Words … and No Words
In between spoken words, there’s the communication that happens during silence. When I’m looking at my friend or they’re looking at me, my other communication tools kick in. Do they look happy? Do they seem happy?Sometimes tension coming from someone is palpable. I can almost feel it just as I can sometimes feel the happiness and gladness that emanates from people.
I value and relish using the skills I have to translate silent communication and body language. I am also reminded of the fact that I may not really translate the silence or body language as intended.
The quiet times in my world. No words but the setting plants seeds for inspiration.
Your Face at Rest
Everyone has a certain face at rest. Many years ago I taught a student who was curious and thoughtful. He also had the skill of drawing quick conclusions, usually accurate, and very objective.
He was asked by a classmate, “Why do you look so sad?”
“I’m not sad,” he said. “This is my face at rest.” Brilliant. It led to a lively interaction of “Watch me. I’m resting my face.” What started as a silly take-off became a serious project. I took photos.There were expressions of surprise. Discussion with agreement and opinions.
“I think you look sleepy.”
“I’m not. I’m hungry.”
Well,” I said, knowing full well the curiosity second graders have with paradox, “sometimes you can’t tell a book by its cover.”
“Huh?” And we were off on another discovery adventure.
My sweetheart and I have adopted this concept as he often reminds me that his face at rest may seem to me to hold a bit of a frown, and yet he feels quite content.
Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and her writing life. She’s retired from professional writing gigs after 30 years of teaching, coaching, editing, and gathering writers to publicly share their work. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships. These days, she writes to inspire, to connect with folks, and for the pure enjoyment of it. Ethel enjoys sharing stories at Odyssey Storytelling, Artists Standing Strong Together, and anywhere there’s a mic or a Zoom room.