was even better than the feeling of heading toward the finish line at my first marathon, knowing that no one, no one could take that away from me.

My second new sensation is awkward and odd: my relationship recently ended (three months ago) and while I went through a brief but intense bout of grief, I now feel totally neutral. Neutral about the three long years together, neutral about the person.

On the flipside, I have begun getting emotional over stupid, silly things: reading something about my and Anne D.'s alma mater, thinking about college - tears. Hearing a song about my newly adopted home town - tears. Hearing my parents talk about how I learned how to speak - tears. ODD - I tell you. Odd, odd and not fun. Thankfully, nobody notices, as it passes almost instantaneously but it is a new sensation I am not enjoying - unlike that old INXS song.

Posted by: Cris at January 31, 2007 10:29 AM

I have to agree with Joanna about the getting older thing. Past few years have ushered in a few new age-related sensations which I could definitely do without. In happier news, I've been sort of a late bloomer in the relationship department, having met my partner just a few years ago while in my mid-thirties. Moving in together this past fall has been one whole new exciting experience, full of brand new sensations.

Posted by: Salem's little sister at January 31, 2007 10:35 AM

My new sensation is pulling for Duke. Not the undergrad part or sports teams (bleah), but for my husband to pick the MBA school. I have hated Duke and Durham like any good Tar Heel should, but while driving around Durham last week looking at houses, I actually thought "Durham is kind of pretty". I think I was actually looking at the Chapel Hill side of town, but it was a new sensation nonetheless.

Posted by: emma at January 31, 2007 11:42 AM

Independently, I could not think of any, but so many of you have hit the nail on the head for me too. The baby kicking for the first time, the birth of a baby and breastfeeding all were extraordinary sensations. Also, Beth, the first marathon is indescribable and like childbirth, I think you eventually forget the pain and only remember the euphoric parts and this allows you to consider that second marathon, like the second child. I think I am beginning to itch for the second marathon.

And jason, I purchased my first batch of songs off iTunes just yesterday. Pure xtc.

Posted by: wyatt at January 31, 2007 12:07 PM

Belhaven Scottish Ale. And a grim nitric acid burn on my wrist.

Posted by: cullen at January 31, 2007 12:34 PM

game winning shots feel truly new each and every time they happen, albeit rarer and rarer as you age.

Posted by: Anne at January 31, 2007 1:31 PM

I'm back! It's funny; this is one of the few blogs that I return to later to read the newer comments.

Others have mentioned sports epiphanies, and I had to add mine: My first college hockey game, Brown vs. Cornell. A spine-tingling peak experience. Went into overtime; Brown lost, 5-4, but it almost didn't matter. Cornell's goalie was the famous Ken Dryden, later of the Canadiens. Our star defenseman was Curt Bennett who went on to play NHL for St. Louis and Atlanta for many years.

I became an instant hockey fan that night. I worked on my skating 7 days a week and then played hockey on the first women's team in the US. My youngest son and I still go to college hockey games all winter long (and he plays hockey). The euphoria continues! (Who needs drugs, eh?)

Posted by: Alyson Peery at February 1, 2007 10:21 PM

Seeing my sister get married last summer was even stranger than I thought it might be. Seeing my family expand right in front of me without my control was strange and exhilarating. I love my brother-in-law, and I'm excited to see what kind of life they create for themselves.

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