There’s something about New York’s senses that I continuously admire.
I sat to write this piece one windy day at Brooklyn Bay, where leaves prematurely adopting ochre hues falling not too far from my bench. The water looked colder than it actually was. Perhaps I was fooled by the glistening mirage. I saw loaded ferries carrying passengers to and fro various boroughs, joggers and pleasant passers-by walking their dogs — sometimes, we exchanged smiles — and I was chill enough to enjoy the sunshine on my face (I got SPF, don’t worry). A few hours passed and my empty to-go coffee cup is desperate for a refill.
Suleyman, one of our New York-based contributors, lent me a book by John Berger entitled Ways of Seeing. Despite my busy schedule as an exhibitor at the New York Art Book Fair as well as attending meetings, I finished a few chapters of the book during my morning subway commutes. Its synopsis — “Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak” — echoed in my head and had led me to delve into sensory thoughts even deeper.
I find New Yorkers pleasantly peculiar. Last Halloween, I had the chance to sip the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte, an American Starbucks seasonal tradition. I thought it was okay, but I don’t care to try it again. It got me thinking, could this be a type of sensorium? I worry too much every time it comes to choosing the theme for a Musotrees issue. Producing stories from raw experience such as conveying the sense of Cerulean skies is not an easy task. The message needs to be eloquently visualised and communicated. To connect every story to a specific theme “takes a whole village” for me. After much thought, my heart heavily leaned towards “Sensory” as this issue’s theme
According to the Oxford dictionaries, “sensory” means relating to sensation or the physical senses; transmitted or perceived by the senses. The brain processes information and tells the muscles how they should react or feelings to be encouraged with emotions or actions that could either be voluntary or otherwise. Take breathing for example, it’s not something we do voluntarily, sometimes not something we’re even aware of doing. All these senses, however, become our presence.
This issue warmly welcomes you with a self-finding journey in Jordan as well as understanding the Caracas crisis and falling in love with the Venezuelan Angel Falls. Your senses will also be in for a surprise as we explore the relationship between food and emoji – it could be your Eureka moment! In addition to that, we sought a story from Mumbai, in a way it is perceived by someone who had left but then returned. If you love remote places, we bring you a story of adventures in Mongolia, told through its passionate panoramas. For this issue, we collected foreign interviews from London, Sydney, Los Angeles and Manila. Volume 6 has been made possible by our collaborations with Aesop, Turkish Airlines and Croatia Tourism, bringing you our sensory stories from Down Under & Dalmatia.
Time to get myself some coffee.