Friday, August 20, 2004

Friday night events

I attended two events tonight. One was an art and ceramics show at Tierra del Sol. The various works by some of the clients were truly wonderful and amazing. Some were astounding because of the amount of tiny detail that created the whole- in one picture of a bench and table in a garden, the blades of grass and different types of leaves on the plants were all individually drawn. The effect wasn't busy, but instead somehow captured the feeling of a sunny afternoon spent examining closely one's immediate surroundings. Some were amazing for their ability to capture the whole including emotional feeling without the detail- using color and brushstrokes to evoke what was seen and felt.

I would like to have purchased several different sketches and paintings to display on my walls, but they cost more than my budget would allow. However, there were some ceramics that were more affordable and I did buy one little item. I wish I had taken a camera and could have photographed some of the works so that I could share. The whole event was a reminder that creativity and real talent have nothing to do with IQ scores.

The second event was WRAD coffee night at the Starbucks in the Porter Ranch area. I was there because I needed to attend three Deaf Community events for my Intro to ASL class. We arrived there right about sunset and it was a glorious red-violet one, with trails in an unusual pattern just above the mountains. Again I wish I had a camera with me to share the effects.

I expected to feel like an outsider, but I didn't expect to feel quite so intimidated by my lack of adequate ASL skills. I also had forgotten what I learned when I was twenty and dating a man who was deaf- it is much easier with someone to introduce you to one or two people in an established group. I honestly couldn't see any lull big enough (and/or general conversations I could understand enough), for me to walk up to complete strangers and sign- "hello, my name is Stormwind and I am a beginning ASL student. Who and how are you?"

So I observed instead of mingled, tried not to "eavesdrop" too much, especially on anything that seemed intensely personal (can one watch and still eavesdrop?), instead taking in the atmosphere, watching the animated, happy crowd and watching the lightning speed of the signing. I am not sure I could have understood a great deal even if I had been trying to pick out specific conversations. But I will go again, and sooner or later I will gather enough courage to try to sign and try to make some new friends.

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