Language & Communication16th November 2013
To Grow or Not to Grow.....?
South African writer Gaynor Young explains why 'Movember' can be problematic
As you probably know, November/Movember is responsible for the sprouting of millions of moustaches around the world.
With their Mo’s, men heighten awareness about prostate and testicular cancer as well as raising vital funds for further research into these diseases. I applaud this idea. Yes, certainly. But it is hellish for the deaf world! Why?
Well, for deaf people lip reading naturally plays a vital part in our everyday communication. The Arab woman covering her face, only allowing her eyes to show makes lip reading impossible. In the same way, chaos is caused to the deaf world by the sudden growth of facial hair on men. The moustache covers the upper lip. All of a sudden lip reading is made intensely difficult. Men are difficult to read as it is! Just about impossible with the caterpillar lounging quite comfortably on their upper lips!
Let me tell you about my moustache experience!
I was doing one of my favourite things, ambling around Woolworths, when suddenly I felt this tap on my shoulder. I turned to see the face of a man with a very large moustache. It was so large that I couldn’t see his lips but his eyes were dancing with life.
Gaynor Young?” he asked.
I nodded and he said: “I saw….”
I interrupted him with a laugh.”I’m sorry but while your moustache is rather magnificent, it covers your lips. I am deaf and I need to lip read. Would you mind if I did this?” I placed my hand under his chin. “Now I can feel what you’re saying.”
I watched you doing that to Derek watts on Carte Blanche (For those that don’t know, Derek Watts is the host for a documentary investigative program in SA called Carte Blanche) It’s amazing! I tried it and I can’t feel what a person’s saying. How do you do it?”
“My hearing and 60% of my eyesight were killed off. As a result my other senses rallied round! My sense of touch is now amazing.” I wriggled my fingers provocatively before him laughing.
He returned my laughter. “I’m sorry, I should have introduced myself. I’m Matthew Taylor. "Everyone calls me Matt.”
We chatted together for a while and them I looked at my watch. “I must shoot,” I said, ” my rehearsal starts at ten.”
“Hey, are you acting again?”
“No, not acting. Those days are over but I am performing in my one woman show Gaynor Rising. It opens in a month at the Kwasuka Theatre. Please come?”
Count me in. I’ll be there.”
Four weeks later I was performing in my show when I saw a familiar moustache dancing happily at one of my jokes. Matt had come! Afterwards, I met him in the bar. He had loved my show! He then bought my book and took down my cell phone number. He finished My Plunge to Fame the next day and phoned to say how much he had enjoyed it. I invited him to lunch.
The doorbell rang. I gave a last check of my beautifully laid table and went to answer it. I opened the door to be met by this massive bunch of twenty-five yellow roses. “Ohhh,” I breathed. He moved the bunch and my world stood still. Matt’s beautiful mouth was grinning at me. His lips were deliciously gorgeous! The moustache had gone. “I thought it would make communicating easier,” he said.
Well, yes, I thought, I am very happy to ‘communicate’ with that mouth! How could I fail to be drawn in Matt’s direction? An un-mustached man with dancing eyes who gives you twenty-five yellow roses at lunch! That day a wonderful relationship began.
I have kept a letter he wrote to me……
God was looking down at the people on earth, admiring his handiwork, ‘I’ve created a hardy yet loving people’ said he. ‘Sure there are bad elements, but that serves to fortify the human soul as well as providing balance. Without pitfalls there cannot be triumphs.’
The Devil appeared and said, ‘sorry lot aren’t they! You know you were just lucky when I tested Job. I bet you if I tested another of your servants I could bring them to their knees. Send me whoever you wish and I’ll turn them to the dark side’.
So God went to his angels and asked for a volunteer to silence the prince of darkness. All the angels quivered and were afraid for this was going to be a test of the limits of patience, courage and of love. One angel, God’s favourite, stepped forward and said ‘father, I’ll do it’. God said ‘you know that you will have to endure incredible suffering for a long time’. The angel replied, ‘it is the least I can do’.
So God made his preparations. He knew that without the support of a loving family we are nothing. So the first task was to provide a loving home in the form of an earthly mother and father. To these two, God gave endless patience and love. He also gave them hearts that were capable of loving to the ends of the earth and to carry an enormous amount of heartache.
And so the stage was set. God sent down his favourite angel and said, ‘my child you are to endure terrible suffering, but I will compensate you’. With that, the angel set about the business of living a life on earth.
The years went past until the Devil thought, ‘the time is right, look how happy that angel is. It is time to make life a misery’.
And so a tragic accident took place. The next few years were filled with sorrow, pain, frustration and a deep sense of loss, for nothing would ever be the same again. The angel’s family rallied around and provided the support that God knew was needed.
The angel adapted to a new way of life, unable to continue with the old one.
The people all saw the angel’s pain, spirit, fortitude and big heart.
Because of the suffering endured by this angel, many people were fortified knowing they had less to overcome.
Because of the tremendous spirit shown by this angel, many people were heartened, knowing that we can endure more if we have to.
Because this angel had no guile, was humble and still loved God, the Devil was vanquished in many hearts and turned away in defeat to find new prey.
God compensated this angel with friends who loved her only as true friends can.
Then I met you and my life was filled with song and my heart with love for Gods favourite angel.
I am proud to call you my friend.
To read more of Gaynor's thoughts, please visit her blog at www.earearblog.com
Article by Gaynor Young
posted in Community / Language & Communication
16th November 2013