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Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Vow of Quiet: questions from my friend and fellow writer, Jillian

Five questions from my friend Jillian, a fellow writer and spoonie

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

If you had to choose between the simple dichotomy of a. restrictive b. liberating as words to describe the experience of self-displicined and enforced quiet, would you tend more towards a. or b.?
      Considering your wording, and accepting the dichtomy (false or not) I would say the experience tends toward restrictive, but there are many liberating aspects.

Does the removal of the audible self-reflective portion of creation enhance the flow of a project or make ideas harder to parse out?

      The wedding project I am doing for a friend has been my creative focus and questions to the bride account for a majority of my language based on-line communication.
     For personal projects, they seem to progress as usual, unaffected by my inability to think out loud.  Though the Vow of Quiet did require I put certain recording projects on hold.

The social experiment itself and what I've read in your words seems to suggest that the social element of the creative process makes it hard to reveal yourself, do you the think the disconnect is between your words and the ability of language to convey meaning, or between the way you present your words and the phrasing of them?

     This question took the longest for me to write an answer.  The first part of your question seems to be about self censorship, and the second part is more a question about syntax and semantics.
     The first part of my response is to say that I believe the relevant disconnect is between truth and beauty.
     Secondly, I think it's a matter of taste.  Somewhere in space and time, there's an ideal audience for my work, and it's probably not my family and Facebook friends.

Do you feel that the sanctuary of your inner self has been indelibly altered by this experiment?

     I have participated in vows of quiet and silence a fair number of times in the last 15 years.  I'd say my fascinating with them are an expression of my inner self, and my self has been altered as much as it ever is by the living of life and the making of art.

If you had to construct a functionally-opposite version of this social experiment, how would you describe it and to whom do you think it would have the most value?

     I would be unable to communicate by any other means than verbal (no internet posts except video and audio).  With phone communication it would be no texts, only phone calls, Skype / Facetime, or sending short video messages of me speaking.
     I would categorize it as another "transparency project" in the same vein as this project, but with very little publicity beforehand, with a single, reflective personal essay at the end based on private journal entries kept for the duration of the project.
     I would say those who'd stand the most to benefit from such an experiment are the people who secretly feel lonely, whose phone numbers are in my contact list, who feel enough affection toward me to appreciate a spontaneous voice mail message or phone chat.

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