Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Silent Marks and Spaces

In the work I do, I work on the our Annual Report and quarterly newsletters.  Part of that means using the program InDesign, selecting and arranging images, placing text, and choosing fonts and colors for the design.  To work on improving the skills involved in this work, I'm reading a book called Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton.

In it, she shares this quote:
...although the alphabet represents sound, it cannot function without silent marks and spaces.  Jacques Derrida, French philosopher.
As a simple example of this, tryreadingthislinewithoutthespaces.  We need the silence of the space and the guidance of punctuation in order to effectively communicate.

In the book of Job, after so many terrible things happen to Job, his friends come to visit with him.  They sit with hiim in silence for days.  And then they started talking, and everything goes downhill. They communicated so much more support when they were silent.  (I say that facetiously, but I've always thought it was true.)

I'm not advocating that we never speak in support of friends, but I do think we need to realize the important of the space between the words.  There is a time to speak, and there is a time to listen.  To breath between our words.  To let go of what we might plan to say next, and to just be, listening.

In that silence, we may hear the words our friends need to say, and in the silence, we may hear the voice of God.

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