#1118 Hear with no Ears

There is neither sanity nor reason nor madness under capitalism.
It is all disease. All of it. We live the disease. It oozes out us, reinfecting us daily, hourly. Language is the great carrier. And commercial literature, and art that artists have surrendered to commodification. Even the animals we falsely and wrongly claim to “own” and call “our Pets,” are infected… though less than we humans who have bound them to us.

Choosing to go voiceless in public has been an act of liberation. A discovery. I think there is no part of my chronic depression that doesn’t begin with a denial of something I want. Something attainable. Something beyond reason. Like “coming out.” Accepting that I can find sexual pleasure with men, as well as–and maybe more than I had with women. There was nothing reasonable about that. Given my age, my sexual engagements up till then.

There is nothing reasonable about going Voice Off. It began to emerge from frustration at not understanding what people said, but in acting out this unreasonable desire I begin to grasp that it’s more than a reaction to frustration with the hearing world. The Hearing World is the only one manifestation of what is wrong with everything we call “Normal,” but it centers so directly on the great carrier–language … the swarming spores of the mold of language that grows in our shower stalls, our lungs, our groins, our daily bread.

Deaf Space, I suppose, can be no more free of it than anywhere else… but in coming out, in breaking through the Hearing World, into this different space, one hears more clearly, more truly… for a time. Until the poison of reason reinfects us.

10×12 Watercolor, Ink–black and gold.
View more work at Saatchi Art, and on my web portfolio: ART BY WILLARD For photos on this blog, click MY ART on the right panel and scroll down.

#909 — Not Lost after all!

Thought I’d lost this! 9×12. Black gesso, black and gold ink.
I’d left it at DVAA after a members show… must have been months ago. Don’t remember at all!

View more work at Saatchi Art, and on my web portfolio: ART BY WILLARD For photos on this blog, click MY ART on the right panel and scroll down.

A Visionary Silence ?

I went to a gallery opening tonight. Room full of people, makes it hard– not impossible–but hard– to understand or carry on a meaningful conversation. I was depressed to start with. When I went to the host to request a glass of wine–I signed. She understood! Knew a bit of ASL. I’m far from fluent–but something changed in that brief exchange. I turned off my voice. For the rest of my time there.
There were people who know me, so I wasn’t concerned about anyone thinking I was playing at being deaf. And they knew I’d been learning ASL. That I was HoH. Others, who didn’t know me… accepted without explanation–one person, inexplicably, started mouthing without voice…not any that I could hear anyway. … like maybe I’d be more able to read her lips. Strange.
It felt so.. I don’t know… I don’t want to overexplain it, but it was like– I felt more ‘there,’ and more distant at the same time. People so often misunderstand, misread, just… miss… when I speak. “Mismeeting,” was Martin Buber’s word for this. Something beyond, misunderstanding.
I wanted tonight–to give up voice. Turn it off — and not ever again use it.
All the way home… buying brush soap at Blicks, a bottle of wine, passing a street citizen who, by his signing to himself, I saw was deaf–and stopping for moment to chat briefly in sign.
Then passing the stairs to the subway, I thought I’d get out of the rain–not walk the extra block to elevator to the subway.
I missed a step at the bottom of the first landing, fell.. broke my walking stick and the bottle of wine. Did not hurt myself, not at all. The things I carried took all the damage.
Was there a message for me in that?
I went back to Blick for Modpodge–which I’ll use to repair the walking stick–wrapping strips of canvas soaked in Modpodge around it, as I had done for two previous fractures.
And to the wine store.
I told my story to the deaf street citizen. In sign.
What if I were to take a vow of silence? I feel this as a world I want to enter. A world no longer dissonant, clashing with that of my inner voice. I have felt so torn, so out of place, dislocated. Why do I feel so much more at home when signing at meet-ups–as weak as my ASL is at this point?
I don’t know.
It’s not the first time I’ve imagined doing this.
I can write–there is my link to my mother tongue. But in my personal space… speech, more betrays, than serves me.
I’ll take a pad of paper and pen with me.
A new way to be in the world.