Thursday, December 5, 2019

I can see clearly now

Elsewhere in comments people are talking about the impeachment fiasco opening the eyes of voters nationwide. About what crackpots worked up Dems are and how much damage they do. How acute they are to the perceived damage by their opponents that they actually do without any concern at all. They're using the lyrics of Jimmy Cliff's song to make their point. One commenter delivers the first line to support his point, then the second commenter delivers the second line of the song because it's better, then a third commenter gives the third line because he believes it really supports the idea the best.

I love that song.

It's not political, so shut up.

Quit ruining it by making it political.

The singer has stopped crying and now he sees clearly and so the future looks better. It's a very short song with repeated refrains so it's perfect for sign language etude.

And this whole time I thought the singer was saying, "Gone are the dark clouds that pass me by" and that's shown easily by "dark" + "cloud" that passes in front of you, the meter allows you to show a cloud do that. But I was wrong. It actually says "the dark clouds that had me blind."

I saw Soph say that and I was all, what? What? That's wrong, Stupid. But, no. It was me who was wrong, but not just regular wrong, I've been wrong for four and half decades! How embarrassing. And once again it is sign language that showed me exactly where I was wrong. Sign language is more precise than my ears.

Ew, gross. Now instead a cloud that passes in front of me, I must stick two fingers into my eyeballs. I don't like that word "blind." Saying the word "blind" in sign language is just weird. I hate it to pieces.

Talking about blindness in the language of deaf just doesn't seem right.

I want my cloud passing me by, not making me blind. But it's not right for me to change the words to the song so for now on I must live with this discomfort. And that makes me not like this song so much anymore. Soph, you killed it for me by being accurate.

"Clear" and "bright" are nearly identical signs. Clear is like the glass pane in front of you defogging and bright is the same two open hands of a mime bursting outward. You can hardly tell any difference especially if the person's sign-writing is slipshod.

"Sun" and "shine" can be shown various ways. "Sun" is a "C" rising in the air, "sunshine" is that "C" turned into a lightbulb, suddenly opening to the rays of the sun.

While "shine" is the middle finger of one hand wiggling up and down as the hand passes across in front of the trunk of the body like a path of wavy light. Usually "shine" comes off of something, often the back of the opposite hand.

So, sunshine, could be "C" rising up for "Sun" then the middle finger of "Sun" wiggling off from that area.

Or it can be shown a "C" snapping on like like a lamp and that's what most people do.

"Obstacle" is finger spelled.

But we don't like finger spelling in songs.

So we think of something else. "Block" as in "to bar." An "X" made with both hands.

I'm inclined to use "danger" the upright thumb of one hand being blocked by the opposite hand. Then both hands are positioned for "path" formed with "W" hand shapes for "way."

"Way" is "path" made with two "W" hand shapes.

People most often show a curving path but it can be straight. Better to make the path then show a two-handed X in the path. That's much more clear. So that idea will be reversed. It's not an "X" + "in" + "my" + (curvy) "path", rather, it's simply (straight) "way" + "X."  But nobody does that. Everyone else is more poetic. More English-y.  Less clear. That's what you'll see.

Incidentally, this type of "block" for obstacle is different from a building "block."

"Pain" is two index fingers pointing at each other and jabbing like electrical pain. This pain is placed wherever the pain exists; stomach, forehead, knee, whatever. General pain is that sign in front of the torso. And be sure to grimace painfully. Exaggerate to your hearts contentment, stick out your tongue, roll your eyes, show being conked out, whatever. A little pantomime with "pain" goes a long way.

"Sky" is very much like like "clear" and "bright." In fact, you'll notice no difference.

Come to think of it, maybe this song isn't so great due to its similarities in essential signs. The words make such a big difference in English but hardly any difference at all in ASL. And when you think about it, there really isn't that much difference between clear, bright and sky. There sort of is a difference, but not that much. Oh well. It's short. The torment of similarities is brief.

One last thing. Everyone does "gone" differently. I take my "gone" from deaf themselves. Put both hands on an imaginary card table. Lift them both off and pull them away into two loose fists.

Soph does "gone" as "disappear." One of the best signs ever. The index finger of one hand (a person) slipping through the floorboards of the opposite hand.

You'll see "gone" as a larger "disappear" in which the whole hand slips through the floor-fingers of the opposite hand.

You'll also see "gone" as "that invisible shaggy dog that just brushed by my side and went behind me." The two boys do it that way.

Step 1: Turn on the fan that blows your hair so you can pretend for a moment that you're Stevie Nix.


Soph's setup doesn't allow her to be more dramatic. When the word "sky" is drawn out over several inflections, getting bigger and bigger, higher then lower, Soph holds the sky and shows the sustained word on her lips and it looks goofy.

Whatcha gonna do?

Change the setup.

But she doesn't. She's got her thing and she's sticking with it.




Much as I enjoy watching the expert Soph I like watching inexpert girls even more.

They're playing around. And I love that.



These two dudes are total goofballs. Their sunshine shakes.

1 comment:

Sixty Grit said...

I was too ill to attend class today so watching these videos will have to suffice for today's ASL education. I liked them all. Thanks.