I dreamed last night that I was out of town on a “girls’ weekend” with a friend of mine from Minnesota. Two other friends of hers were joining us – people I had never met. One of them was deaf, and used sign language to communicate. While we were waiting for them to show up, my friend showed me how to sign a greeting. I don’t remember what the actual message was in my dream, but I remember the main gesture. It involved holding my index finger up to my lips – as in a “Shhh” signal – followed by a few quick up-and-down motions with my pointed finger.

I don’t know if that’s a real sign-language gesture, or what it might mean. After all, I can’t exactly google it. And it’s really about all I remember from the dream.

Still, I can’t help thinking about it, and being curious about what the dream may have meant and where it came from in the first place. Mostly, I’m thinking about the sign language.

Although I’ve never studied it, I’ve always been fascinated with sign language.  I become hypnotized by its graceful and expressive movements and motions whenever I see someone signing. And now, more than ever, I appreciate the power of communicating in a voice that is strong, yet silent.

Most people are anything but silent these days. I’ve never had a problem with people being vocal and passionate about their views and beliefs. But that used to come with a chance for other people to express theirs just as passionately. Without screaming, without bloodshed, and without anyone acting as if others are stupid, evil, or worthless because they see things differently.

Maybe I’ll start using my dream’s gesture out in public every once in a while, to see if it has any effect on anyone. I may discover that it really does mean, “Shhh,” in which case it would be useful not only with people who start getting vicious with their words, but when people are talking on their cell phones during a movie or church service.

Or I may find out it’s a vulgar or obscene gesture, although if it were, I’d probably already know it.

Perhaps I’ll learn that, as in my dream, it means something like, “Nice to meet you,” or “I’m glad you’re here.” I’d like that, as those are nice phrases to know in any language.

August 10, 2018
©Betty Liedtke, 2018

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