rlbourges

Signals

In Animals, Artists, Current reading, Irish Mist, Local projects, Revision on October 22, 2014 at 7:45 am

Hooting calls – monkeys, for example. The hoot isn’t the same if the hooter signals the presence of a ground predator, a flying one or a snake. Stands to reason: not much point in racing down the tree to plop yourself between the jaws of your neighborhood’s saber-toothed constable.

Tonal languages – Chinese, for instance. You pronounce a sound combination at the wrong pitch, you may get a shocked or angry response when all you meant to say was: so glad to meet you.

Mixed signals: you respond to a friendly wave only to discover it was meant for someone standing behind you. Or your interest in someone is genuine, yet fraught with uncertainties. Make another move? Wait for a clearer picture?

The straightforward stuff: Stop signs. Green traffic lights.

Up the ante: a hunger striker drinks honeyed water and vegetable juice. Fraud, cries an onlooker. I doubt the onlooker has ever tried to get by on a similar diet but never mind. The onlooker strikes the chord of uncertainty.  The what if. What if I’m wrong? What if I’m missing the obvious?

What if of the paralyzing kind.

What if you trust your gut? Doesn’t mean you won’t have a hell of a time of it sometimes. Doesn’t mean you won’t experience let-downs, sadness, physical and emotional pain. Certainly doesn’t mean you won’t die at some point.

Signals. Stop, look and listen, for sure. Take heed and thank the one who points out an unseen danger. Then collect yourself, check your own inner radar, and go.

It was great reading Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea again last night, over fifty years after the first and only other time. The precision. The seamless craftsmanship. The emotion, as present, sustaining, unpredictable and elusive as the sea under Santiago’s skiff.

Allez. Things to write. Things to do.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: