Listening vs Reading; Words vs Experience

Barbara's picture

I have some reflection on the exercise that we took turn to read our Sunday online post in the class today. A lot of us did pictures last week, and we didn’t have a chance to look at them but listened to excerpted words. Nevertheless, I found many of those words very visual and vivid. I felt I saw the objects that were described by listening to the words - the spinning leaves and the deep far sky… And they left me such a deep impression, which I don’t think would have been achieved by reading those words. Because when we read, alphabets are what we first see, and it requires a second process of creating a visual impression. Moreover, I don’t think it is only language (the descriptive words that are being used) that is contributing to deepening an image in my mind. I could not have seen those images if I haven’t experienced them myself. For example I wasn’t able to see the circus rehearsal so vividly because I wasn’t there. My brief reflections are 1) it helps to  grasp a literal idea if I move my eyes off the text from time to time; 2) in this case languages served to record one’s own experience and evoke other’s similar experience and it is more effective if the reader/listener have similar experience.

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