It is unsettling to have so much time that doesn’t involve communicating in-person and face-to-face with colleagues, clients, consumers, and other human beings. I live alone, with three cats. They like that I’m home. I do too, except when they jockey for attention, which is annoying. (I’m open to feline obeisance training!)
Recently I realized (not for the first time) that my emotional state can be more easily agitated when there is no interlocutor. That’s one of the labels used in sign language interpreting: an interlocutor is the person that your communication is intended for: in an American Sign Language-spoken English context, the interpreter is the (human) ‘technology’ providing a suitable medium between two very different languages. As my current workload comes to its scheduled end, I find myself with increasing amounts of time communicating with no one besides myself!
So… I decided to start writing this conversation I was/am having in my head with myself. Usually, I am aware of the communicative moves I make, i.e., going to my blog and starting a new blogpost. It turns out, though, that I had trouble logging in, so then I had to go searching for the password.
I’m asking Mike’s permission to use that screenshot. If he doesn’t want me to I’ll edit this somehow. You’ll notice, though, that other interlocutors also appeared in the search! Uncí Carole is preparing her announcement for the 2020 SacredWater is Life Prayer Walk–that’ll be out, soon, on the waterislifewalk.org website and also on the Water is Life Walks Facebook page. Deciders for Change is probably going to be a private virtual event in August.
So, here I am, having a conversation with the features of my computer, self-reflexively capturing significant ‘turns’ in the ‘conversation.’ Is this my introvert self having conversations with essentially imaginary being(s)? The moves I make as a communicator may not be as obvious as the steps required to manipulate this weblog/digital ‘reality’ (since they can be captured in a screenshot!) but—while I’m working, I am listening to and watching someone else’s words and trying to glean their thoughts and intentions in order to discern what emotions and ideas are being communicated. If I’m not creating output, I’m soaking up input. It’s constant stimulation. Something to do.
In the absence of an interlocutor, there’s just me and my imagination. But I think even then that I’m not actually alone. There are always points of reference: in the past, the future, and contemporarily. When I’m antsy, agitated, unsure whom I’m in communion with during some quiet part of the day, I’m thinking it’s something like my conscience, or spirit, perhaps even the Ancestors.