How to replace words with gesture?

She stood right in front of me expectantly, saying nothing. I didn’t know what to say!

I was sitting, she was standing, and the top of her head was about level with my chest. We were in the family kitchen, surrounded by activity. The brother coloring, the father’s girlfriend cooking dinner, the Grandmother laughing and showing off Halloween pictures of the evil ventriloquist doll she’d posed by the father’s bed to terrify him when he woke up in the morning.

The young girl stood right in front of me expectantly, saying nothing. I didn’t know what to say, so I asked her if she’d like to learn how to whistle with her hands.

“No,” she said, and smiled.

So, for my own amusement, I cupped my hands together, and blew. At first nothing, then a sound like a morning dove, or an owl. After that, I changed the position of my hands, and made a more high-pitched whistling sound.

These were the memories I had of my grandfather — the loggers sawing wood, the congregation in the church, and the whistles he could make, all with his hands. She smiled again, and her brother looked over, fascinated.

Next time you don’t know what to say, is there some gesture you can make? Can you instead sing, or whistle? Can you simply do nothing at all? What if you were to take a piece of paper, and fold it into a crane, a cup, a hat, a giraffe?

Sometimes in prose too you may be at a loss for words.

This does not have to be a bad thing, at all. When can you replace words with a gesture?

Living Inside

Is it damaging to you to live inside all the time? Yes, it probably cramps it horribly. But then there’s Emily Dickinson, who lived in the same house for all her life, lowering her basket to the outside world. You couldn’t call her orderly poems ugly. On the contrary. But then again, she had a beautiful garden.

What do you think? Does it damage you to spend most of your life “indoors”?



We have an auspicious month ahead of us: National Movember Writing Month.

Nanowrimo and Movember, in conjunction.

Check it out, and join the party. Everybody can join the first, and you should encourage your hairy male friends to join in on the second.