I believe it was at the Tucson home of the artist Andy Rush, in the mid-70’s, where I encountered the possibility that we really have ten senses, not just five. [I wish I could remember the name of the poet who was one of the guests. He said, as I was making a salad, “It feels like you are making love to that salad”. I was young and impressionable, and immediately in love. However, I digress.]  Sunday Morning Update: I remember the poet — W.S. Merton

At dinner we came around to the subject of THE five senses. “No, there are more”, said someone (probably Andy Rush, a very progressive thinker). And, we began to list them… 6: the sense of temperature, 7: the sense of pressure, 8: the sense of motion (my contribution, as I recall), 9: the sense of balance, and 10: the sense of intuition, or maybe someone said imagination for # 10. But, I think it is intuition.

Recently I told a class at Julia Dean’s workshop in Venice Beach that I am addicted to the stimulus of travel. Actually I am addicted to the stimulus of all ten senses that happens while I traveling, especially outside my normal frame of reference — the “terra incognito” of place and spirit.

Sitting at a computer editing images, writing a book, or hassling with a new printer (which took up all of today), and such does not do it for me!

And, I doubt it ever will.


© nevada wier 2006   Amarbayasgalant Khilid, Mongolia


by W.S. Merwin

Certain words now in our knowledge we will not use again, and we will never forget them. We need them. Like the back of the picture. Like our marrow, and the color in our veins. We shine the lantern of our sleep on them, to make sure, and there they are, trembling already for the day of witness. They will be buried with us, and rise with the rest.


11. Sense of Aesthetics (courtesy of John Lund)

12: Sense of Time (suggested by Richard Hughes)