the end of the tongue // the network abhors silence

The final day of my month long [attempt at a] vow of silence is done.

I am come back to speech.
[Yes, “I am”.]
I’m not sure I like it. Yet it frees.

Permission. Networks. Works.

The tongue I had once is done. Thankfully.

It’s not wholly dead – I could, if drunk, still ramble on and on, I’m sure – but I now find myself holding onto quiet mid-conversation. If a natural pause and quiet approaches, I don’t and don’t wish to fill it. I wait. If someone – even someone in my family who is crying – has said something that might be replied to, I have acted instead. A hug. A movement. A gesture. A look. I’ve given myself permission to not fill that silence. The Quakers have an hour every week where they meet and don’t speak; Lessing’s characters in Shikasta grow to intuit without speaking when in the right conditions; I will ensure I keep as much quiet on the end of my tongue as possible.

We live in a computer. We live in a network, we always did. Fungi made the earth one long before we did. If we wish to operate in them – in the human world of friends, family, work – then we need to communicate: speech is demanded of us, working. Voice working. Voice works – all working but sole-working soul-working.

When we look someone in the eye, we ask. We tell.

All things have a voice.
In moving, we make it.

The month hasn’t quelled my desire to investigate the “disembodied voice” as a term, quite the opposite. It has, however, crystallized my thoughts on it and I’d like to push those further.

The next language I’ll learn won’t be a far off one of adapting the tongue to a new end – though Turkish is still tempting – but instead I’ll learn BSL.

If I could prompt you to find a way to take a month off speaking, you might come to the same conclusion or you might gasp back into speaking with a rush – breath after held underwater – but I would like to be quieter, always.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something. – Plato

Advertisements

Adapting the tongue to the everyday

Week 3 of a 4 week [attempt at a] long vow of silence

Update: 5.5 out of 7 days – plateau and allowances for a day of mini-family-emergencies.

Family: mostly adapted. Ask me direct yes/no questions. If needed, they wait for me to type on my phone’s text-to-speech.

Silence in the network: there’s no such thing, never was; only repetitions of low humming and crescendo to song – same goes for

Disembodied voice: there’s no such thing, never was; only repetitions of low humming from the body of atoms to atoms and crescendo to song in the bodies of speakers.

That word ‘speakers’, again.
Again, there are so many.

The dichotomy of the need to speak and speaking is far more acute than before. In the wider sense of having a voice [political/societal/literary/being-a-voice-of-a-community/whatever-freedom-you-want], the need to speak-up is as strong as ever but in the immediate, animal, social sense the need is only there in extremes.

No longer want to kill the internet. Find it mildly amusing. No bile necessary.

Bergsonian direct thought. Have found a nearby church & common – exceptional quiet. Writing there.