Sunday, January 13, 2013

Idea Garage Sale: Scaling The Walls of Perception

Once in awhile I just have to face defeat.

My particular brand of Health Crap involves what I can only think of as an altered state. I experience the world at one remove, my thought processes slow down, and sometimes I get stuck with contradictory sensory input. For instance, one day not long ago I ate lunch at a table that I could clearly see was tilted at about 20 degrees, though my sense of touch, and the fact that my plate stayed put, indicated that it was level. Other times, I can feel myself drifting to left or right while walking, though I'm lined up visually on floor tiles or some other objectively straight indicator and know I'm adhering to a straight line. (You can imagine how difficult it is to sew like this; those slacks still aren't finished!)

Given my contention that weird phenomena are real phenomena rendered weird by the limitations of our perceptions, I ought to be able to do something literary with such gross changes in sensory processing, so intimately observed. Because the focus of my attention must shift to minutiae which are normally handled by autonomous systems, at such times it should, theoretically, be possible to perceive things continually happening, but normally overlooked. But what?

That's the sticking point. Since my experience of this state is a constant exercise in frustration, blocking me from getting anything done, it's hard for me to rephrase the situation to myself as an opportunity to see the normally unseen, or to imagine anything worth seeing. I'm too eager to get my normal perceptions back to dwell imaginatively in vertigo land for any longer than my body forces me to live here.

I am way too close to this idea to do more than to recognize that there must be one around.

Either danger, or wonder, must live at this fringe of reality in order to engage the character and the reader. I lean toward danger because I can't appreciate wonder when I don't dare turn my head lest it fall off or go spinning uncontrollably out the door. But it has to be a slow danger, because quick ones require head-turning. The involvement of weird angles implies some incomprehensible Lovecraftian horror, but it ought to be more small-scale than that. Something frightening, or glorious, or both, on a personal scale.

What about it? Anybody got a notion what it might be?


  1. Something about seeing around the corners of normal space-time into other dimensions?

  2. Yes, but what's in them?

    Hmmm...I wonder if the vertiginous character can function better in those dimensions?