Tuesday, August 14, 2012

TACTILE: finger language

I've never had a deaf close friend or partner. Still, I'm fascinated with sign language and sign language's emotive elegance. It delineates a dimension of space spoken words just can't inhabit.

I was reminded how much I love it yesterday while studying in a UW atrium. One student was having an online chat in sign language, when another student walked in, also signing, and wanted to talk. The first student signed back something like (I think): 'In a minute, I'm on a call.' 

I loved seeing that moment, and I love watching people sign. I think it's time I learned at least a bit of sign language--it's too intriguing a form of expression NOT to explore it a little! 

Also, a clip from 'Children of a Lesser God.' A gorgeously calibrated film not just about having a relationship with a deaf partner, but also about the complexities of communicating at all. The gender roles and relationships, I thought, were so well depicted and honest--the man trying to convince the woman that she is, despite her lack of official schooling, brilliant, but coming across as patronizing, or as only able to call her beautiful, and her mistrusting his intentions because of her stubborn pride and fierce desire to be seen for who she is.

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