Thursday, December 24, 2015

On joyful noise and the human condition

Found on our classroom typewriter

One of the joys of clamming in December is listening to Brant geese chatter back and forth a few yards down the flat from me. Mostly at each other. Sometimes at me. Occasionally at nothing more than the water and the sky.

Wordless, but not senseless.

One of the joys of spending a good chunk of my awake hours in a room full of adolescent mammals is listening to them talk.

Not the words--I'm too deaf to spend the energy discerning whatever abstract nonsense is being piped about. We've been sharing the same abstract nonsense ever since Adam blamed Eve for his own foolishness.

No, I mean the warm wall of sound, the rhythms of vowels carved by consonants, the dance of the back and forth cadence of voices, the wavering pauses.

"Dance of Death," Michael Wolgemut

Add the fleeting facial expressions, the aromas and pheromones, and a cacophony of noise to the elders becomes a symphony of meaning for the young.

We are all mammals, even teachers. Our most intense moments of the shared sounds of communion dissolve into wordless exchanges. Shared meals, shared music, shared bodies, shared death, we remember for a moment we are all one in this world.

This is what we lose by texting

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