Friday, August 19, 2016


We humans show a preference for communicating with words. (Look at me here, typing words at the library.) Other species on our planet communicate as well, but with dance, stares, hand motion,songs, gifts and thoughts. Some, like one octopus to another, may model how to access something like food. Some make expressive patterns flying in the air or soaring through the water. We humans can do many of those things, we like the arts of painting and pottery, but still seem primarily to rely on words.

Sometimes, as a human myself (best as I can tell), it's quite an experience to learn something without words. We watch a sunset and experience wonder at the changes in the sky. We hum a lullaby to let our child know that all is well, it is safe to ease into sleep. Yesterday, through, I listened to a performer sing with nuanced vocal control, music that erupted with strength and passion. He was singing in a language I do not know, but I think in this case, my mind was more deeply affected by not knowing what the words meant.

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