Left Unsaid: The Tyranny of Eternal Silence

Left Unsaid: The Tyranny of Eternal Silence

The Twenty 120 Project: Left Unsaid

Left Unsaid is an experimental film that was created by Rob Chiu, who is an acclaimed English graphic arts designer and a producer of conceptual short-films. He created this particular live action film as one of twenty film directors invited to create short films of 120 seconds duration for The Twenty 120 Project. Left Unsaid addresses the general concept of “Change” and the particular theme of “Truth and Deception.”

Left Unsaid: A Tragic View of Childhood Loss

Left Unsaid centers upon the issue of loss, in particular Chiu’s personal interpretation of the feelings of loss experienced by the child upon his/her first major encounter with the self-limitations of the external world. At that point, the past quickly shades into memories of the past, which soon take on an unreal, dreamlike quality. Thus torn away from the past, the child loses connections with feelings for both home and loved ones. Looking toward the future offers no solace. The truth of the future, of a tomorrow, is a hollow and empty one, promising only existential doubt and loneliness. Ultimately, Chiu’s interpretation of the child’s conscious entry into external reality is a fatalistic and tragic one.

Living in the Present: Embracing Ambiguity and Uncertainty

The beauty of Chiu’s film calls out like the mythological Sirens of the sea, seducing the viewer into the tragic world of isolation and enternal silence. But it need not be. For example, if we look to the past for meaning, can we really gain such an understanding by tracing the little, seemingly trivial things in the particular chain of events in our lives back to our earliest years? Or, on the other hand, is existence and the course of our lives simply a matter of coincidence.

There is, of course, an alternative perspective about attempting to achieve some understanding about the meaning and course of our lives. If we focus on the present, rather than upon the past, we are faced with having to acknowledge that human choice always involves choosing one particular course of action while abandoning others, some of which may have turned out to be in some respects equally, or even more preferable. Furthermore, our choice of a particular course of action is always complicated by the unknowingness or ultimate uncertainty about where the path or paths not taken actually might have led.

While life’s ambiguity ultimately is irreducible, learning to embrace the ambiguous and uncertain nature of our lives can vitalize and enrich our experiences of surprise. In other words, focusing upon the present can expand our capacities to become engaged in depth with the ongoing, day-to-day events in our lives. This in turn calls for us learn how to become prepared to be unprepared for new experiences.

Left Unsaid: The Tyranny of Eternal Silence

A short-film by Rob Chiu

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The Night is Dark and I am Far From Home

The Night is Dark and I am Far From Home

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The Painful Silence of Words Left Unspoken

The Painful Silence of Words Left Unspoken

The Painful Silence of Words Left Unspoken

Some have proposed examining the concept of silence from the perspective of its extremes, for example from society’s long tradition of maintaining silence about madness or mental illness, to the most personal internal silence, which produces the press of an intense desire to express oneself and unburden the soul.

From my own perspective, that press of the intense desire to express oneself is really secondary. The desire to express oneself rests upon the wish or hope that someone will recognize our need so that we can know it, so that we might discover what really matters to us.

In everyday life, all of this has to do with the more personal issue of developing a loving, mutually reciprocal relationship. Maintaining a mutually reciprocal relationship with others or another (for example, in the case of a loving relationship) depends upon developing the capacity to listen, to hear the other, to pay attention to the other. The process of paying real attention to the other involves having the experience with/of the other perceived as outside the self, as well as an experience with/of my subjective conceptualization or impression of the other.

At this point, things begin to become more complicated. For example, beyond attention, we have both a need for recognition by the other, as well as wishes to be able to recognize the other in return, to experience a cherished other and have a co-constructed personal involvement that is distinctively characterized by a sense of nourishing, mutual recognition. However there is an inevitable tension between connection and separation, the self’s wish for absolute independence conflicts with the self’s need for recognition. In trying to establish itself as an independent entity, the self must yet recognize the other as a subject like itself in order to be recognized by it. This immediately compromises the self’s absoluteness and poses the problem that the other could be equally absolute and independent.

Each self wants to be recognized and yet to maintain its absolute identity: The self says, “I want to affect you, but I want nothing you do or say to affect me, I am who I am.” In its encounter with the other, the self wishes to affirm its absolute independence, even though its need for the other and the other’s similar wish give the lie to it.

This confrontation with the other’s subjectivity and the limits of one’s self-assertion is a difficult one to mediate. The need for recognition leads to a fundamental paradox; in the very moment of realizing our own independent will, we are dependent on another or the other to recognize it. At the very moment we come to understanding the meaning of I, myself, we are forced to see the limitations of that self. At the very moment that we understand that separate minds can share similar feelings, we also begin to find out that these minds can also disagree.

The ideal resolution of the paradox of recognition is for it to continue as a constant tension between recognizing the other and asserting the self. It is for this purpose that carrying on a co-constructed, mutually reciprocal loving relationship with another necessarily entails ongoing practice in the sustaining of contradiction. The latter is an ability that is enhanced to the degree that we are willing to appreciate, preferably embrace, the uncertainty that is inherent to our involvement in everyday life, to the choices that we make and to what might possibly emerge from those choices.

Words Left Unspoken: No Murmur, No Sigh of Relief

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Photo of the Day: At 5:14 a.m.

Photo of the Day: At 5:14 a.m.

On Silence: No Whispers, No Sighs

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Photo of the Day: Fond Words Not Spoken

Photo of the Day: Fond Words Not Spoken

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My Articles for Sunday, September 23, 2007

This posting presents conceptualizations of silence: the silence surrounding madness, the political silence forced upon citizens by dictatorships, and the personal silence burning with desire to express oneself and unburden one’s soul.

Beautiful, high-resolution photographs, contemporary music audio, and a video photo-gallery are included.

[tags: silence, solitude, photographs, music, audio, video]

Marcel Marceau escaped transport to a Nazi death camp and worked with the French Resistance to protect Jewish children. He later became a mime legend, and has died at the age of 84. Marceau was best known for his onstage persona “Bip,” a sad, chalk-faced clown who denoted the frailty of life.

Official portrait, colorful photographs and two videos included.

[tags: Marcel Marceau dies at 84, Marcel Marceau, mime legend Marcel Marceau, Paris, photographs, videos, YouTube]

See the Rest of My Articles at Blue Dot

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Visions of Silence

The images in the video photo-gallery presented below are conceptualizations of silence: the silence surrounding madness, the political silence enforced upon citizens by totalitarian regimes and dictatorships, and the intensely personal silence that is bound up with the burning desire to express oneself and unburden one’s soul.

Images of Silence: A Video Photo-Gallery

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