Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"The Lost Language..." and "Talk to Me"

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

This Past Weekend's Movie Picks

We like Don Cheadle and I like David Leavitt, the author of the novel by the same name, which "The Lost Language of Cranes" was based on.

The David Leavitt movie focused on a troubled family, where the father was mute in a sense for most of his life, and the Don Cheadle movie was based on a true story about an ex-convict in the '60s, who found his voice as a D.J. for his prison's radio station.

Both were good movies, and neither of them light -- no matter that Cedric the Entertainer played Don Cheadle's rival. In "The Lost Language..." the son had the voice that the father never could. In "Talk to Me," Don Cheadle had the voice that most black people in America at the time couldn't risk using.

Constitutionally Unable to Keep Quiet

What would it mean to stay quiet if I felt I needed to express myself? For me, I would feel less alive. I love this blog more and more daily -- just knowing it's here as a channel for my voice a few times a week is marvelous.

While swimming today, I thought:

  • If I'm not a writer, then I'm a frequent observer and reflector on my observations
  • Swimming is the best offline self-expression for me; it's the total opposite of blogging: No one other than me hears my voice because I must think only, since I can't really speak or hear, or type(!) underwater
  • Before leaving for India, I considered that the experience either would make me feel 10 years older or 10 years younger; in the pool today, I concluded that my body feels 10 years older, as I didn't exercise enough while we were there, but my mind feels 10 years younger.

Writing here now, I'm enjoying realizing that I live in three parallel universes -- one on land, one in the water and one online. Each has its virtues:

A Range of Self-expression Opportunities

On land: I can touch Pat; talk with family, friends and colleagues face-to-face; make [and mostly eat] delicious food; drive or rollerblade; write intensely in long-hand; read books, magazines and newspapers that I hold in my hands; and sleep in a wonderful bed.

In the water: I can feel all of my muscles come back to life, even the ones in my torso; I can move like I did before I was even born; and I can feel paradoxically intimate with the people swimming in and around my lane, even though we never say more than, "Good morning," to each other...unless Pat is swimming in my lane and then we smile at each other as we swim toward each other when both of us are doing the breast-stroke, and sometimes, we sneak a quick touch of the other's leg as we pass each today.

Online, I can go exploring around the web and learn serendipitously; reflect and reflect and reflect; see if anyone else finds my reflections useful by checking my blog's sitemeter, which shows me visitors' geographical locations and the search-words or referring URLs that brought them to them; and connect to strangers and loved ones alike worldwide through our writing, without leaving our seats.


Anonymous said...

Loved the cmparison of voice/voicelessness in the context of being underwater. Perhaps silence is where voice and voicelessness meet and cancel one another out. Kind of like where past and future meet in the moment. I'm reading an amazing book on that topic,
The Pulse of Time.
Be well,

Sarah Siegel said...

Interesting, and I think that I'm communicating all the time, so even when I'm underwater, my limbs are expressing themselves.