21 June 2016

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Listening Space

I was going to call today’s entry ‘silent space’ to reflect my experience of attempting to present a paper at a conference whilst recovering from an early summer cold which has left me, hopefully temporarily, without the use of my voice. Beyond the practical considerations (do I write my whole paper onto my slides or ask someone to read it for me?) I also discovered how isolating it felt to be unable to speak. I felt anti-social, excluded by my own inability to introduce myself. In the gaps, though, there was a space created where it was easier to listen. To hear the rain on the paving slabs. When I tried to speak I was confronted with my own voice made alien by my suffering vocal chords – a hoarse whisper jumping across the register – my own voice but made, somehow, no longer mine. The space I was in was not silent at all, only my own imagination of what my contribution to the soundscape of that space should be. The space was full of noise, although my voice was absent.

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