Thursday, June 4

From the editor: Protection of the lost art of conversation

- October 16, 2017


There are days when words just escape me. I know there’s a word that means exactly what it is I want to say but can I find it? Never in a month of Sundays. I love words so this is a bit of a blow. I tell my friends that my brain’s gone on holiday and they’ll have to humour me as I wave my hands around wildly saying things like: “You know! That thing with all the pages in it that holds stories and facts and stuff! Books! That’s it – books!” And they look at me like I’m a five-year-old putting on a family pantomime to long-suffering aunts and uncles.

The thing that I realised this week (but everyone else probably worked out ages ago) is that just because words aren’t serving themselves up in fine order like a happy Pez dispenser it doesn’t mean that the rest of my noggin isn’t in working order. All of my brain isn’t on strike. It just feels like it is because I can’t articulate what’s going on inside. And it was in saying that to another friend suffering from word-hide-and-seek that I realised it was an idea I ought to remember for myself.

I do like learning new things. I like it when I can feel my mind pulsing in awe and amazement, as it does whenever Festival Of The Spoken Nerd is in town (see my interview with one third of the group – Helen Arney – on p9). Science has always felt like explained magic to me, ever since my physics teacher in secondary school started playing around with lasers and smoke. FOSN also seem to have this attitude towards science, as last time I saw them at The Old Market I clearly remember giant smoke rings being made with a dustbin, a smoke machine, and a hearty thump.

Perhaps being ‘dumbstruck’ is a good thing. All the better to listen and learn with, my dear – all the better.

Victoria Nangle

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