Happy Little Trees

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I can’t draw. But I’ve always been fascinated by people who could, and part of the reason is a feeling that I’ve never discussed with anyone before.

It’s not that it’s particularly embarrassing or anything. But as a child I distinctly remember what would happen when someone would go up to the chalkboard and carefully draw something out. Or perhaps I’d see a television program in which someone was painting. Anytime anyone was slowly and carefully doing something illustrative, I got this……….funny feeling.

My breathing would slow down; my eyes would transfix on what was being drawn; and I’d have this overall sense of calm and peace. It was really wonderful, and I’d be content to just sit there and enjoy it for as long as it lasted. I’ve never meditated, but I suspect it’s the closest I’ve ever come to a meditative trance.

I hadn’t thought of this phenomenon in ages (and, as you might guess, I haven’t taken any opportunities to watch people draw lately, or else this topic would have occurred to me). But while listening to NPR, I heard a woman describing this phenomenon. The more I listened, the more excited I got, because she was describing something extraordinarily similar to what I felt (although her impetus was quite different – – it was whispering, which frankly I find annoying and far from soothing).

It turns out there’s a name for this: autonomous sensory meridian response. It is summed up as “perceptual phenomenon characterized as a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, and/or cognitive stimuli.”. Yep; that’s pretty much it. I reliably get the same feeling during the final portion of the first Act of Madama Butterfly, by the way.

I don’t know why I’m sharing this on a blog ostensibly devoted to technical analysis and trading. Maybe I just felt like sharing it. After all, Slope is pretty much where I share myself, which I realize is freakish, but there you go. Perhaps others have had a similar experience. In any case, that’s another item for the Tim Sure Is Odd list that some of you must be keeping.