(sometimes withershins, widershins or widderschynnes) means to take a course opposite that of the sun, going counterclock-wise, lefthandwise, or to circle an object, by always keeping it on the left. It also means "in a direction opposite to the usual," which is how I choose to take it in using it as the title of this blog. We're all in the same world finding our own way.

Friday, August 24, 2012

This is why I can't watch movies by myself

I made fry bread with dinner the other day.

I had been watching The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle on Netflix, a comedy about a computer engineer who goes ape-shit and is fired from his job and then becomes a janitor wherein he is used as part of an experimental testing group through cookies.

Then I got hungry and I decided that after tasting the wonder that is fry bread, I would attempt to make my own.

Using this recipethis recipethis recipe, and this bit of a recipe:

2 cups flour, 1 cup milk, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt

I ended up with this final product.

They're little denser than I meant them to be, so I know less kneading involved next time. But it was still delicious and worth it!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Violence of Voice

Having just gotten home from a Power of Hope summer camp, I'm feeling extra sensitive to ideas of power, privilege and voice. Which got me thinking today about the power of voice, both metaphorically and literally.

I saw a friend crossing the street as I was walking home from coffee downtown. Upon hearing me, he turned like he'd been hit by a bullet. This is a fairly innocuous example, and I'm sure hearing his name while wearing headphones in and thus being audio-directionally challenged probably had more to do with his reaction than my voice, but having seen these kinds of reactions before, I can't help but imagine there must be some kind of power to our voices.

In the same way that silence can be suffocating and confining, voice and the release of sound can be uplifting. So many of us find release, find catharsis in music because it fills the silence.

I've been told that I sound different when I yell. My voice is a little deeper, a little bit more what people would traditionally call masculine, a little harsher. I think it's the volume and the fact that when I yell it's more what people would call barking.

The point I think I'm trying to get at (if I have one) is that when my voice changes like that it's effective. It gains a kind of violence and power that's physical. Here, a few videos to help explain:

Or if the Ted Talk is too long:

Or as another visual example:

These are fancy scientific devices that use physical principles of human anatomy, but at the same time, our voices can achieve much the same effect in a way that these devices cannot, our voices can communicate the violence of emotion. Often I find myself flinching at the sound of anger or leaning into the sound of earnest excitement.
Our voices have real power over those who listen. They create and enrapture. They destroy and reduce. It's a responsibility when we use it, so use it wisely. Think before you say.