Saturday, May 31, 2014

continuing silence


  I have decided that i'm going to attempt to learn, at least some, sign language. Any way of communicating that is silent appeals to me. I (used to) conversationally speak a couple different languages, besides my own, and i look forward to learning the basics of another. I'm sure i will mangle syntax and appear idiotic, but that has almost become a lifestyle for me at this point.
  I can't afford classes, so i will quietly learn through instructional books.
  As mentioned before, this is not an attempt to experience the world like someone with a hearing impairment. I will continue to let people know i can hear them... loud and clear.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

continuing silence


  Apparently, the quietest place on earth is an anechoic chamber at Orfield Laboratories in Minnesota.  
  The loudest, is any Dave and Buster's on the planet.
  Quotes i've read about the Orfield chamber scream, "(It) will drive you insane...!", "No one can last longer than 45 minutes!", etc, etc. The human fear of silence made tangibly real.
  Since artificial lights make noise, it is necessary to be in total darkness while in this sound proof room. In essence, it is a large sense deprivation chamber, so there is a possibility of experiencing panic, hallucinations and imaginings of all kinds while inside it.
  I really want to go there. I wonder how much it costs to rent some time....?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

continuing silence


  The loudest person is usually the one that stays at the party the longest.

Monday, May 26, 2014

continuing silence


  My favorite part about going to parties and bars, is leaving them.
  The music is a grinding thrum without pause, the crowds sound like milling geese at a park, and the designer fragrances are overpowering.
  The breezy night on the other side of the exit door is far too inviting to ignore.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

continuing silence


  Once a week he pulls up to the row of garages outside my window. The stereo is forever pounding out a steady rhythm inside his always heavily loaded, oversize pickup truck.
  The music plays continuously, as he shuts off the engine and opens the door to his private garage. The space is packed floor to ceiling with the kind of things that are left at a flea market late on a Sunday afternoon. The noisy rhythm continues, as he unloads the well used items from the back of the truck and places them with jigsaw puzzle precision into the nooks and crannies of the great mass. Sometimes he has to remove things and rearrange in order to fit more, but every week he somehow manages it. Nothing is ever discarded.
  Eventually the weekly ritual is complete, and he pulls away in his truck with the stereo ceaselessly beating.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

continuing silence


  I have learned that there are many kinds of silence.
  There is the peaceful silence that surrounds you when you ride your bicycle.
  There is the absolute silence in a sister's reaction to your latest body of artwork.
  There is the relative silence to be found in New York City.
  There is the relentless silence of those that are lost.

Friday, May 23, 2014

continuing silence


 I go through life perpetually feeling like i'm at someone else's class reunion. Now that i am silent this feeling is stronger than ever.
  I am an aardvark in the monkey cage. The monkeys are stacking the boxes to get the bananas, noisily playing together, and finding suitable mates.
  ...and i sit here being an aardvark.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

continuing silence


  I don't miss bellowing in anger, saying "ouch" or picking up the phone and saying "hi".
  I only miss talking to Oscar. He is my best friend, mentor and role model. I have learned everything from him and he continues to teach me so much. I feel like my silence is somehow shortchanging him.
  The funny thing is, my silence doesn't seem to bother him in the least. He has always walked many steps in front of me. I think he knew my noise was completely unnecessary long before i did.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

continuing silence


  The city went to great expense revamping the severe weather siren system. They made it so that wherever you are in the urban area, you can clearly hear it. To make sure the sirens function correctly, the system is tested once a month. Depending on where you are located, the siren wail can be excruciatingly loud.
  The weather was getting pretty wild, so i ducked in a store to avoid the rain. The siren goes off, and i want to crawl under the sales counter it's so painfully loud. One employee turns to the other and yells, "There goes the siren!", over the noise of the siren.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

continuing silence


  There are devices and relay systems available to those with hearing and speech impediments. Unfortunately, if i was to use the 711 phone service that is available to those individuals, i believe it would involve someone speaking for me at some point. Since this is substituting someone else's "noise" for my own, it is not an option. More importantly, i would not feel right using this kind of service, as i am not truly in "need" of it.
  Soooo....i had to drive 30 miles each way, to solve a billing problem that could have been easily solved by making a phone call.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

continuing silence


  The man in front of the counter had forms scattered in front of him and he was furious. The postal worker apologized and said there was nothing she could do until the mail carrier showed up on Monday and she could ask him about the situation.
  His face flamed red and he began to yell. The postal employee remained calm, her face as blank as an empty chalkboard. He roared louder. She said nothing further. His tirade was a wildfire confronting a mountain of granite.
  He whirled and sputtered, then began to fizzle and smoke as she just sat there, impervious to the now diminishing blaze. Finally he gathered his papers and went out, allowing the post office to fall back into the quiet of a Saturday afternoon.
  "Next" said the mountain, smiling at me.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

continuing silence


  My silence is not a withdrawal into myself as many have surmised. It is rather a denial of myself in order to more objectively view everyone and everything around me.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

continuing silence


  "By not speaking aren't you severely limiting your means of self expression?"
  I think the person who asked me this question was referring to my silence and its effect on my art. To be honest, my interests lie purely in expression. I have no interest whatsoever in self expression.
Expression is pure, self expression is indulgence.  I have neither the inclination or the wealth to achieve the level of self expression prescribed by our modern culture.
  I have come to realize that much can be expressed with silence and i have lost very little by maintaining it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

continuing silence


  I was walking one of my furry charges when we came across two women sitting on a bench outside a senior's apartment complex. One of them called out to me, "Excuse me, what kind of dog is that?"
  I smiled and slowly mouthed the word, "Labradoodle" back to her.
  She looked perplexed and repeated her question three more times. Each repetition louder and more enunciated than the previous.
  I had forgotten my pad and pencil, so all i could do was quietly mouth Labradoodle in reponse to each inquiry.
  She finally turned to her friend and said, "I think he's some kind of dummy."
  I smiled, turned away, and my Labradoodle and i continued our walk.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014

continuing silence


  My closest friends are the ones i never see.
  One such friend, who evidently has been reading these chronicles, left me the following message:
  "It's not a failure unless you give up."
  Leonardo da Vinci once wrote:
  "Art is never finished, only abandoned."
  With the exception of my apartmental poseidon adventure, i have maintained my silence. My experiment in quiet continues, as do the unique experiences that occur within it.

Sunday, May 4, 2014



  It started as a small drip from an old pipe leading up to the radiator in the apartment upstairs. I emailed the maintenance staff, as is the customary procedure in my apartment building. When it was summarily examined, i was assured it was no problem. Two weeks later, i walk in the door of my apartment and i'm greeted by a deluge falling from my living room ceiling. I had a choice, preserve the continuity of this year of silence and loose virtually every other artwork i've made (not to mention the danger of having the people upstairs come crashing down through a waterlogged floor) or place an emergency call. I quickly made the emergency call and shattered my 4 months of silence. I could have found someone else to make the call, but time was of the essence and the noise would have been the same anyway.
  I suppose a voice is handy to have in an emergency situation like the one i had. Many people think a gun is handy to have if their lives are threatened. Both are too noisy and potentially lethal for my taste.
  Artwork that has been labored over for countless hours can be ruined in an instant. A misplaced chisel strike can instantaneously destroy a statue. A mistake in the development time for a roll of film can utterly ruin the capture of an ephemeral moment that is now gone forever.
  I consider this piece a failure. Art is perfect, or it is crap.
  I will strive to continue my silence, and it may very well extend beyond a year, because i have come to love silence. I may continue to write ruminations on the subject in order to quietly purge them from my system.
  The failure of this piece has brought back that old uneasiness that has haunted me for most of my life. It's like the feeling you get when you're driving down the highway and you think you might have already passed your exit, but you just keep going anyway...