Thursday, January 24, 2008

Words; vocalizations; communication; speech; vernacular; lingo; jargon; tongue; dialect.

As I reflect upon the task at hand, communication (through the act of writing), I begin to wonder how it has come to be so difficult. Language is one of the most essential skills, we as humans have, to be able to coexist within society. It is something we begin to learn at birth and continue to try and master throughout our entire lives. Verbally, every interaction we have becomes an orchestrated dance, choreographed by the accepted rules and regulations of an individual society. The give and take of the dance, acting and reacting, processing and reprocessing, comes to a virtual standstill, and we the participants become wallflowers when stripped of the visual clues that are our partners lead. With the written word, we can no longer rely on gesture, expression, tonality and pitch to clue us in to what we do not understand, to correct us when we miss a beat.

The written word relies on the mastery of language, mutual understanding and the amount of imagination the reader brings to the text. It is self-doubt of my own level of proficiency, which makes writing such a personal chore for me. I have been working with text, language and dialogue in my work for over seven years now. With pen in hand, I am still overwhelmed with fear and anxiety, every time I pull out the yellow legal pad or sit down in front of the computer. There is no partner to lead me or to respond to, I must dance alone, alone with my thoughts. The solution I see is to take on both roles, that of writer and reader.

In order to choreograph, you must first learn to dance. Once learned, you must be able to see the performance for yourself before sharing it with others. You too, must take on this dual role, one of the writer and reader, but not just the reader of any text, the reader of your own text. It is one thing to read quietly to yourself, but to really understand it, you must read it aloud. Stand up and project your voice until it can be heard. Let it resonate.

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