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DEAF TO MY SIGNS
Dreamed 1997/6/17 by Chris Wayan
A gorilla's in the redwoods. First-growth redwoods, titanic trunks--even a gorilla looks small, a little monkey. But cardboard cutouts of humans, leaned up against the roots, show the true scale.
Suddenly I realize I'm not really in those woods--this is just a slideshow in a dark auditorium. And the audience is all deaf women--except me.
A brilliant idea pops into my head: let's teach gorillas and chimps to sign, since they can't speak aloud!
I try to tell my friends here about my brainstorm, but no one can hear me, since they're all deaf. So I have to say it in Sign.
But in this dim room, they can't SEE my signs!
I surrender. It's that, or whack them all on the head to get their attention.
WHAT'S IT MEAN?
- Gorillas in the redwoods = just read Ursula Le Guin on meeting Robert Bly in a woodsy writers' camp. Also David Brin's book THE UPLIFT WAR has guerrilla gorillas in the woods.
- So gorillas = men? I was raised with a harsh feminist view of men, as false as the 20th century view of gorillas.
- Redwoods = in my dreams they often mean asocial meditation--not just solitude, hermitude (is that a word?)
- Slides = psychological projections? I see men as an alien species when I do the same things?
- Redwoods dwarf even gorillas = our differences are trivial against the backdrop of nature--or our souls.
- The deaf women = maybe I'm not so bad at expressing my feelings! Maybe some women are deaf. Heresy to a kid raised feminist. The dream thinks I DO speak women's language...
- Environment blocks communication = the places I meet most women are the gym and my anorexia group. They're worried about their own problems of scale... mostly the bathroom scale!
- My brilliant gorilla idea (that I fail to realize isn't original at all) = seeking singles who share my issues in 12-step groups! Half the people there do that.
- ACTION = forget it, kid. No one in the anorexia group is going to see or hear you. Too busy with their own, um, projections.
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