Thursday, January 13, 2022

The Green Knight

The majority of U.S. states (35) currently criminalize HIV/AIDS exposure. For many reasons, this is appalling! 

Yesterday’s weather was horrid. We cancelled our dog walking. It was dark, foggy and wet, but it was mild and that was nice. It was truly a grizzly Winter day, and it was noisy due to the sound of the rain landing on my metal roof. I like that sound though. The day’s up-side was being so, so warm and cozy by the fire and with a blanket over me as I read my umpteenth detective novel once my studying was done.

I spent all morning studying. I learned signs for many animals, and several are amusing. The ASL sign for monkey is exactly as you might think—using both hands to ‘scratch’ under your arms; the sign for ‘giraffe’ is about its long neck, the sign for snake is, unsurprisingly, all about fingers as fangs.

I love all things Indian. I spent a year travelling around the wonderful country over three visits. I chose to go not too long after Steve left me. Everyone was so sad for me; I triggered frowns on every approaching face I knew. Then I thought: “I need to give everyone something else to talk about and to think about when they see me.” And I decided to go to India. It was something I’d long wanted to do, but was scared to do.

I booked a trip with a Québecois company for three months, went early and stayed after. I was confident all would be wonderful, and it was. So, when I came home, I immediately went back for another three months. Then again, a year or two later. (And I only saw rain once.)

Last night I did something odd, largely because of Dev Patel (sqoon). I watched The Green Knight even though that genre of fantasy/fable is anathema to me. But Dev Patel … I’m in. And a fox as a co-star. In deeper. And it was okay, but pretty! It was like being 14 again, watching it, because at that age I loved every movie I could see, and I’m sure I would have liked this one. Even an (obnoxious) operatic soundtrack.

At nine, I wanted a couple of small pieces of wood for the fire, so I went outside to the shed to fetch it and it was almost warm. It felt warm after cold weather for so long. It felt so good! 

I like the rhythm I’m in. I love studying (things that are interesting and rewarding). I have a feeling that’s how I got scholarships. Learning is the structure of my day: Study, do something, and repeat throughout the day, rest at night.

So many signs are going in and sticking in my aged brain, I can’t account for why there’s the odd one that I just cannot nail when I test myself. Even though I haven’t used the word, “algebra,” for decades, I want to learn it because it’s on the list. Once I get going, I’ll mix signing with fingerspelling and, basically, mime. They call it gesture, but I’m willing to go all the way to full-on charades when I’m completely mute.

I’m in level one of my course that consists of 13 units, each unit comprised of a vocabulary list, phrases to learn, ASL theory, comprehension quizzes, a reading assignment (from our two textbooks), and some sentences to sign. I’m in Unit 4. Yesterday, I got this assignment: I must have a half-hour signing session ( they provided many methods of fulfilling the assignment), and I have to write an essay about it. I’ll be using my Monday next session with Michelle to complete my session, so I wrote to tell her about it, asking her to help me plan a way for us to practice that’s within my capabilities. And I made some suggestions.

I got an email from my course telling me that I’m 4% of my way along their curriculum, and it excited me to know that I have something to do for a long, long time coming. I walk three hours a week with my friends, I go to the village to shop twice a week, in single; I am home alone and able to do whatever I want nearly all the time. Learning ASL is a great, great way to pass time. I have no deadline.

I’m definitely able to communicate better with close friends—about simple things at least. I can’t talk at length about anything, but I can participate. For depth, I have this blog and email. I sometimes tell correspondents that I’ll send them an email after the call, telling them things I wanted to share but were too difficult to speak.

There’s no rain this morning, and the sky is bright. Today, I’ll be doing more studying and finishing my current novel, just like every other day of late. 

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