How do you describe colour to someone with vision impairment?
In researching the question, I discovered it is a philosophical and scientific question.
If blind from birth you can’t rely on senses to describe colour as they are meaningless.
For those who have vision impairment and may have some memory of other senses, you can talk to them about feelings, texture etc. The debate on whether you can teach someone who is blind about colour is apparently as endless as ‘I think, therefore I am’.
Today, however we will go on a journey and use senses other than sight.
I would like you all to close your eyes, get into a comfortable position.
Now, put your awareness to your breathing, the rise and fall of your chest.
Let your mind take you on a journey.
Feel the sun warm on your face as you begin to walk to the edge of a rain forest. As you enter the forest the sun is filtered through the trees and there is the distinct smell of eucalypt as if the rain has allowed the gum leaves to dance. Take in the fresh smell of the gum leaves and look with your mind’s eye at the colour of the leaves.
Take in the smell of the forest after rain. The smell and texture of the earth beneath your feet.
You come to a little clearing, where you sit down, and run your hands through the damp earth, there is also a little babbling brook. With your senses now awake, just near where you are sitting there is a shrub, the scent is overwhelming, it may remind some of you of times past, fragrant, fresh, and elegant. It has the complexity of a herb but is used as flowers in vases, potpourri, bath oil and body lotion.
Take the time to feel the plant with your hands and become engulfed in the scent.
What you feel is a woody perennial or annual herb with downy foliage, a strong scent, and flowers, borne on long stalks and arranged in a whirl on the end of the stalk with two to five long petals at the end. The flower contains aromatic essential oils that are used to perfume a multitude of products.
The scent is soothing and relaxing and is used to reduce the pain of headaches.
Let the name of the herb or flower come to you and now look at its colour. Hold on to the scent and colour as you walk back through the rain forest, feeling the warmth of the sun.
Now bring your attention back to the present where you are now and when you are ready open your eyes with the colour and name of the herb you have just experienced.
Lavender – Purple/Lilac/Mauve