Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Helen Keller and Language...

One of Alex's performances tonight, the one where Alex was feeling his face and making sounds, actually reminded me of Helen Keller - and I mean this as no disrespect to Alex or Helen Keller.

I am really shocked that I haven't ever made the connection between Helen Keller and our class yet... She is one of the most extreme and perfect examples of language. She became blind and deaf while she was a baby and from that point on was at odds with language in all forms. Imagine what an incredible breakthrough it must have been for her to finally be able to communicate - "water" was the word that unlocked language for Helen Keller. At that moment she was on the verge of discovering the entire realm that is language.

Being at that moment when she was on the verge of communication is what struck me about Alex's performance. It seemed, to me at least, that that specific piece was about being on the verge of language - it was something that was working its way from within, trying to make its way out. It is a pivotal place and so frequently we teeter on that pinnacle waiting to fall to one side or the other and I think Alex's piece was trying to demonstrate that.

Now if you'll excuse me, it is time for the raffle now...


Scott Abbott said...

yes, that really important raffle. it's big!

and, i agree that that's such a magical moment when Helen Keller stood right on the brink of language. and further, that's how i felt too when alex was performing any number of pieces that were soundless.