Thursday, July 22, 2010
All in all, it was worth the month of non-articulation.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Anywho, another blog post on the last day of my vow!
I'll be posting the final post tomorrow. I've found out a lot of things while on this vow, mostly about myself. Being silent for so long I've leared to hear everything I think perfectly and I can better understand the inner workings of my own head.
Over the past month I've spoken 15 words outside my safety zones. Most of them were to my rommate and two of them were to Joe. I've found out, through my silence, that friendships forged on silence are better, in a way. Words realy are a bit more troubesome than they are worth at times. A friendship based on words is quick to get started but easy to ruin while Friendships through the written word and silence are builty very soundly, though a bit slow.
There are so many other things I've learned that just can't be expressed in words, things only I would understand because I formulated them through my silence. But Ive noticed that silence comes in stages, just like many things in life. The first few days are enlightening and sobering. The next bit is aggravating. Eventually all of the feelings meld together. you gain a sort of control that you didn't think could happen. I've been screaming so loudly in my head things that I would never want to say in public but outwardly I would be completely indifferent.
It's very peaceful, however, when you're silent. A few people don't understand it but many respect it. You reall find out things about people. I wouldn't be on my vow longer but I expect I will be quieter and more willing to listen now. It changes the views you have of life to something more understanding. Every night when I went to sleep I would hearc so many things, so many small things I wouldn't think to hear before. When in a crowd it's so easy to grab up all the voices and separate them. It almost feels like you can hear everything in the world, though I know it isn't true.
I highly doubt I have gotten the mos out of my vow. I highly doubt I learned what others taking longer vows of silence would. But it has affected me for the better in my opinion. It was a very positive experience, even when things were going downhill. It's helped me to think about the world, other things that otherwise wouldn't occur to me. Nothing big has come to me. I haven't had any major life reralizations bu I feel that all the little things adding tgether really do stack up. In a few years I wouldn't mind taking a half year vow Xp
But that's in a few years.
I suppose, on this last day of my vow I will explore what I couldn't otherwise. I'll go back downtown or something and meet up with a bunch of people and get it known that this is my last day. I'll hang outside and suck up everything I could have possibly missed.
AKA The Dagimal
Friday, July 16, 2010
If really wasn't all too bad. I still got put under and, when I woke up I was having the time of my life! Still, eventually the sleepy, groggy happiness did fade and then my throat hurt and they inflated my stomach so that hurts still.
I had a few mini ulcers, which they removed while I was out. Hopefully the meds they gave me for reducing the acid reflux will work out fine because I really don't want to delete all the food in my diet that makes eating worthwhile
On a significantly more positive note! It's my baby Niece's Birthday today! Happy 2nd birthday, Nemi! Also, my grandparents got home yesterday! I'm glad I was awake enough to see them and have dinner! As always they're doing old XP but it's okay, I love them for that XP
Anyway, gotta get goin!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Nothing really amazing aside from that! Gotta Go! Cleaning!
Monday, July 12, 2010
Just got back home from my sister's place yesterday, where I spent the weekend, helping out around the house and helping my sister get around after she tore a ligament. A lot worse for her, it seems, though it is the same thing. She got a partial cast thingy as well and we were using an office chair the whole time to wheel her around the house since she couldn't walk.
My neice, Anemonae, didn't think anything of my silence but she is saying Duncle a lot, which is the first letter of my name and Uncle put together XP She's so adorable!
I got to lay in my sister's new hammock and I took a short nap in it. Gotta quality test those things, ya know. You never can know if it's gonna be a dud hammock, after all. Still, after the short nap in the swinging hammock I found it very much of good quality. Good thing I tested it though, otherwise horrible things could have gone wrong! Okay, prolly not , but it's a comfy hammock XD
Anyway, I have a friend at my place now. She's staying till wednesday and then going back home. She's pretty cool and her name is Missa.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Nothing exciting yestersay. I went to the doctor early on, got an MRi and saw a doctor about my really bad acid reflux and I'm gonna be having a procedure done next thursday where they'll stick a tube down my throat or something unpleasant like that. I was pretty much three quarters asleep through the whole thing so it really isn't very big in my memory...
Seriously, I'm dying here...
AKA That Dude
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Okay, sorry I haven't been posting up as regularly as I should have been. Yesterday I was busy cleaning my kitchen up. For once I just had one of those "Let's be productive" sprees. Now, for those of you weho don't know me too well, I'm not a very good housekeeper but it doesn't mean I don't know how to properly clean up things. On the contrary, I am a very good person with cleaning things, I just don't do it around my house much XD Still I cleaned the counters, microwave, oven, stove, dishes, sink, the side of the fridge... I was on a cleaning spree Xp
After all was done it was all pretty normal. Nothing of note happened aside from that. Couple of friends popped over and we hung out. The day before yesterday was also uneventful.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Anyway, the five days of West War were amazing. Lots of partying with both sides in that. I made many friends despite the fact that I couldn't actually talk to them. There was a little creek that I made a habit of jumping into after fighting each day because, when you come off the field smelling like something that got trampled on by hundreds of different warriors (which I did, at one point) you wanna get that smell off.
At one point there was a castle battle with this tiny space to run through as the gate and we had to send guys in ten at a time to try to bust through the enemy's front lines. A couple charges I successfully made it all the way through the lines and took many heads before going out in a blaze of glory... A couple times I just bashed into the front line and served as a stepping stone for all of the soldiers behind me to walk over the line on. Ya, can't win all of them, I suppose. It was worth it.
On Sunday, after a hard day's fighting and messing up my ankle a bit worse than it was before thanks to my own stupidity in forgetting to put on my ankle brace, I walked off the field, stripped off my armor after hauling some stuff back to camp and took a well earned nap in my tent in the middle of the hot day. That night I hardly had the energy to stay up till midnight and woke up the next day feeling, more or less, like crap. Still a bit achey from the war but, fortunately for me, the shield and armor took a god deal more of the damage than it should have. I salute you, armor. It shames me that I can't take such a beating and I hope you last a bit longer until my new kit gets done being made.
Anyway, yesterday I got home and went to the library for about a half an hour to check up on stuff and check my email but then I checked out a few things on hold and went home to crash in bed after the most rejuvinating shower I think I've ever had.
Now things are going back to normal. I'm writing this blog and getting back into the swing of everyday life.
AKA The Zombie Wookie Bear Jesus (A Name some people at West War gave me)
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Okay, so yesterday I went out to vancouver to do some yard work for some friends so I would have gate fee for West War! When I got there they fed me really good grilled salmon and sweet potato fries! After that I weeded their flower garden and apparently I did really well at it. They said I have horticulture in my future though I'm not quite sure about that ^^;;
After that I went downtown and hung out with some people there, enjoying the night life like I like ^^
Met some new, cool people and finally ran out of little tabs with my name and this site on them. Now I gotta print out more XP
I managd to catch the very last train home, which was kinda cool because it was really quiet and not many people were on to crowd the trin. Then I got home, thought about doing some writing but I, instead, just crashed into my bed.
Nothing too mazing ater that day. Mostly the good stuff comes on next post.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Blog # 6
Back with another blog post from yesterday... And boy what a day it was. First thing that happened was the norm. I woke up, wrote a blog entry for the previous day, took a shower, went to the library, so on. Then I hopped downtown, hung out with the people there, enjoyed the nightlife a little later on and jumped onto the MAX to get home, watch some anime and other such things. Well it didn't go as planned. At around , or so I suspected, I got caught by fare offiers at the sunset transit center, a single stop away from my stop. Thee questioned me and I wrote things down, explaining that I was on this vow. No, first things first, being silent REALLY helps you out in sticky situations like that. First of all, it's your right to silence in the
Still I did get a citation and they told me, unless I had fare, I couldn't get back on the MAX to get home. Well that DOES suck. But I was only a stop away from my house so I thought I'd hoof it. I probably would have been better off staying at the max stop and sleeping there that night, for all it's worth. Instead of that, however, I went on a near five hour stroll around town, trying to find home and having about five minutes of collective sitting rest. I was positive, through the first four hours, when I was literally circling a three mile diameter area, that my legs would, in fact, lead me home. This stopped when I went tumbling into a ditch, turning my foot just under 180 degrees and puting me in extreme, albeit strangely composed, pain.
For a while all I did was sit there, looking at my funky turned foot and then up at the road that was at the top of the ditch. I crawled a little farther into the bushes, relieved myself , got my second wind, twisted my ankle back into place, which I will admit, did warrant some pained sounds from me and then got my stuff and started walking again. After a while I was walking down some little highway and, at a light I was crossing some dude in his SUV opens his window looks straight at me and yells across the road. “God Works In Mysterious Ways, My Friend!” Before driving off. The worst part of thisa was that it was about the time where my mind, as it often does, turned to world domination. Well I shrugged that off quickly, found a church, wrote a nice little letter explaining my siuation and asking for directions to the
This morning I was, however, in so much pain I could barely get up to answer the door when my dad came over. It really sucked. So I've popped some ibuprofen and am now gonna brave the trip to the library. Yes, my ankle is still in much pain but I can walk on it a bit now ^^
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Blog # 5
Yo all! David Gray here with a new blog entry. Where my last blog was pretty short and boring I think this one's gonna be a bit cooler. I just had such a great day yesterday ^^
The day started out pretty simple. I was gonna go hang out with a friend but she called in and left a message that she couldn't meet up after all. This was fine, just gave me more excuse to be lazy. Cause who doesn't like laziness? Still, I did eventually decide to get up and do stuff. First thing was first, of course, I went downtown and hung out a little with random street people before going to my friend, Joe's place. Gradually the whole place filled up and we watched funny cartoons and debated random things and just talked... well I didn't talk but you can get my meaning pretty easily.
I actually hadn't gone to Joe's to meet up with Joe, though. I was going over to meet another friend, also named David, who I had just missed two days in a row before that and now had gotten there about a half an hour earlier. Great stuff!
After a while I gradually fell into smiles and laughing, which tends to happen at Joe's place for me. I kept laughing at the show that we were watching on the internet and people just stared at me, wondering what was so funny. Honesly, I had no idea but then one of Jeo's buddies looked back, smiled and said “Dag perceives the Humor of the universe. That's it.” Wow, something I never would have understood if I hadn't kept myself from talking. I prolly would have just made a dumb esxcuse that I honestly wasn't sure about but, after hearing that, It's probably true. Nearly any situation throughout my life I've been able to find some way to laugh at. Maybe I do perceive the humor of the universe, after all... Or maybe I'm just a little goofy. Who knows?
One way I have heard, thus far, why I'm on a vow of silencem, was said by Joe. It's probably one of the better ways of explaining it. “Dag's like me in that he can't stop talking so he's making himself shut up for a while.” It's true, it really is. Kinda funny, actually.
Lately I've also been noticing my general schedule through my silence:
Laze around house for a while and take care of personal hygeine
Reply to posts on rp sites and type up next blog post
Do business-style things Ineed to take care of (Go to library, return calls through friends, etc.)
Run around the neighborhood a bit, listening to things
Go to downtown and hang out with Joe or someone around that general social structure.
Hang with night life in downtown Portland
Return home on last MAX
Putter around house for while.
Hit bed with force of ten ton Dagimal
It's actually pretty simple, surprisingly enough.
Pretty sure I'm only getting around four hours of sleep a day but it's pretty fun.
Being on this vow has really brought out a more outgoing, sociable person in me. I tend to try to go out of my way to meet random people and be sociable despite the fact that I can't. Instead of staying indoors all day and just being a slug I feel I have to be active somehow since talking, my biggest former hobby, has been denied to me. Now I gotta go out and do stuff.
Well, that's enough for today.
Blog # 4
Hey all! I'm here with anothetr blog post. Actually, I'm posting two today. Sorry I didn't get one out yesterday. I was wandering around downtown enjoying life. The day before yesterday was a little stressed. Mostly it wasd just a day to stay around at home with friends. And, for the moist part that's what happened. Me and a buddy tried going to my mom's house to get a TV. That went very beadly. We couldn't get it into the car, which sucked. The thing weighed a ton. Still, aside from trying to play some DND, we didn't do much. Still, it was a little tense around the house.
... Nothin much to say, actually. Guess that's it ^^;;
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Blog # 3
David here with yet another chapter of The Silent Blog.
Another day has passed in dis-communication, save for my exception places, of course. It really is starting to irritate me. Lots of people who don't seem to understand or ridicule it. Of course these people are also the people I know best. Some., however, are very cool about it. Still, it's aggrivating to not be able to get one's point across without minutes of writing on little note pads. There's gotta be an easier way. I wish I could just talk into peoples' heads.
Had a bit of a fight with my roommate last night after he was being rude and demanding just because he knew I couldn't reply back verbally. Nearly strangled him. However, after slamming angry things on my keyboard for a while he read them and we cleared things up.
This morning I went to the park at about 7 am after a whole night of stayuing up and hanging with my friends and played a bit of guitar. BTW, When I say playing, I mean making cool beats by pressing my fingers against the neck and enjoying the sounds. I can't actually Play guitar. Also, I checked out a couple books from the library to learn Swedish and, in a couple days, will be getting other books to learn Finnish as well. I figure, so long as all I can do is listen I may as well try to learn another language while I'm at it. More listening pleasure ^^
Ugh... it IS really annoying though.
BTW, Last night I DID say a grand total of eleven words outside my safety zones. Which is sad, but, seeing as I was only a day into the vow I reckoned I would just extend it a day and basically start over. The first day, btw, I said “sorry” to someone because I turned around and elbowed the poor woman in the face. You can't really get through that silently. The trick, I suppose, is to not let your mind wander too much. I'm so used to speaking whatever I think that I can't really censor it. Last night I was toying with the guitar and looked at my friend on my computer and there it wenty. I gotta say, I felt REALLY down for the whole night. Very disappointed in myself.
Still, I have faith that I can extend it a day and start over ^^
AKA The Dagimal
Monday, June 21, 2010
Blog # 2
Hey everyone! I'm back again for the second day with a new update and a set of Q&A for anyone who just wants to know. Yesterday I have to say I had a wide range of emotions about being unable to speak. In the end I made several major discoveries and then decided, later on, that it was probably just first day giddiness. However, the only emotion that I thought of having, consistently through the day, was a sort of feeling that can't be described with just one word. It's somewhere in between sobering and enlightening, just a step above enriching but a tiptoe under empowering. It's actually very pleasant to feel, if not particularly enjoyable. I was very content all day, even if I knew I was getting on someone's nerves. It made me feel good to know that, through a less obnoxious, verbal method I was learning to come out of my shell in a more positive manner to people. I figured out that, without the spoken word, it's very hard to get around in daily life.
One thing I learned about not speakng is that it's a very honest method. In only a day I figured out that, to be even half as effective as I am at speaking aloud through silence I must decensor my brain tio translate directly through my hands. Talking is, in my experience, a tenth thinking and the rest talking yourself into saying something different. This continues until you just stop thinking at all before talking, saying stupid stuff. At least that's the way it is for me. If I want to learn anything from this vow I gotta make sure that I don't talk myself out of things before I put them on paper. Paper is held in a bnit higher esteem than the spoken word too, especially if you see someone thinking of just how to put it down in written words. Makes me feel good, makes them feel good too, it seems.
I also seemed to get a bit braver yesterday. Instead of looming on the MAX going home from downtown I sat next to people and tried, actively, to talk with them. I handed my little slips of paper with this blog site on it and the title and my name. A lot of people who I had been very aware to discomfort within them earlier eased up immediately at this. No, I'm not trying to be creepy, I just won't talk.
Some people respect my vow greatly. Some have already made up their minds that they will, in fact, just make fun of it and not bother to see anything else in this than something to make fun of. Some people just think it's something that is. All are correct answers!
Lastly, I've gotten a lot closer, even in this one day, to my friends, than I think I have ever gotten to them before. I am listening to themn instead of trying to make myself seem better in their eyes.
The Silent Q&A
Recently I have started a vow of verbal dis-communication. I am not allowed to speak to anyonme through the use of the spoken word or even make noises meant to sound like a familiar word. Instead of speaking to people through words I am documenting my experience in a month of silence on a blog I call The Silent Blog (Not original but neither am I)
Obviously, there are some people who really don't care. They couldn't care less whether I talk or not and they probably don't want to be my friend. That's fine, I respect it all the more if you believe you know what you want in life. I really do admire it.
However, there are some people who just can't get enough, can't stop asking questions. After a single day of this and having only an apologetic smile on my face to show most questions I was rather down. I couldn't speak to anyone, an activity I had prided myself on for the first twenty years of my life.
Hanging out with my friend Joe, however, gave me an idea. He had known I was undergoing my vow and his friend was, as some people do, asking me about it. As said before, I could try to motion things out but, normally, I could only just smile sadly and shrug. However, after that friend left and I started relaxing in his home he told me, “You know what you should do; make a FAQs list that tells people the answers to common questions.”
So I'm doing it. Here ya go. I plan to carry a full copy of this Q&A with me everywhere in my remaining time of silence.
Q: Why are you doing this?
A: Thanks for asking! This is the first question I would ever expect to hear and it's the first thing you should ask because it's the first on the list!
I was recently sitting at home, listening to my roommate and my friend talk about things in the other room. Eventually, while thinking, I made an impulse decision. I'll silence myself from the world.
Talking has always been a hobby of mine and I realized that most of the time I just talk to hear something from myself instead of actually thinking about things. I guess I want to learn the value of the spoken word or figure out what everyone else thinks. I don't know, I guess I'm not entirely sure what I expect but I do expect, by spending a month without speaking, to find somethingand I expect to learn from it to become a better person in both my eyes and the eyes of others.
Q: Who are you, strange no-talking person?
A: My name is David Gray. I live in a two room, Beaverton condo that my mom owns. I live with my roommate, Erik. I like to watch anime and read manga. I like to play dungeons and dragons and take part in the SCA, which is a worldwide medieval anachronistic society. I am also an aspiring writer and I want to get a physics degree when I finally do manage to get through college. I am about six and a half feet tall and around 280 pounds with an average build that I am gradually building up into a healthier, more athletic type of body. In short, I am a pretty normal guy aside from the wierd hobbies and the fact that I'm taking a month long break from the sound of my voice. I started my vow on the 20 of June, 2010. Do the math to get how long I have been undergoing the vow from that point to present.
Q: What's it like?
A: BTW, one day in and I've already heard this question over a hundred times. It's not something that can be described without words, to tell the honest truth. Unless you do it as well I can't explain it.
In all honesty I have, in the very first day, felt many drastically different sets of emotions. First came a calm sort of feeling. At times I was pretty angry and irritated at the fact that I couldn't make myself heard with the preferred communication method of the human race. However, it also is a bit uplifting. If I had to say what I have really learned thus far, it would be that talking is around one tenth actually thinking about what you're going to say and the rest would be time you spend talking yourself out of it impulsively. After only one day the only emotion that remained static was something that I don't believe there is a word for. It's a stronger word than sobering but a weaker word than enlightening. Regardless, it is a rather good feeling.
Now In Geek Terms!
It's like all the RAM that I wasted on talking is able to be put into other, more productive things.
Q: Why are you handing out little tabs of paper to seemingly random strangers, David?
A: These little pieces of paper are for the express purpose of giving people a way to contact me in the most bare forms. There are people who will be, more or less, predetermined to get these little slips of paper with my name, the name The Silent Blog and the url that you may find it at.
The people I choose are people who I have watched for small periods of time in public and listened to them talk or seen them move until I have found out what about them makes me feel like they would make a good friend. It isn't much, believe me. Just don't start insulting or attacking me and be a little personal, as would be expected by all people, and you'll probably get a little white slip if you want it. I also give them up to anyone who even so much as ask what I'm holding or who ask a question that can't be answered with anything but words, in my opinion.
Q: Okay great! I got this little slip! Now what?
A: Now you do whatever you want. You can go to the site on there and comment and try to make friends with me. I'll try to be a good friend if I can. Alternatively, you could simply throw the slip on the ground at my feet as soon as I get it into your hand. If you want to be friends with me, that's all I'll ask of. If not then I am sure we'll both get along better without each other.
Q: What if you're trying to get a point across and I'm just not getting it?
A: Best advice I can give at that. Give it up. It's not worth your time or mine to start playing mystical charades in the middle of downtown portland. If you can't get an answer out of me anyway whatsoever, it's probably not as important as you may think and you probably just haven't thought long enough on the answer. Often the simplest things in life to figure out are the ones we think are impossible simply because we don't think about them. This vow of silence is something to make me do such things myself.
Q: But it's really important! I gotta know, at least some time! What do I do?
A: At least you're driven to your goals, be whatever they may. If this is, in fact, the case at hand then give me your email or something like that or go to my blog and contact me there through a comment. There is nothing in my vow that says that I'm not allowed to communicate, just not to speak. I will check my phone messages and check my email and blog comments as much as I am able but I am not to talk on the phone.
Q: I saw you walk through downtown and stub your toe on the curb and you screamed like a baby. Does that mean you broke your vow?
A: As a matter of fact, it doesn't. I have set a very large variety of suitable exceptions to my vows. If I'm not going to bother with them on this sheet but, if you're really curious , go look it up on my blog. For the most part, however, you can remember that if I speak in coherent words through any language or even make largely unintelligible plans where it is clear that I am just trying to talk with my mouth closed, I am breaking my vow. Otherwise I am allowed to make largely any noises I like. I can even express negatives or positives through “hmmm'ing” sounds. I'm just unable to actually talk.
Q: Does sign language count?
A: Despite the fact that I don't know sign langage I have barred myself from learning it. It is, after all, a language and it would be unfair to speak through it. The only way I am allowed to communicate in any language is through genuine writing.
Q: If I had a phone and it had a voice creator, could you talk through that?
A: No, that's just using someone else's voice to speak where I normally would. This is acceptable in some situations, like telling someone something quickly through the phone or delivering a message but not otherwise.
Q: Why is this FAQ so long?
A: Because lots of people ask lots of questions...
Q: I'm an attractive single woman and would like to get to know you better. Would it be, at all possible for me to coax you out of your vow if I tried to work my feminine wiles on you?
A: Now if this situation would actually rear it's blessed head I would be able to die happy. However, no, you won't be able to sway me to breaking my vow for you. The person who matters most to me in life is myself and what I am doing is for exactly him. Try as hard as you can, however, to make me speak. I really do look forward to the challenge. By all means, if you can, in fact, get me to talk, more power to you. It could even be the start of a great friendship. However, I will do only my best to keep from actually speaking.
Q: What if I wanted to do this too?
A: By all means, please do whatever you feel makes yourself feel better. However, if you're just doing this to copy me cause you think it's cool I would advise against it. I'm not some crazy buddhist who wants to learn the ways of the world through silence. I'm not an old Spanish monk who has taken a vow of silence to become closer to my god. I've chosen not to speak so that I can find out more about myself, nothing more. If you think about this and find that it just won't work out for you, nobody's gonna hold it against you.
Q: Combined with your stubborn ways, will your silence ever get on my nerves?
A: I have no doubt in my mind that me being without the ability to speak will, in fact, annoy the ever loving bejesus out of you. In fact, I sort of look forward to it. That's a little bit more I can learn about people other than myself. However, by no means do I mean to make you angry. I don't willingly go out of my way to offend people by being quiet. I'll try to show apologies but please understand that I don't have much to work with here. Have some patience with me if you can. If you can't I won't fault you a bit.
Q: If I see you in the city, or you see me and give me a slip of paper, should I remember you?
A: If you like. I'm not trying to be special. I just want to figure myself out. Someone has told me to exploit the vow and say “If you see me the most and try talking to me more than anyone else, you get a free ipod!”
However, I don't own an ipod myself. I certainly won't buy someone an ipod for “Most Downown Encounters.” Of course, I wouldn't mind company during my vow. It's nice to know that people still do want to make conversation work and wonderful to try to make it work without the aid of the spoken word.
Q: Should I feel compelled to give you money?
A: What man in his right mind would turn down money thrust into his hands? If you feel like you want to throw me a little free cash because you feel what I'm doing is worth giving away your money I certainly won't object. However, Im not going to ask for it and you certainly shouldn't feel obligated to see me, open your wallet and hand me a twenty. This isn't some pyramid scheme or a pay it forward fast cash plan. It's a journey of self discovery. If you want to throw money at me I won't complain but I don't expect or ask for it.
Q: What if I'm telepathic and can read your thoughts without having to play charades?
A: Then I envy you very much and hope only that, some time in the future, you teach me your ways.. Aside from that, good on ya but I do hope it isn't too callous of me to tell you that you shoiuldn't be reading this Faq and instead should just clean the most private secrets from my head for your own gain. Hey! If you can, do!
Q: Is this Q&A over?
A: Quickly! Look below this question! Do you see anything else to read? No? Flip the pages over and double check the backs. Nothing there? Start holding the pages up to the light, just in case I have tried to code in an invisible spy letter on any of these pages. Still nothing? Finally, to make sure that all of your options are exhausted, ask me if it's the end of the Q&A. I may nod my head, I may shake it. I may just smile knowingly to keep you in a state of suspect. However, if you can't seem to find anything else relevant, then maybe it's the end of the Q&A. Still wanna talk to me? Please refer to questions 6 and 7 above XP
If you would, please write a word of encouragement below in the blank area. Although I am sure I can do this myself, support is always cherished.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Blog # 1
My name is David Gray. I am twenty years old and live in Beaverton, Oregon in a two room condo with my friend Erik. Starting: Sunday June 20, 2010 I have made to myself a vow of silence. For thirty days I shall be bound from words. I shall go thirty days without speaking words, though I am allowing myself to talk to people through text, so writing and emails are okay. Granted the goal here isn't to impress anyone, let me make that very clear to anyone who reads this. I am not doing this to impress someone or make myself into an idol. I am not doing it because I want to seek attention or make it known that I am a city boy taking an almost spiritual vow of something or other and breaking some silly city record. In all honesty I am doing this vow more for myself than anyone else.
For the last twenty years I have lived with a very definite fact in my head which my mother has never been shy to say to me in front of any company whatsoever. “You came out with your mouth open and you haven't shut it since.” Naturally, my mother's tendency toward a general lack of sensitivity to my feelings always has driven such things far away from my comfort zone but there is some truth to it.
Whilst sitting by myself in my home, Erik and my other friend David speaking together in the other room, I thought a lot in a very small amount of time. It occured to me that I had, in point of fact, talked much more in my life than I had listened. As far as things went, I hardly listened to my own words, much less those of others. While I understand that some people go about in life just like this without ever seeing anything wrong in such actions it was clear to me that I had a problem with it. I have always felt ganged up on for my flaws and lack of proper thought before anything I say. People find it bad that I cannot keep my mouth closed and have nothing meaningful to say. I've never understood it and I still don't. However, I have figured out that I never really wanted to understand it all. I've just wanted people to stop making fun of me or nagging at me or saying things I didn't want.
However, it only recently occured to me that I was actually at fault. I still don't understand why they do it but, through listening instead of speaking, I hope to find out just what about me sets people off and just what I do that bothers others. In the process I hope to learn even more than that. I have had friends for years but I don't think I've ever paid attention to them, not the way they deserve. I believe that I have a much more difficult time listening to anything other than myself when I am talking and I used to talk quite a bit.
To remedy this the vow has been placed and I will remain in silence for a month. If it suits me I'll be silent for even longer than that.
As said before, I don't want to impress people with this. I understand some people may take it as such but I just want to find myself. I want to find a way that will make me better and, if I happen to become better in the eyes of others in the process, I welcome it with open arms. As it is this blog only exists because, no matter how uninteresting it may be to some people, I have no doubt that there are some people who will be curious enough to ask, “Why doesn't this guy talk,” or there will be some random person on the internet, searching through blogs and will run by this by chance. In the small chance that he'll bother to read it he'll find out and, through some random miracle, something I'll do will help him. Hey, I may not be trying to impress anyone or help anyone aside from me but it's always gratifying if it really does do that. Maybe I will gain popularity through it. No complaints.
I don't actually think I can do it. I don't believe any of my family will support it or me during the vow's duration. I doubt a good deal of my friends will think it anything but utter madness. However. I am expecting the worst on purpose in this vow. I will hope for the best and do whatever I may, in my power, to keep my promises to myself. If I end up talking then so be it. I can always start again some other day. Despite the fact that I don't think I can complete this vow, however, I will still hold strong to it as long as I can.
Any of you who really think it's wrong, feel free to tell me you don't think I can do it in the comments or state that you think it's not a smart thing to do but please be nice about it. Don't flame me.
For those of you who wish to cheer me on, please feel free to help me realize an important goal I have set forward for myself. The support is cherished.
For those of you who are more than happy reading this as a private spectator of some sort, I won't judge and I certainly won't complain for people taking interest in my life. Feel free to use reading this blog daily for anything you want. I can't judge.
I, David A. Gray, will not speak any word for thirty days, effective after 4:08 am, Sunday June 20, 2010.
I may laugh, cry, cough, sneeze, belch, yell in pain, clear my throat or even make grunting noises of an emotional sort during this month long period but I will not form words in any language or even attempt to make various grunts sound like words for the purpose of communication. If I can, in the end, avoid all of the sounds that make exception to my vow, all for the better. I may even whistle a tune every now and then to amuse myself. However, no verbal means of communication are allowed.
During the month I will not be answering my phone. For those of you who are reading this that do, in fact, know my phone number or somehow find it for the express purpose of talking to me, you won't get an answer from me until 12:00 am, Wednesday July 21, 2010. If anyone answers, chances are it will be my roommate, Erik. If you don't get an answer at all, please feel free to leave a message. The message for my answering system will explain that I have indeed taken a vow of silence. Though I will not answer the phone I will check my messages whenever I see that I have any, which will be as often as I can check. I will have calls returned to you as best I can.
If an emergency arrises that would otherwise cause myself or those dear to me lethal harm I fully intend to break my vow the instant I know about it. My mind being clear from a month in silence is less important than my well being or the well being of others. If I see a man who is clearly getting mugged on the side of the road, don't expect me to try to find help without forming words. If my sister gets hit by a car and I only have three minutes to tell her I love her, expect me to open my mouth and let the words flow out. However, unless I absolutely must, I have no intentions to break my vow no matter how much anyone else insists. If you're not dying I'm not talking.
Although I am not allowed to speak verbally there is no part in my vow that states complete non-communication. I am freely allowing myself to type and email people or instant message. When I'm online feel free to send me messages if you know my IM or whatnot. I certainly won't try to ignore you. If you send me an email I will attempt to send you a reply as soon as I can, though I make no promises as I do not have internet at home and only get a maximum of two hours at the nearby Beaverton Library.
Sleep talking, as I have been told I do often, is a resounding exception to my vow. The vow is a conscious decision and sleep talking is most certainly not a conscious action on my part. If I am found talking in my sleep my vow is not broken as I am not consciously going against it. I don't make the choice to sleep talk, trust me on this. Largely, I also don't consider the first five waking minutes of any given sleep cycle I am going through as a time where talking is a breaking point of my vow, however, I will still refrain from answering phones and deliberately talking. Furthermore, if someone puts me on some drug without my knowing that is clinically proven to cause me to start talking I don't break my vow because of it. Only if I actively make the decision to talk do I break the vow.
If someone asks me why I'm not talking I am to kindly hand them a slip of paper noting my name and the url of this blog so that, if it pleases them, they may read this blog and will have a method of finding out my silence instead of waiting until I am done.
I am allowed a small period of time during my days where my vow is considered null for that amount of time in that room. This room is my bathroom and the time is during a shower. This time is reserved for verbal reflection with myself, however, if anyone happens to knock and wishes to speak to me then they are more than welcome to sit on the toilet and speak to me from the other side of the shower curtain. I'm not squeamish and the curtain is opaque. So long as you're out by the time I need to shut up and pull the curtain open I won't throw a fuss. Because of the delicate nature of this exception, I am not actually expecting people to run into my house and start talking to me while I bathe. I just want it known that it is, in fact, an exception to my vow. If I can help it this time won't even be used as much as it is available. There may even be times where someone will want to talk to me and I just won't be in the mood.
The use of instruments is acceptable in any situation during my vow's duration. It makes me feel even better to say that I don't know any music based forms of communication. All music made by myself through use of instrument will be purely to make music I will appreciate.
I am barred from even trying to learn sign language during this next month. It wouldn't be fair nor would I want to do it in the first place.
At midnight, Wednesday July 21, 2010 I am allowed to once again speak. However, if it suits me I may simply stay quiet. After all, I may like being quiet once I find out what it's like.
Every day I am to get to the internet and post a review of my thoughts and reflection of the previous day to place on this blog. I cannot promise I will carry out this rule, just as I cannot promise I will complete my vow without breaking it but I will promise to work as hard as I can to make sure I update daily and that I will try to finish my vow without breaking any of the rules.
No change in atmosphere or environment is to get in the way of my vow. If I move to Canada the vow doesn't change. If I go to an SCA event I will fight chivalrously against my opponent and bow to him when he kills me to tell him he did a good job. However, I will speak no words, even acting as Dagonet Adair in the SCA just as I will speak no words as David Gray in the real world. I will try to get to events or other things that I like to do but, for those of you who read this that take part in such things as that, please understand and accept it. If the president of the United States of America was to bless my company and ask me personally to speak publically to our country (One can hope) then he'll just have to wait until I am allowed, by my vow, to speak again.
Finally, more a favor to be asked than a rule to myself; Please don't try to make me break my vow. First of all: It won't work. I genuinely believe I can do it and that it will be for my benefit. Please don't try to take that from me. Secondly: I expect that, even if you don't understand it, you will respect that I have this goal. Even if you have the perfect words to make me talk I will ask that you don't use them unless you absolutely need to. It's disrespectful, low and out of bounds.
I would like to thank my roommate, Erik and my friend David, who have both given their support and are dealing with my non-talkiness (Totally a word now) during this time. Maybe, by being “silent” for as long as I will, I will learn how irritating it is to you guys.
I would thank my family for the support but I'm not yet sure if they will give it to me so I'll just save that for later.
I would like to thank (if any people do) the people who will come to decide to support me in this. Doesn't matter if I know you or not. Your support is well appreciated. It's hard to do anything alone.
Thank you, Beings Almighty, all of which I worship and believe in equally and all of which I ask, if this is the right thing for me to do, please assist in my endeavors. If this is not the proper thing for me to do, which I dearly hope is not the case, I trust you will send me some sort of sign aside from angry yells from friends and family and insults from people I don't know, to show that I need to choose a different method of finding myself.
David A. Gray