Sound. As I type to the hum of traffic, the cross-hatch of MTM’s pen, the pulse of keys, I sob and wish sound weren’t a thing.
I know people who are virtually deaf. I don’t wish for that fate or mean to diminish their disability.
But I am waterboarded by the sound of my own voice. People want to hear me read my memoir.
Or they *think* they do.
They don’t know a theater critic once eviscerated my speaking voice in a review. “Etched in acid,” he crowed.
A seminal theater teacher, the one who taught me to cry on a dime, once stood inches from my face in a room full of people. Her spittle fireworked across my face as she forced me to put my voice in the body, while I sobbed.
And people think this writing thing’s hard?
But the sound requirement makes it so.
I love to read aloud. Always have. Ask any child in my life. They adore me, because they know when I read them a story, their parents won’t be able to calm them down until the following afternoon. Every picture book is a theatrical production; every character a soul worthy of life.
I’m trapped in a morass of knowing what I want. How I wish my reading sounded. What I want my new website to look like. Why I need certain video.
But I only know how to make words. I don’t know design. Technology is my foil. I can record raw footage, but I can’t do a clean take. I always stumble over a word or two, and I don’t know how to fix it.
I wish the solution were to pay someone, but I only have so much money. It’s all claimed.
After ten takes of one NWMF chapter (and several temper tantrums), I decamped to another place. A less claustrophobic room. One of my hallowed places. And I listened.
Janet Cardiff’s 40 Part Motet. Sound sculpture, juxtaposed against Renzo Piano’s vision of heaven. Stick figures with speaker heads. Ellsworth Kelly on a wall.
I wish I could pour my voice into a microphone and use techno-voodoo to make a sound sculpture worth hearing.