Words are waypoints for pure sensation.

to catalog is to create overlapping sensory spaces for the many people within us and the many people around us

How we catalog experiences and sensations matters. These are the raw materials of our story, this is where the story is happening. If we aren’t cataloging, we are not telling our story, we are not connecting to each other.

Each sensation carries a piece of the puzzle, tells us how we moved and what it felt like, which not only helps us predict future movements and sensations, but also allows us to replicate or avoid experiences.

When we catalog our experiences, we are better able to connect with each other because we can recognize when and where our paths overlap. The catalog can help us recognize foundational similarities in each others’ experiences, and ultimately see ourselves in the world and recognize ourselves, experience who we are becoming as we are becoming.

So what do we catalog? And how do we catalog?

To assess and prioritize in the moment is tough: it pulls us from the experience and steals our awareness of the sensations; it robs us of presence. If all we’re ever asking ourselves is “what am I feeling right now?” we cannot ever really feel anything. We have to allow ourselves to be immersed in a sensation to really feel it. To be lost in a moment we have to be lost in the feeling of it so we can move freely without thought, guided solely by what we are feeling.

But then as we return to our minds and awareness of ourselves, we must catalog the experience. When we catalog, we can return to the experience, we can explore it, connect more deeply to it, familiarize ourselves with the minutiae and the sinews and tissue and ligature of the moment, and work to place it among our existing catalog of sensations. We can work to build memories, and understand the story we're telling, the story the world is telling us.

So what do we catalog? As much as we can, as often as we can, we work to catalog as many of the sensations we experience and the movements that led us there.

If we start with the larger, more obvious sensations, and let the act of cataloging help us dig in, we can get more granular and pull the sensations apart to see what they are really made of. We can extract greater meaning and purpose, we can enhance our ability to translate them.

Which brings us to the question of how to catalog. Words are essential here. How we name the experience helps us unify our story and relate to one another. The practice of cataloging helps us recognize similar feelings in each other, so no matter how accurately we name the sensations we arrive at, we know we each feel the same pre-thought feeling and are allowed to know each other more intimately. Words provide the waypoints to the pure sensation.

The secret to remaining connected to ourselves and to each other lies in our ability to catalog our experiences because…

To catalog is to attempt to understand what we're feeling and why.

To catalog is to first share ourselves with ourselves, then with each other.

To catalog is to create a shared space and a shared language we can inhabit together.

To catalog is to create overlapping sensory spaces for the many people within us and the many people around us.

To catalog is to connect the dots between our experience and the universal experience.