Crossing Senses

I’ve been thinking a lot lately – well, quite a bit longer than lately, but more and more lately than before – about how to express something inspired by one sense in the terms of another sense. Specifically, turning the exact feeling of a song into a story. In a way, this is crossing senses. A song is a story told entirely with music, and in the end, if that music has resonated with you, then it will have sparked something within that is incredibly difficult to express.

Specifically, I’m thinking of “Kiss the Rain,” by Yiruma. I’ve been listening to “Kiss the Rain” for years. I think I first discovered it my freshman year of college. And I’ve always been searching for the exact way to describe the emotion that I get from this song. I’ve always come up with one word: longing. But what kind of longing? What kind of story would express the sort of longing I feel when listening to “Kiss the Rain”?

Yesterday – and I do mean yesterday, because this was almost exactly 24 hours ago that I was thinking about this last – I concluded that it was impossible. The boundaries of sense aren’t meant to be crossed like that. Well, that’s not a very writer-like conclusion to make of anything.

Today, I know differently, because today, I know the exact feeling of longing I get when I listen to “Kiss the Rain.” It’s the sort of yearning you get only when looking back at the good things you’ve given up on. (No, I didn’t have a grand epiphany after giving up on a life-long dream. I was scrolling through YouTube comments under the 6th “Kiss the Rain” cover that I’d listened to and someone mentioned something about how the song makes them think of someone who’s dying and looking back at the life they’ve lived, and I thought, ah, that’s it. Life is considerably less romantic at times than I originally thought it would be.)

So, I’ve listened to “Kiss the Rain” about 20 times in a row. I’ve listened to it on piano, on guitar, on electric guitar, on flute, on cello, on violin, on saxophone, and on harp. Hearing it on the cello is just about beautiful enough to make your ears bleed. I’ve written a short story based on the song – it’s called Moving On and I will post it immediately after this post. I haven’t even looked at the lyrics to the song because I didn’t want them to ruin the emotion I understand from just the notes.

Now that I’ve solved the problem of what story would “Kiss the Rain” tell if it were a story – seriously, I’ve been puzzling this one for years – perhaps I’ll move on to a different puzzler. For example, in a very deep thinking song by Rhett and Link, “I Am a Thoughtful Guy,” one of them – I don’t know which one is which, but it’s the one who’s hair goes down – poses the question “is my red blue for you or is my green your green too?” (let us pause a moment to appreciate the musical leap from “Kiss the Rain” to “I Am a Thoughtful Guy”) How do you express color through words in such a way that it is undeniable that that is the color you mean? If green were an emotion, which would it be? You’re often described as green if you’re sick, so would the emotional equivalent of green be unease? But green is also used to express life and vitality, so would the emotional equivalent of green be excitement or happiness?

I think I’ll get back to you on this one.


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