One of my favourites from my college days, two fellow students caught candid while I was wondering around with the Canon AE1; two decades ago.
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More memories from college collated here
Speaking Without Words
“…thought it a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly.”
This may be the oddest superpower for a writer to wish for. Surely words are the cornerstone of consciousness, civilisation, thought, good pizza, everything you can imagine, which in turn need words to articulate them.
Right there we have the crux of the problem: on the path between the images in my head and the words that emerge from my mouth there is a skid pan, a vortex which spins and mangles and distorts my meaning. And then there is the secret tunnel, known only to the snide and snarky parts of my brain, a closely guarded secret for the flippant and the dismissive, which can avoid all cortex quality control and emerge like bullets to shoot myself in the foot.
Worse yet are those that need me to listen to their chatter. I so rarely care, and yet it is such an important part of our social dynamics for people to share. So intent are they in speaking they can’t pierce the gauzy veil of my politeness and see the blank eyes of “I don’t give a shit.”
Once, briefly, I had the perfect friendship. We never needed to speak. A look, a smile, a hand brushed over the shoulder conveyed all the worlds of meaning that others could spew world killing tons of carbon dioxide over. Perhaps the beauty of that friendship condemned it to such a short half life, for it trumped and trampled over every other human interaction. There is no trace of it now.
Give me that power: to communicate without words. To pass my thoughts to others and to take theirs; as they are intended, without the faulty packaging of words, and the contaminating intervention of language. And give me silence.
If you are interested in more of my writing please check out my book:Image and Other Stories
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