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Imagine …

November 16, 2020

Imagine a world or a place where spoken and written words were forbidden, or we were struck dumb; I for one would find a way to communicate. I/we have become reliant on words to vent our feelings even with a limited vocabulary we can express ourselves.  As babies we cry, scream, gurgle and giggle when we are in pain, need food or are content. As we develop, we learn to articulate more complex feelings with sounds that are not yet words; more a convenient language that our families understand.   When we learn to read our vocabulary broadens and continues to grow through out our lifetime; there is no limit to the lengths of communication with the use of words.  I understand that there may be other civilizations in other galaxies in the universe I wonder how they communicate, how their children are taught to articulate beyond gurgling and crying. 

As a student of dead languages such as Classical Greek, Latin and Sanskrit; I understand that scholars for millennia have refined sounds and letters to make languages and communication vital to civilised human behaviour.  I am not about to argue that there is a valid alternative and that words and language are not necessary. 

In my world however that has always been a little introspect and during lockdown more so.  I wonder how others have coped with silence when the motorway slowed to a standstill and the trains were running less frequently and aeroplanes ceased flying. Did we all miss the coming and going in the street.  How did we delight in the other noises that came in to play; the crows, magpies, red kites and seagulls, whistle and call and make sounds in the trees nearby in newfound less polluted air.

There has been sound and silence quite unlike the workaday noises that thwarted our thoughts and musings to be replaced by other noises that mystified the hopes and plans we have for a future normal or not. 

I am not an expert of words, sounds or indeed the general psychological effects of Covid 19 and its restrictions; but it has resulted in my not wanting to return to normal but to consider sound and silence as precious as each other. 

For me who appears self-sufficient and able, does rely on human contact and will reach out readily to research and question as required and get frustrated and dissatisfied if this is denied.  So, I ask, what I would do if this vital tool of communication was curtailed; what if my voice and language was illegal. Again, I find myself venturing into the realms of my ignorance and limited knowledge.  However, one does know of communities that have been starved of their native tongues in a tyrannical regime and found ways communicate and go some way to keep their traditions alive albeit under cover from the powers that be.

Things that come to mind: beacons, smoke, drums, waving, clapping, whistles, dancing, music, stitches, drawings, fireworks, kites etc.

I am not sure how my coat hanger peoples without heads therefore devoid of facial expressions can illustrate this fully yet.  I am new at animation learning slowly how to convey feelings.  While, my stories are verbal my films will be silent of words and suggestive sounds; for instance, a man clearly playing a guitar doesn’t need further enlightenment; we hear it in our head. For the same reason the cart will moan in our minds as it is pushed or pulled. 

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