We live in an incredibly busy world where we spend most of the time rushing, trying to catch up with all the chores and responsibilities of the day. At times it feels as if life is out of control. Our thoughts, actions, and ideas race forward at a phenomenal rate, with the brain charging around to keep up. Emotions layer on top of each other thickly until there is no longer any distinguishing between them, and we never have the desire to slow down in order to try to unravel the tangle.
It is hard to remember to stop for a moment and absorb our habitat. There are so many tiny details we miss, the scent of the air, the colour of the sky when a storm is on the way, the tones of a muted conversation in the corner of a room, elements that are edited out of perception to allow us to meet our practical goals more quickly.
Scientific communities are still in debate about how many senses we have. Traditional ideas of the 5 senses have for a long time been discarded, and neurologists now believe that we have at least double that number or more. So, if you consider this information, during a few seconds of pause, we are in fact able to absorb a fair amount of sensory stimulation.
It is not always easy to shift the mind and nurture our, however many, senses. However it is essential to practice. When our world is at its most chaotic we will be able, for just a moment, to locate ourselves within the material and immaterial fabric of the environment we inhabit. Mastering this skill gives us a better understanding of our place within it, and we can for a moment transform, transcending the struggle, clearing out the cacophony of information in our heads, to give an instant of precious respite.
All photographs by Ju Underwood, taken in Linlithgow, Scotland