Someone asked me once, in a situation of project survey research what my passions were.

Communication, I answered, and teaching. For me, the two dropped into the same slot, interchangeably; if you were a good communicator, you could teach the world through action, not just words, and if you were a good teacher, you could reach the world through your actions, not just your lessons.

But what of those who don’t communicate well? I find myself wondering how it is they make it across streets, cook meals, navigate interactions to keep themselves alive. How can those who are so bad at interaction even function?

This isn’t a judgment, mind you. It’s downright curiosity.


The world, more and more is finding ways to look out through a technological lens. There is an app for iOS (and probably one for Android, I imagine) that you can download to text while you’re walking. The camera in the phone reveals what’s in front of you so that you don’t become lost in the words, like Google Glass, I’m told. Look at the world, but through a lens.

We’ve been doing that for years, I suppose; looking through travel destinations through cameras instead of experiencing them, swinging telescopes around to far-off planets or apartments to peep in. We watch television because of the pasteurized nature of what it delivers. Does this contribute to a lost art of communication? Texting is communicating, you might say, but if it’s happening at the same time as walking, driving, eating, listening…then is it communication? Or is it yet another pasteurization, hoping to filter what is really in front of us?

I think of that when I pick up my phone, sync it to the folding keyboard, and miss the birds lining back and forth from trees to nests, miss the moon on my morning walk, use the headphones to filter out the inarticulate conversation on the train.