Detail View: RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive: Character development in ASL narrative

Filename: 
ds_0064_rosefjeldrichards_cap_01.mp4
Identifier: 
ds_0064_rosefjeldrichards_cap_01.mp4
Title: 
Character development in ASL narrative
Creator: 
Rose, Heidi M., 1963-
Subject: 
American Sign Language literature
Subject: 
Deaf, Writings of the, American
Subject: 
Deaf, Theater for the
Subject: 
Storytelling
Subject: 
Characters and characteristics
Subject: 
Deaf Poetry
Subject: 
ASL poetry
Summary: 
This presentation explores the development of character in ASL narrative, focusing primarily on a story created by Julianna Fjeld and told through the persona of a bag lady. We examine the process by which Fjeld created the bag lady character, and we examine how the elements of language use and theatricality contribute to the creation of character in ASL literature. Through this case study approach, our goal is to begin building a theory which will be applicable to character development in other ASL narratives, poetry, and drama. Julianna Fjeld performs the story during this presentation.
Publisher: 
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Digital Publisher: 
Rochester Institute of Technology - RIT Libraries - RIT Archive Collections
Contributor: 
Fjeld, Julianna
Contributor: 
Richards, Jaine
Contributor: 
American Sign Language Literature Conference (2nd 1996 National Technical Institute for the Deaf)
Date of Original: 
1996
Date of Digitization: 
2018
Broad Type: 
moving image
Digital File Format: 
mp4
Physical Format: 
VHS
Dimensions of Original: 
55 minutes
Language: 
American Sign Language
Language: 
English
Original Item Location: 
RITDSA.0064
Library Collection: 
Sculptures in the Air: An Accessible Online Video Repository of the American Sign Language (ASL) Poetry and Literature Collections
Library Collection: 
Karen Christie ASL Literature Collection
Digital Project: 
2018-2019 CLIR Grant-ASL Poetry and Literature
Catalog Record: 
https://albert.rit.edu/record=b3955817
Catalog Record: 
https://twcarchivesspace.rit.edu/repositories/2/resources/852
Place: 
New York - Rochester
RIT Spaces and Places: 
Henrietta Campus
Rights: 
RIT Libraries makes materials from its collections available for educational and research purposes pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. It is your responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright holder to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form.
Rights: 
CC BY-NC-ND: Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Transcript: 
PEOPLE DIE. WHY IS THAT? WHY? WHY DO PEOPLE DIE? NOW... TELL ME WHY NOW. CAN YOU TELL ME WHY? CAN YOU LOVE ME? LOVE ME. ME, ME. LOVE ME. THIS IS HOME. A LONG TIME AGO... THERE WAS AN ANSWERING MACHINE CONNECTED TO A TTY, AND I SAT IN FRONT OF IT. AND MY MOTHER TYPED TO ME ON THE SCREEN, "WE MISS YOU." "PLEASE CALL US AFTER 3:00 TOMORROW AFTERNOON. PLEASE. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, MOM." TOMORROW AT 3:00. NO, NO, NO. AFTER 3:00 TOMORROW I CALL MOM. I WATCHED THE PHONE ALL NIGHT AND INTO THE MORNING. I WONDER WHY SHE WANTS ME TO CALL. AND I LOOKED AT THE CLOCK. 8:00. 9:00 10:00. 11:00. 12:00. WAITING. SO STRANGE. SO STRANGE. SO STRANGE. MOM. MOM WANTS ME TO CALL AFTER 3:00 TODAY. AFTER 3:00. THE CLOCK GOT BIGGER AND THE HAND WENT AROUND IN A CIRCLE AGAIN UNTIL IT WAS 1:00, AND THE CLOCK GOT BIGGER AND THE LITTLE HAND AND THE BIG HAND WENT AROUND TILL IT WAS 2:00. AND THAT CLOCK WAS HUGE FOR THAT HOUR. THE HAND WENT AROUND TILL 3:00. MOM SAID AFTER 3:00. WAIT, WAIT, WAIT. 3:01, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 3:07. AND I PUT THE RECEIVER ON THE TTY... AND DIALED IN THE NUMBER. "MOM? MOM?" I SAW THE LIGHTS, BUT AN ANSWERING MACHINE PICKED UP. I PUT THE RECEIVER BACK ON ITS CRADLE, AND THEN I PUT IN THE NUMBERS AGAIN WHEN I PUT IT ON THE TTY AND GOT AN ANSWERING MACHINE AGAIN. NO, NO, THAT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE. BACK AND FORTH, THE CRADLE ON, THE CRADLE OFF. AN ANSWERING MACHINE IT'S HEARING. I THOUGHT IF SOMEBODY PICKED UP, I COULD SCREAM, I COULD TALK INTO THE RECEIVER AND LEAVE A MESSAGE. THERE WAS NO REPLY. BACK AND FORTH AND BACK AND FORTH. AND THE ANSWERING MACHINE AND THE ANSWERING MACHINE, BACK AND FORTH AND BACK AND FORTH. WHAT'S GOING ON? THE CLOCK IS HUGE. 3:45. I'M SO TIRED FROM WAITING. I TOOK THE RECEIVER OFF THE TTY AND REPLACED IT. AND I WAITED. WHERE'S MOM? WHEN WILL SHE CALL? AND THEN THE LIGHTS CAME ON, INDICATING THAT THERE WAS A CALL, SO I PUT THE RECEIVER ON IT AGAIN. IT'S MY COUSIN? MY COUSIN? SAYING, "I'M SO SORRY. "I HAVE SUCH SAD NEWS. "YOUR HOUSE CAUGHT FIRE. YOUR MOTHER IS DEAD." NO! NO! NO. ALL NIGHT AND THE NEXT MORNING I WAITED UNTIL I GOT ONTO AN AIRPLANE AND SAT THERE IN SHOCK. ON THAT PLANE FOR HOURS AND HOURS. IT SEEMED TO TAKE FOREVER. I FELT A POUNDING IN MY HEART. SHH. A POUNDING IN MY HEART AS IF SOMEBODY WAS BEATING ON THE WALLS OF MY CHEST. BE QUIET. SHH. EVERYBODY CAN HEAR YOU. AND THAT POUNDING WAS SO INSISTENT. AND I LOOKED MORE CLOSELY AND SAW A LITTLE DOOR OVER MY HEART WITH A LITTLE KNOB, AND I OPENED THIS DOOR AND THERE WAS A CUTE LITTLE GIRL WITH A BOW IN HER HAIR WHO STUCK HER HEAD OUT AND SAID HELLO. "WHO ARE YOU?" "YOU DON'T KNOW WHO I AM? "ARE YOU CRAZY? I'M JULIANNA." "OH, JULIANNA. WELL, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" "DO YOU MIND IF I COME OUT?" SHE SAID. AND I SAID, "SURE, COME ON OUT," AND THIS LITTLE GIRL WITH HER BOW IN HER HAIR SAT RIGHT NEXT TO ME ON THAT AIRPLANE, AND THEN SAID TO GOD, "GOD, SHOW ME A BEE. "IF I CAN SEE A BEE, I'LL KNOW THAT MY MOTHER IS SAFE "IN HEAVEN WITH YOU. "WHY? BECAUSE MY MOTHER'S NICKNAME WAS BEA. "B-E-A. AND YOU KNOW, B-E-A RHYMES WITH BEE. "B-E-E. AND SO I'LL KNOW MY MOTHER'S ALL RIGHT "AND SHE'S SAFELY IN HEAVEN WITH YOU IF YOU CAN PRESENT TO ME A BEE." I GOT TO WHERE I WAS GOING. AND AFTER THE FUNERAL, MY FATHER AND I WENT BACK TO THE HOUSE. WE WENT IN AND WERE WELCOMED BY THE SMELL OF ACRID AIR, SMOKE HANGING IN THE ROOMS. WE MADE OUR WAY THROUGH AND THE SOOT AND THE SMELL STUCK TO OUR CLOTHES AND OUR SKIN. AND THEN MY FATHER SHOWED ME THE STAIRWAY UP TO THE BEDROOM AND SAID, "WE MUST GO THERE." SO UP THE STAIRS WE WENT. AND OPENED THE DOOR TO THE BEDROOM TO A SIGHT I WILL NEVER FORGET AS LONG AS I LIVE. THE BLACKENED WALLS, THE BLACKENED FLOOR FOREVER ETCHED IN MY MEMORY. A LAMPSHADE THAT HAD BLISTERED AND THEN MELTED DOWN. THE BED COMPLETELY DESTROYED BY THE FLAMES. I CAN SEE IT NOW IN MY MIND. IT WAS TERRIBLE. "DAD, DAD, LOOK," AND I SHOWED HIM ON THE FLOOR. AMONGST ALL THE BLACK ASHES, THERE WAS A LIGHTER OUTLINE OF A BODY. "THIS IS WHERE MOM WAS. YOU CAN SEE. "YOU CAN SEE THE OUTLINE OF HER HERE. THIS IS WHERE SHE DIED." MY FATHER GRABBED ME BY THE SHOULDERS AND GOT ME UPRIGHT. "PLEASE CALM DOWN." "BUT MOM WAS HERE. SHE WAS HERE. THIS IS WHERE HER BODY WAS. I SEE IT." "CALM DOWN," HE SAID. "CALM DOWN." OVER AGAINST THE WALL THERE WAS A DRESSER. AND I STILL SEE THIS IN MY MIND'S EYE STILL. ALL OF THE CLOTHES HAD BEEN BURNT TO ASHES. ASHES EVERYWHERE. I LOOKED OVER TO MY FATHER, BUT HE WAS BUSY CLEANING IN ANOTHER AREA OF THE ROOM. OH, I REALIZED THAT'S WHY WE'RE HERE. WE HAVE TO START CLEANING UP. AND I REACHED BACK TO THE BACK OF THIS DRESSER, AND I WAS ABLE TO GET A PAIR OF SHOES OUT FROM THE BACK THAT HAD NOT BEEN TOUCHED BY THE FIRE. IT'S A MIRACLE. MAYBE THE ASHES HAD PROTECTED THEM. AND I PUT MY HAND BACK AND I FOUND MORE AND MORE AND MORE PAIRS OF SHOES, WHICH I LINED UP ON THE FLOOR NEXT TO EACH OTHER. BEAUTIFUL SHOES OF MY MOTHER'S THAT MY MOTHER WOULD NO LONGER PUT HER FEET INTO. NOW WE'D HAVE TO GIVE THEM AWAY, AND THEY WOULD BE GONE. I LOOKED AT MY HANDS, AND UNDER THE FINGERNAILS WAS BLACK ASH. AND I CAREFULLY STARTED TO CLEAN MY FINGERNAILS. I WANTED TO REMNANT OF THAT ASH LEFT BENEATH THEM. I WANTED MY HANDS CLEAN OF THIS PLACE. I FELT SOMETHING PUSH MY HEAD, TAP MY HEAD. WHAT WAS THAT? MY FATHER WAS OVER IN THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM QUIETLY CLEANING. WHAT COULD IT BE? I FELT THAT TAP ON MY HEAD AGAIN. WHAT IS IT? THERE WAS A SENTENCE HANGING IN THE AIR. "PLEASE GO TO THE LIVING ROOM NOW." WHAT? WHAT? "DAD, DAD. "WE'RE SUPPOSED TO GO TO THE LIVING ROOM. SOMETHING JUST TOLD ME I HAVE TO GO TO THIS OTHER ROOM." "SO I'M GONNA GO THERE." SO I WENT DOWN THE STEPS AND I WENT INTO THE LIVING ROOM. MORE SMOKE HUNG IN THE AIR. I SAT DOWN AND LOOKED AROUND. WHY WAS I SUMMONED HERE? AND I SAW SOMETHING FLYING THROUGH THE AIR. WHAT IS THAT? WHAT IS THIS THING FLYING IN THE AIR? IT SCARED ME. IT FRIGHTENED ME. UNTIL I REALIZED IT WAS A BABY BEE THAT CAME RIGHT UP INTO MY CENTER OF VISION. I WAS TERRIFIED. I DIDN'T WANT THIS THERE. BUT IT WAS STARING RIGHT AT ME. AND THEN IT FLEW DOWN TO THE FLOOR... RIGHT ON THE FLOOR. AND THE SUN SHONE THROUGH A WINDOW, AND THIS BEE LANDED RIGHT WHERE A SQUARE OF LIGHT HIT THE FLOOR. I GOT DOWN ON MY HANDS AND KNEES, AND I CRAWLED AFTER THIS TINY LITTLE BEE. IT WAS A BABY BEE. WHAT'S IT DOING THERE? OUTSIDE IT'S SNOWING. IT'S WINTERTIME. HOW ON EARTH COULD A BEE SURVIVE IN THE WINTER? WHAT'S IT DOING HERE? WAIT A MINUTE. IT'S GOD. GOD IS SHOWING ME. GOD IS HERE. I SCOOPED UP THIS BEE. "MOM, MOM. MOM. MOM. DAD!" I YELLED. "DAD, COME, COME, COME." AND MY FATHER CAME DOWN. I SAID, "LOOK, LOOK, LOOK. "LOOK, LOOK IN MY HAND. LOOK. IT'S MOM." AND THEN THE BEE FLEW AWAY. "MOM, MOM," I CHASED IT. I CHASED IT AROUND. "DON'T GO. DON'T GO." MAMA." THE LITTLE GIRL WITH THE BOW IN HER HAIR SAID, "I LOVE YOU. BYE." I LOVE YOU, TOO." WHAT ABOUT MOM? "COME HERE," SHE SAID. AND WE EMBRACED EACH OTHER, THIS LITTLE GIRL AND I. AND SHE SAID, "I WILL CRAWL BACK INTO YOUR HEART AGAIN AND STAY THERE." "YOU WANT TO COME BACK IN?" I SAID. AND I HELPED HER GATHER HERSELF TO PUT HER BACK INTO MY HEART. AND THAT LITTLE GIRL WITH THE BOW IN THE HAIR SAID, "NEVER SHUT THIS DOOR FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE." "YOU'RE GOING TO STAY THERE?" I SAID. "WHY? YOU'RE GONNA STAY THERE WITH ME?" "BECAUSE YOU AND I WILL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR EACH OTHER," SHE SAID. AND SHE IS. ROSE: NOW, I'LL BE SETTING UP OUR ANALYSIS FOR YOU. I'LL BE VERY BRIEF. BUT I WANT TO FOCUS ON CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT... HOW JULIANNA CREATED THE CHARACTER AND HOW SHE DEVELOPED IT. IT'S INTERESTING THAT IN ASL POETRY AND STORYTELLING, CHARACTERS ARE EMBODIED BY THE PRESENTER, WHEREAS IN WRITTEN LANGUAGES, LANGUAGES THAT HAVE WRITTEN FORMS, THE POETRY AND LITERATURE IS SEPARATE FROM THE WRITER. BUT WITH ASL, THE CHARACTERS AND THE SIGNER IS MERGED. THEY'RE INSEPARABLE. THEY'RE IN THE SAME BODY. AND THAT'S QUITE IMPORTANT FOR OUR ANALYSIS. THAT'S OUR FIRST POINT. JULIANNA HAS CREATED THE BAG LADY AS HER CHARACTER. AND THEY'RE CONNECTED TO EACH OTHER IN SOME WAY THAT WE LIKE TO ANALYZE. JULIANNA MUST BECOME THE BAG LADY IN ORDER FOR HER TO EXPRESS HER LIFE EXPERIENCES. BUT WHY DOES SHE NEED TO MAKE THAT ADJUSTMENT IN HERSELF, THE TRANSFORMATION? SECONDLY, WE'D LIKE TO DISCUSS HOW THE CHARACTERS OF THE BAG LADY AND THE INNER CHILD ARE DEVELOPED SEPARATELY. WHAT KINDS OF ASL TECHNIQUES AND WHAT KIND OF THEATRICAL TECHNIQUES ARE USED TO DEVELOP THEM? RICHARDS: OK, FIRST-- THE FIRST TIME THAT WE WATCHED JULIANNA TELL THIS STORY, WE ASKED SO MANY THINGS TO HER. WE PULLED OUT HER STORY. THE CHARACTER OF THE BAG LADY, WHY WAS SHE INVENTED? SO WHEN WE ASKED AND PULLED OUT A GREAT DEAL OF EMOTION, RIGHT, AND IT'S STILL THERE. SO YOU WATCH AND YOU CAN ADD ANYTHING YOU WANT. AND IF YOU DON'T MIND IF I ASK YOU QUESTIONS. THE BAG LADY'S CHARACTER WAS STARTED BACK IN 1977. SHE WAS FASCINATED BY STREET PEOPLE AND THEIR LIVES. THEY TRIED TO JOIN THE, QUOTE, NORMAL SOCIETY AND FOLLOW THE RULES. AND THEY FAILED. AND THEY TRIED AGAIN AND FAILED. THERE WASN'T A MATCH. THEY KEPT FAILING. AND THEY FINALLY JOINED THE STREET SOCIETY. AND THEY WERE FREE, AND THEY WERE FREE TO BE HONEST. AND THEY WEREN'T FAILURES. THEY WERE SUCCESSFUL BUILDING A LIVING SHARING WITH EACH OTHER, NOT TRYING TO FIT INTO THE SOCIETY. SO SHE WAS FASCINATED BY THIS. ALSO, JULIANNA HERSELF, AS A DEAF PERSON, HAD SOME PARALLELS, BECAUSE DEAF PEOPLE MUST TRY TO FIT INTO THE HEARING WORLD, TO TRY TO FOLLOW THE HEARING PEOPLE'S RULES AND OFTEN FAIL AND FAIL. BUT THEN IN THE DEAF COMMUNITY, THEY FEEL A BOND. THEY FEEL MORE FREE TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES. IT'S SOMEWHAT SIMILAR. BACK IN 1977 UNTIL NOW, JULIANNA'S ALSO DONE THE BAG LADY, BUT THERE'S BEEN MORE INTERACTION WITH THE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS BACK AND FORTH WITH AUDIENCES. IT'S NEVER BEEN HER STORY FROM HER OWN REAL LIFE. SHE'S NEVER TOLD HER OWN STORY. NOW, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME SHE'S WORKED ON HER STORY. THE STORY OF HER MOTHER IS A TRUE ONE. IN THE PAST, SHE MET AN AUDIENCE, THEY TALKED TOGETHER. THEY'RE PLAYING TOGETHER. I WENT TO A JEWISH CONFERENCE ONE TIME. THERE WAS SOME KIND OF TOPIC RELATED TO MORE SURFACE LEVELS OF THE MIND AND WORD PLAYS. BUT THE EMOTION WAS KEPT DOWN. IT WAS NEVER REALLY EXPRESSED WITH AN AUDIENCE, SO THIS IS THE FIRST TIME WITH AN AUDIENCE TO EXPRESS THIS EMOTION. YOU UNDERSTAND JULIANNA TODAY HAD NO COSTUME TO TELL THE STORY ABOUT HER OWN MOTHER. THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE. IF WE MET IN PERSON, SHE COULD TELL HER STORY, BUT IT WOULD STILL BE SURFACE. THE FULL EMOTION IS NOT POSSIBLE TO EXPRESS. IT'S TOO HARD. FJELD: I WOULD LIKE TO ADD SOMETHING TO THAT. WHEN I AM MYSELF, I TEND TO SIGN PSE. I USE ENGLISH WORD ORDER AND I TALK ABOUT THINGS IN THE ABSTRACT. BUT WHEN I TALK ABOUT AS THE BAG LADY, I'M FREE. I CAN SAY ANYTHING I FEEL LIKE SAYING. I'M LIBERATED WHEN I BECOME SOMEONE ELSE. RICHARDS: ALSO, IT'S SO INTERESTING TALKING ABOUT EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION. THERE'S AN INTERESTING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN 3 THINGS. THERE'S JULIANNA HERSELF AND THE BAG LADY AND THE INNER CHILD, THE LITTLE CHILD. REALLY IN REAL LIFE, JULIANNA HERSELF CAN'T TELL HER STORY WITH FULL EMOTION. WHEN HER MOTHER DIED, IT REALLY HAPPENED. SHE TRIED TO FACE THE GRIEF, AND IT WAS SO HARD. THE PAIN WAS TERRIBLE TO FACE GOING THROUGH THAT PROCESS OF GOING HOME. IT WAS REALLY DIFFICULT. BUT THAT INNER CHILD CAME OUT AND HELPED. IT WAS SOME KIND OF A LINK UNTIL SHE FELT MORE ABLE TO GET THROUGH IT. IT WAS VERY PAINFUL, BUT SHE WAS ABLE TO FACE IT. SO SHE'S DEPENDED ON THAT INNER CHILD TO HELP HER. IT WAS THE SAME IN THE STORY. JULIANNA HERSELF CAN'T TELL THE STORY TO AN AUDIENCE, BUT WHEN SHE PUTS ON A COSTUME AND A HAT AND BECOMES THE BAG LADY, SHE MUST DO THAT. SHE HAS TO DEPEND UPON THE BAG LADY TO TELL HER STORY. AND DURING THE STORY ITSELF, THE BAG LADY IS JUST SITTING THERE. SHE CAN'T DO IT EITHER. AND SHE GOES HOME IN SHOCK. AND THE INNER CHILD COMES OUT AND IS FREE TO TELL THE STORY. AND AGAIN, THE BAG LADY IS DEPENDING UPON HER HELP AND SUPPORT. SO IT'S ALL LINKED TOGETHER. IT'S VERY INTERESTING. OH, YES, I WANT TO BACK UP JUST A LITTLE BIT. WHEN SHE TOLD HER STORY FOR THE FIRST TIME, WHEN DID SHE MEET THE BAG LADY? CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT? FJELD: YES. IT WAS IN NEW YORK AND... I'M SORRY. IT WAS IN NEW YORK IN AN OFFICE BUILDING. AND I WENT DOWN THE STAIRS AND I SAW A BAG LADY SITTING WITH HER STUFF. I WAS REALLY FASCINATED BY HER. SHE WAS TALKING, BUT SHE SEEMED HAPPY. AND I PASSED HER EVERY DAY WHEN I WAS GOING ON MY WAY HOME. I SEEMED TO LIKE HER. HER LIFE SEEMED INTERESTING. I WANTED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT IT. SHE SEEMED SO INNOCENT. YOU KNOW, NORMALLY PEOPLE GO THROUGH PAIN AND SORROW AND LOSE THEIR INNOCENCE. AND ONCE YOU'VE LOST THAT INNOCENCE, YOU CAN NEVER GET IT BACK. YOU LEARN WISDOM AND EXPERIENCE, GRIEF, PAIN, BUT YOU LOSE YOUR INNOCENCE WHEN YOU GET THAT. BUT THIS BAG LADY SEEMED TO HAVE LOST HER INNOCENCE BUT GOTTEN IT BACK, AND I DIDN'T KNOW HOW. IT SEEMED THAT HER INNER CHILD CAME BACK TO HER. SHE HAD GONE THROUGH PAIN AND GOTTEN HER INNOCENCE BACK. AND SHE SEEMED TO ENJOY THE WORLD NO MATTER WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO HER. SHE HAD LOST HER INNOCENCE AND GOT IT BACK. AND I WANTED THAT INNOCENCE BACK, TOO. I WANTED TO FEEL CALM AND PEACEFUL IN THE WORLD. I DIDN'T KNOW HOW I WOULD BE ABLE TO DO THAT. WHEN I WENT HOME, I GOT GLOVES AND I GAVE HER GLOVES, AND SHE ACCEPTED THEM, JUST AS A CHILD WOULD ACCEPT GIFTS THAT YOU GAVE TO HER. I THOUGHT, "HMM, WHAT ELSE COULD I DO?" SO I TRIED TO GIVE HER COFFEE, BUT SHE WOULDN'T TAKE COFFEE FROM ME. I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT KINDS OF THINGS SHE WAS SAYING. SHE WAS SPEAKING IN SOME ODD WAY. I GUESS WE BOTH WERE SPEAKING IN ODD WAYS TO EACH OTHER. WE GESTURED AND SPOKE TO EACH OTHER, DIDN'T UNDERSTAND A SINGLE WORD, BUT SOMEHOW OUR SPIRITS CONNECTED. WHEN I MOVED TO CALIFORNIA IN 1976, I REALLY COULDN'T FORGET THAT WOMAN. SHE WAS SO SWEET. SO I THOUGHT I'D GO BACK AND SEE IF THE BAG-- I THOUGHT I WOULD SEE IF I COULD ACT THE BAG LADY. AND, OH, MAN. I JUST FELT SAFE. I COULD SAY ANYTHING I WANTED. AS JULIANNA, I COULDN'T SAY ANYTHING I WANTED. I WAS TOO WORRIED ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE MIGHT THINK OF ME, AND I'D HAVE TO ESCAPE FROM THEM, BUT AS THE BAG LADY, I COULD SAY WHATEVER I WANTED, AND THAT'S HOW IT'S BEEN SINCE. ROSE: OK. SO OUR SECOND POINT IS... OUR SECOND QUESTION IS HOW THE CHARACTER WAS DEVELOPED. WE WANT TO LOOK AT ASL LINGUISTIC TECHNIQUES. YOU KNOW, YOU'VE HEARD MANY TALKS TODAY ABOUT THE RHYTHM OF SIGN LANGUAGE, THE REPETITIONS THAT ARE INCLUDED IN POETRY AND STORYTELLING, AND THAT'S A TECHNIQUE THAT JULIANNA USES. TO DEVELOP HER CHARACTER. FOR EXAMPLE, AT THE BEGINNING OF HER STORY, THE BAG LADY IS SITTING HUNCHED OVER ROCKING BACK AND FORTH. AND THEN YOU SEE REPEATED MOVEMENTS OVER AND OVER AGAIN. DEAF, DEAF. FUCK YOU, FUCK YOU. WHY? WHY? AND THOSE SIGNS ARE REPEATED AGAIN AND AGAIN. LOVE ME. LOVE ME. EACH SIGN IS SHORT AND SIMPLE. BUT TOGETHER THEY MEAN SOMETHING ABOUT THE CHARACTER, THAT THE CHARACTER'S A LONER, THAT SHE'S IN GRIEF, THAT SHE HAS A HARD LIFE... THAT HER EMOTIONS MAKE HER WEAK, THAT SHE'S PROTECTED-- SHE'S DISTANCED HERSELF FROM HERSELF. YOU CAN SEE THIS IN THE RHYTHM OF THE SIGNS. YOU ALSO SEE HER HONESTY. SHE DOESN'T HAVE TO ELABORATE THINGS SHE'S FEELING WITH WORDS. SHE JUST SAYS THEM STRAIGHT OUT, SIMPLY. NOW, WHEN JULIANNA IS ACTING AS THE INNER CHILD, HER LANGUAGE IS DIFFERENT. SHE'S MORE CHATTY. SHE SPEAKS MORE ELABORATELY. WHEN SHE TALKS TO GOD, SHE'S CHATTY AND PLAYFUL, AND SHE SAYS, YOU KNOW, "SHOW ME A BEE IF MY MOTHER'S ALIVE. THE NAMES ARE THE SAME." BLAH BLAH BLAH. SHE'S CHATTING AND SHE SIGNS QUICKLY. SHE SHOWS THAT HER MIND IS QUICK AND THAT HER BODY IS ENERGETIC, THAT SHE'S YOUNG, AND THAT'S QUITE DIFFERENT FROM JULIANNA'S POSTURING AND MOVEMENTS AS THE BAG LADY. AND SHE ACTS LIKE A LITTLE KID BECAUSE THAT'S HER INNER CHILD. THE INNER CHILD'S SIGNS ARE REPETITIVE LIKE A CHILD SIGNS. SO THE CHILD WILL SIGN, "MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY." BUT AS THE BAG LADY, JULIANNA SIGNS EACH SIGN SLOWLY. AND WHEN SHE SIGNS THE SIGN FOR "MOTHER," FOR EXAMPLE, SHE ONLY SIGNS-- ONLY CONTACTS HER CHIN ONCE RATHER THAN SEVERAL TIMES AS SHE DOES AS THE LITTLE CHILD. THE RHYTHM AND THE REPETITION IN THE SIGN ALSO SHOWS FORESHADOWING. IT GIVES YOU AN IDEA THAT SOMETHING MIGHT HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE THAT WILL BE SAD, CAUSE GRIEF. WHEN YOU SEE HER SIGN TALKING ABOUT THE CLOCK, THE TIME MOVING, TIME MOVES ON WITHOUT ANY CALL FROM HER MOTHER. I'M SORRY, NOT A PHONE CALL FROM HER MOTHER. TIME MOVES ON AND IT'S VERY SLOW FOR HER. IT FEELS VERY SLOW. SHE WANTS IT TO HURRY UP SO THAT IT'S TIME FOR HER TO CALL, BUT SHE CAN'T. AND SHE SYMBOLIZES THIS WITH THE CLOCK BECOMING LARGER AND LARGER AND TIME TAKING UP MORE SPACE. THEN AS SHE STARTS CALLING HER MOTHER, HER RHYTHM BECOMES MORE AND MORE QUICK AND SHOWING THE CHARACTER'S GRIEF, UPSETNESS, DESPAIR, CONCERN, WORRY. AND YOU SEE THAT THROUGH THE KINDS OF TECHNIQUES SHE USES IN HER LANGUAGE. ANOTHER THING SHE USES AS METAPHOR, WE WERE TALKING ABOUT THE MEANING BEHIND A PARTICULAR WORD. SO WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE INNER CHILD, YOU KNOW THAT IT'S NOT A REAL LITTLE KID THAT'S WALKING AROUND IN THE WORLD. YOU KNOW THAT. BUT IN THE STORY, THE INNER CHILD SYMBOLIZES OR IS A METAPHOR... FOR A PART OF THE BAG LADY THAT IS FREE AND ABLE TO EXPRESS HERSELF AND EXPRESS HER EMOTIONS AND HER GRIEF. THE METAPHORS IN ENGLISH ARE DIFFERENT. IN ASL, METAPHORS ARE VERY VISUAL. THE AUDIENCE SEES THE BAG LADY AND THEN SEES AN ACTUAL-- THERE'S A SEPARATE CHARACTER THAT THEY SEE, THE INNER CHILD. NOW, WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT THAT THE AUDIENCE SEE BOTH THE CHARACTER AND THE INNER CHILD? THEY SEE HOW THE INNER CHILD INFLUENCES THE BAG LADY. THEY SEE THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE TWO. THEY SEE WHAT THE INNER CHILD CAN GIVE TO THE BAG LADY, THAT SHE GIVES HER HOPE AND ENERGY AND ZEST FOR LIFE. FJELD: I WOULD LIKE TO ADD ONE MORE THING BEFORE I FORGET. AS AN EXAMPLE-- AS AN EXPERIMENT, JAINE WAS PRESENTING ASL, ASKED ME IF I WOULD DO SOME SORT OF ASL LITERATURE IN SEATTLE. AND I DIDN'T REALLY KNOW WHAT SHE MEANT BY THAT. SHE TRIED TO EXPLAIN IT TO ME, BUT I WASN'T SURE WHAT SHE MEANT. SHE TALKED ABOUT POETRY AND STORYTELLING. AND I SAID, "WELL, WHAT ABOUT THEATER AND ACTING? ISN'T THAT PART OF POETRY?" AND WE REALIZED THAT NOBODY HAD ACTUALLY DONE ANY WORK ON THAT IN SEATTLE. WHEN WE DISCUSSED ASL LITERATURE, WE DIDN'T EVEN THINK OF THAT. YOU KNOW, ON THE WEST COAST, IN SEATTLE, THERE'S A VERY GOOD THEATER, BUT IT'S VERY DIFFICULT FOR DEAF PEOPLE TO GET INVOLVED IN IT. AND THE ANALYSIS OF IT HAS BEEN SO... IT'S BEEN SO LITTLE. THE PERFORMANCE HAS BEEN VERY HEARING PERSPECTIVE, AND WE REALLY WANT TO GET AWAY FROM THAT AND LOOK AT REAL DEAF THEATER. RICHARDS: WELL, YOU JUST TALKED ABOUT LANGUAGE AND HOW IT SHOWS CHARACTER. NOW I'D LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THEATER TECHNIQUES AND HOW THAT SHOW CHARACTER. SOME OF IT IS OBVIOUS, OF COURSE. IT'S FULL OF CHARACTER. IN WATCHING, I COULD SEE YOUR EXPRESSIONS WELL. YOU WERE REALLY PULLED INTO HER CHARACTER, STRONG TECHNIQUE. ONE TECHNIQUE IS INTERESTING IN THE WAY SHE USES SPACE. YOU KNOW, THERE'S A WOMAN HERE AND THE MAN THERE. YOU KNOW, YOU CAN USE THE SPACE. WELL, SHE USED THAT AND EXTENDED IT TO USE A LARGER SPACE AND AREA. FOR EXAMPLE, IN TALKING, YOU GO BACK AND FORTH, BACK AND FORTH, BUT TO MAKE IT LARGER, YOU CAN ACTUALLY MOVE LIKE THIS, SO USE SPACE FOR COMMUNICATION TO DEVELOP A CHARACTER SO YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE TWO CHARACTERS-- THE BAG LADY AND THE INNER CHILD. ALSO, IT WAS VERY INTERESTING. YOU KNOW, IN THEATER, SOMETIMES PEOPLE STAND ON THE STAGE, AND THEY'RE STORYTELLING, AND THEY HAVE SOME SORT OF A LINE WITH THE AUDIENCE BETWEEN THE LINE AND THE PERSON. JULIANNA CROSSES IT AND LOOKS AT PEOPLE, LOOKS DIRECTLY-- WHY? WHY?-- ACTUALLY TALKING WITH YOU, THE AUDIENCE, WHICH HELPS TO DRAW YOU IN. YOU SEE HER CHARACTER MORE CLEARLY. SOMETIMES PERFORMERS STAND WITH THIS LINE BETWEEN THEM... BUT SHE REALLY PULLS YOU IN SO THAT SHE CAN EXPRESS HER FEELINGS. ALSO, THE CHARACTER IS WONDERFUL. I NOTICED SEVERAL TIMES IT IS VERY METICULOUS. EVERYTHING HAS TO BE PERFECT. THE TOWEL HAS TO BE LAID DOWN. OH, SUCH AN EXAGGERATION. EVERYTHING HAD TO BE JUST RIGHT, MOVING EVERYTHING AROUND, AND THE USE OF A GREAT DEAL OF SPACE WITH THAT IS FASCINATING. IT SHOWS THE CHARACTER-- THE AGE, THE HEAVINESS, THE SADNESS, THE EMOTION-- AND ALL THROUGH THAT METICULOUS, SLOW USE OF SPACE, REALLY SHOWS THE CHARACTER, AND LATER, THE CLEANING OF THE FINGERNAILS, HAD TO DO EVERYTHING PERFECTLY. THE WORLD ISN'T PERFECT. HER WORLD HAD BEEN TOTALLY DESTROYED. OH, MY GOSH, 5 MINUTES? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE 20, THE 10, THE 5? YOU DID ALL THAT, AND IGNORED IT. OH, DEAR. I'M SORRY. OK. HMM. ALL RIGHT. ANOTHER INTERESTING USE OF SPACE... WAS TO TELL HER THAT HER MOTHER DIED, SHE WENT WAY BACK. SHE COULDN'T ACCEPT THE EMOTION. SHE HAD TO DISTANCE HERSELF. THE EMOTION WAS THERE. SHE DIDN'T WANT IT. SHE HAD TO MOVE BACK, AND THEN SHE MOVED FORWARD IN THE MORNING. IT SHOWS THE TIME AND THE CHARACTER CHANGE. YOU KNOW, IN THE PAST, YOU GO FORWARD TO THE FUTURE. SECOND INTERPRETER: Because that represents time in the past by going back there. I'm sorry. RICHARDS: ONE OTHER CHARACTER IS THE INNER CHILD. YOU KNOW, AT FIRST, THE BAG LADY WAS JUST SITTING THERE SO DESPONDENT, AND THEN THE CHILD COMES OUT... SAME PLACE, AND THE GIRL SITS LIKE THIS. YOU CAN SEE QUITE OBVIOUSLY THAT THE LITTLE GIRL HAS TAKEN CONTROL OF THE BAG LADY, AND NOW THE BAG LADY IS GOING TO BE ABLE TO FACE THINGS QUITE OBVIOUSLY. USING THE SAME SITE, THEY BECOME ONE. OH, DEAR. I'VE GOT TO HURRY. UM...HA! OH, LET'S SEE. OK. ALSO, FOR A CHARACTER, REMEMBER, HEIDI TALKED ABOUT LANGUAGE SHOWING CHARACTER, AND THERE'S THE BAG LADY AND THE LITTLE CHILD. WELL, OBVIOUSLY, THE BODY MOVES. FOR THE BAG LADY, IT'S LIKE THIS, ALL HUNCHED OVER AND SLOW-MOVING AND EYELIDS NEARLY CLOSED. THE LITTLE GIRL IS THE OPPOSITE. HER SHOULDERS ARE BACK, BRIGHT EYES, AND A WIDE-OPEN INNOCENCE. SHE'S A LITTLE KID. SHE DOESN'T KNOW ANYTHING. SHE'LL TRY ANYTHING, SO THE CHARACTER SHOWS THAT. LATER, THE LITTLE GIRL TOOK CONTROL INSIDE THE BAG LADY. WHEN THEY WENT IN THE HOUSE, IT WAS LIKE ONE CHARACTER. THEY BECAME ONE, THE LITTLE GIRL IN THE BAG LADY, AND THE BAG LADY IN THE LITTLE GIRL. THEY BECAME ONE, AND THAT REALLY HELPED TO SUPPORT IT. AT THE END.... THE LITTLE GIRL HAS TO GET BACK INSIDE. THE BAG LADY SHOWS THAT, BUT THE DOOR'S SUPPOSED TO BE OPEN BECAUSE FROM NOW ON, YOU CAN FACE THE WORLD, AND ANYTIME THINGS TERRIBLY UPSET, THERE WILL BE A LITTLE CHILD TO SUPPORT. THE WORDS DON'T HAVE TO SAY THAT. YOU ALREADY KNOW IT. IT'S OBVIOUS, SO-- ROSE: CAN I JUST GIVE A SHORT SYNOPSIS, PLEASE, IN CONCLUSION HERE? OK. WE TRY TO... SHOW THAT LINGUISTIC TECHNIQUES AND THEATRICAL TECHNIQUES ARE NOT DIVORCED FROM EACH OTHER, THAT THEY WORK TOGETHER TO SHOW CHARACTER. AT THE END OF THE STORY, YOU CAN SEE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE 3 PARTS OF JULIANNA. YOU CAN SEE THE INNER CHILD COMING OUT AND THEN RETURNING TO THE BAG LADY, CAN SEE THE BAG LADY BECOMING AT PEACE, AND THEN AT THE VERY LAST SECOND, YOU CAN SEE THE BAG LADY DISAPPEAR, AND YOU CAN SEE JULIANNA REPLACE HER... AT THE VERY END AS SHE APPEARS, SO THERE ARE 3 LEVELS THAT YOU CAN SEE JULIANNA IN THIS PERFORMANCE. VICTORSON: THIS IS CALLED "ANGEL GAME." IN A BEAUTIFUL, WHITE, HEAVENLY LAND, VAST AND BEAUTIFUL BELOW A PERFECT, BLUE SKY, THE HEAVENLY HOST OF ANGELS PLAYED INSTRUMENTS WITH THEIR GORGEOUS, WHITE WINGS... SO POWERFUL AND BEAUTIFUL. ONE PLAYED PIANO, ONE PLAYED VIOLIN, AND ANOTHER ANGEL WITH COKE-BOTTLE GLASSES, TRUE BOOKWORM, SAT READING A BOOK. ALL THE DIFFERENT ANGELS WERE ARRAYED THROUGHOUT HEAVEN. THERE WAS A LITTLE GROUP OF 3 YOUNG, SWEET ANGELS WITH THEIR BEAUTIFUL WINGS AND THEIR COMELY FIGURES, AND THEY WERE TALKING AMONGST EACH OTHER THE WAY GIGGLY, YOUNG ANGELS MIGHT, PUSHING EACH OTHER AND TEASING AS THEY WALKED ALONG. THERE WAS GRASS ALL AROUND, BUT UNDERSTAND, THIS BEAUTIFUL, HEAVENLY AREA WAS WHITE, WHITE, WHITE EVERYWHERE YOU LOOKED. ONE OF THEM SAW SOMETHING THAT LOOKED A LITTLE OUT OF PLACE. FURTHER OVER, THEY SAW A NAKED, YOUNG GIRL LYING WITH LIFELESS EYES STARING UP AT THE BLUE SKY ABOVE HER. THE 3 OF THEM WENT TO INVESTIGATE. SO PALE WAS THIS DEAD, YOUNG GIRL, NUDE, LYING THERE LIFELESS. THEY FELT HER FLESH. HER HAIR WAS ALL ASKANCE... AND THEY LOOKED AT EACH OTHER, AND THEIR WINGS, WHICH HAD BEEN OUTSPREAD, THEN FOLDED IN AS SADLY THEY TRIED TO DECIDE WHAT THEY COULD DO. NOW AT THE SAME TIME, GOD-- WITH HIS BEAUTIFUL, WHITE BEARD; MANE OF WHITE HAIR; AND HIS STRONG PHYSIQUE-- WAS WALKING ALONG, ASSAYING HIS DOMAIN WITH HIS BEAUTIFUL, SPARKLING EYES. HE BID GOOD DAY TO THE PIANIST... WHO ACKNOWLEDGED HIM AS HE WALKED BY, AND THE VIOLINIST, AND EVEN THE ANGEL READING TOOK A MOMENT OF HER READING TIME TO SAY GOOD MORNING TO GOD. GOD NOTICED SOMETHING GOING ON OVER IN AN AREA OF HEAVEN, SOME SORT OF ADO, AND HE WENT TO INVESTIGATE. HE APPROACHED THESE 3 ANGELS AND ASKED THEM WHAT WAS GOING ON, AND THEY POINTED TO THIS DEAD GIRL LYING THERE. "HMM. I WONDER WHERE SHE'S FROM." GOD LOOKED UP AND DOWN AND ALL AROUND, DID NOT HAVE AN ANSWER AS TO WHERE THIS GIRL HAD COME FROM, AND NEITHER DID THE ANGELS. EVERYBODY JUST LOOKED AT EACH OTHER IN WONDERMENT... AND GOD SAID, "LET'S BE CREATIVE ABOUT THIS. "WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO FIX HER. "WE'VE GOT A REALLY OLD JUNKYARD "OVER IN ANOTHER AREA OF HEAVEN. "WHY DON'T YOU GO DIG AROUND AND SEE IF YOU CAN FIND "SOME TOOLS OR SOMETHING TO MAYBE BE ABLE TO FIX THIS GIRL UP?" THE ANGELS ASSENTED, AND GOD LEFT THEM TO THEIR OWN DEVICES. ONE OF THEM SAID, "AN OLD JUNKYARD? SIGN ME UP. "I WANT TO GO LOOK AROUND THERE. IT SOUNDS FUN. YOU GUYS STAY BEHIND AND FIGURE SOMETHING ELSE OUT," SO THAT ADVENTUROUS ANGEL-- STUMBLING OVER CLOUDS AND WHITE, HEAVENLY GRASS-- MADE HER WAY OVER TO A DIFFERENT AREA OF HEAVEN, AND SHE LOOKED UP AT MASSIVE COLUMNS... WITH STATUES OF STRONG PEOPLE HOLDING UP A HUGE PORTICO IN WHICH STATUARY LOOMED, WARRIORS AND ANIMALS AND CHARIOTS IN A GREEK FRIEZE. A HUGE TEMPLE WAS IN FRONT OF HER, AND SHE ADMIRED IT. IT WAS SO ORNATE... AND THERE WERE HUGE DOORS WHICH WOULD OPEN TO THE INTERIOR OF THIS TEMPLE. SHE PUSHED OPEN THE KNOBS OF THESE MASSIVE DOORS, AND AS SOON AS SHE OPENED IT, ANOTHER WHITE, BLINDING LIGHT MET HER. WHITE BIRDS PASSED HER AS THEY FLEW OUT OF THIS AREA, AND BEHIND THESE DOORS, SHE SAW A CAR THAT LOOKED AS IF IT HAD BEEN DRIVING ALONG THE ROAD AND THEN CRASHED INTO SOMETHING, FLIPPED, AND THEN LANDED AND WAS DESTROYED. IN ANOTHER AREA, THERE WAS AN OLD BICYCLE THAT WAS ALSO DESTROYED AS IF IT HAD BEEN CARRIED SOMEPLACE BY WIND AND THEN SMASHED TO THE GROUND. AN OLD, TIN CAN WITH ITS TOP UP HAD BEEN ROLLING ALONG AND COME TO REST IN ANOTHER AREA. TO THE RIGHT AND TO THE LEFT, THERE WERE ALL SORTS OF PIECES OF JUNK, MOUNTAINS, MOUNTAIN OF WHITE, GLEAMING, DESTROYED GARBAGE AT THIS JUNKYARD. OVER IN A CORNER, SHE SAW A HOUSE AT A STRANGE ANGLE, AS IF IT HAD BEEN PICKED UP BY A TORNADO, SPUN AROUND SEVERAL TIMES, AND THEN THROWN TO THE GROUND, WHERE IT LAY ATILT. THE DOOR HUNG ON ITS HINGES, AND SHE APPROACHED AND OPENED IT. IT WAS DIRTY INSIDE, TABLES, CHAIRS, FOOD SPREAD EVERYWHERE, KNOCKED ALL ASUNDER. SHE SAW THE BATHROOM, THE TOILET ON ITS SIDE, BROKEN OFF OF ITS PEDESTAL. THE MIRROR WAS CRACKED AND SMASHED INTO A MILLION PIECES AND REFLECTED HER FACE IN A FRAGMENTED WAY. SHE OPENED A MEDICINE CABINET... AND WHEN SHE LOOKED AT ONE THING, A BUG JUMPED OUT AND SCARED HER, AND SHE OPENED A DRAWER AND ANOTHER DRAWER, SAW AN IMPLEMENT SHE WASN'T FAMILIAR WITH, AND FOUND SHE COULD USE IT TO GROOM HER HAIR AND HER WINGS. "HMM. NOT BAD." IN ANOTHER DRAWER, SHE LOOKED THROUGH BUT DIDN'T FIND ANYTHING USEFUL, AND THEN IN THE CABINET UNDERNEATH, SHE TOOK OUT A BOX WHICH, WHEN SHE OPENED IT, REVEALED TOOLS, ALL DIFFERENT SIZES-- RATCHETS AND DIFFERENT-SIZE SCREWDRIVERS. THAT MIGHT TO THE TRICK. SHE CLOSED EVERYTHING UP AND WANTED TO GET OUT OF THERE AS FAST AS SHE COULD, CLOSED UP THE HOUSE, CLOSED THE ROOM, AND TOOK HER TOOLBOX WITH HER. SHE OPENED THE HUGE DOORS THAT HAD LET HER IN AND THEN CLOSED THEM BEHIND HER. SHE LOOKED UP THE COLUMNS TO THE STATUES THAT WERE HOLDING UP THE HUGE PORTICO ABOVE, AND THEN WITH HER TOOLBOX, SHE MADE HER WAY ACROSS THOSE BUMPY CLOUDS, ALMOST DROPPING IT ALL THE TIME, HAVING TO VERY CAREFULLY WALK HER WAY OVER TO WHERE HER FRIENDS WERE. HER FRIENDS MOTIONED HER ONWARD. SHE OPENED THE TOOLBOX. ONE OF THE SAID, "WHAT'S THIS FOR?" SHE SAID, "I DON'T KNOW. WE'LL FIGURE OUT SOMETHING." THE GIRL WAS STILL LYING LIFELESS. THEY WORKED ON HER HAIR FIRST, TOOK TOOLS AND TRIED TO MAKE IT CURLY, DID DIFFERENT THINGS TO IT. "WELL, THIS DOESN'T SEEM TO BE WORKING. "HMM. THAT'S NOT BRINGING HER TO LIFE. THOSE BEAUTIFUL WINGS." "WE'VE LOST ALL OF OUR FEATHERS AT DIFFERENT TIMES. "MAYBE WE SHOULD TAKE SOME FEATHERS THAT ARE LYING AROUND, AND WE CAN PUT THEM IN HER BECAUSE SHE DOESN'T HAVE ANY," SO ONE BY ONE, THEY TOOK FEATHERS AND TRIED TO STICK THEM IN HER IN DIFFERENT PLACES. STILL, SHE WAS LIFELESS, EVEN THOUGH THESE FEATHERS WERE STICKING OUT OF HER HEAD. THEY WORKED ON HER IN ALL DIFFERENT WAYS-- TRYING TO STICK FEATHERS IN, TRYING TO FIX THINGS IN DIFFERENT WAYS, ANYTHING THEY COULD IMAGINE, BRAIDING AND FEATHERING-- AND THE GIRL LAY LIFELESS. NOW, GOD WAS SITTING ON HIS HEAVENLY THRONE, OPENED HIS MASSIVE BOOK... OF DATES, NAMES, WHO'S IN HEAVEN, WHO'S OUT HEAVEN, ALL OF THE INFORMATION HE NEEDED. HE LOOKED AT HIS LEDGER... AND RESTED. HE FELT A BREEZE. A BREEZE RIFFLED HIS FLOWING BEARD AS HE RESTED, AND THAT BREEZE BECAME A LITTLE MORE INSISTENT, KEPT BLOWING AND BLOWING, AND PAGES OF THIS LEDGER KEPT TURNING. THE WIND BECAME VERY INSISTENT, AND PAGE AFTER PAGE OF THIS BOOK KEPT TURNING AND TURNING... AND FINALLY, HE PUT HIS HAND ON ONE PAGE THAT SAID, "FEBRUARY 14, 1966," BUT THEN HE SAW THAT ANOTHER PAGE SAID THE 28th, AND ANOTHER PAGE SAID THE 30th. WHERE WAS THE 29th? THERE'S NO 29th, AND THEN HE SUDDENLY REALIZED HE HAD TO GO GET HOLD OF THOSE ANGELS AGAIN. HE RAN PAST THE VIOLINIST. HE RAN PAST THE PIANO PLAYER. HE RAN PAST THE ANGEL READING HER BOOK AND RAN AS FAST AS HE COULD AND TOLD THOSE ANGELS, "STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING. "STOP WHAT YOU'RE TRYING TO DO TO THAT LITTLE GIRL. STOP." THEY PULLED OUT ALL THE FEATHERS THAT THEY HAD PUT INTO HER HEAD, AND THEN AS HE DID THIS, IT'S AS IF THIS DEAD GIRL WAS GOING BACK AND BACK AND BACK, BACK AS IF SHE WAS GOING BACK TO THE WOMB AGAIN. THERE SHE WAS, A FETUS IN HER MOTHER'S WOMB ONCE MORE... AND THEN BORN, BORN TO A LOVING MOTHER WHO LOOKED AT HER ADORINGLY... THIS BABY, BARELY EVEN SENTIENT, BEING ADORED BY HER MOTHER. THIS BABY GREW... AND HER MOTHER LOOKED AT HER, AND THE BABY LOOKED AT HER MOTHER, AND THE MOTHER TALKED TO HER. "OH, YOU LITTLE SWEETHEART, YOU," AND SHE PINCHED HER LITTLE CHEEKS, AND THE BABY REGARDED ALL THAT WAS AROUND HER, THE MOTHER SPEAKING TO HER AND ADORING HER, AND THEN WIND-- WIND KEPT PUSHING THE DOORS AND MAKING A LOUD NOISE, AND THE MOTHER SAID, "THAT'S TOO LOUD," AND WENT OVER AND TRIED TO CLOSE THOSE WINDOWS AND DOORS, BUT THE WIND WAS INSISTENT AND POUNDED AND POUNDED AGAINST THE HOUSE. SHE LATCHED THE SHUTTERS, BUT THE WIND WAS SO STRONG. THE BABY WAS STILL UNCOMPREHENDING. IF YOU LOOKED IN THE BOOK, THIS BIG DICTIONARY... AND CLOSED IT... THAT'S WHAT CAUSED THIS MASSIVE EARTHQUAKE THAT DESTROYED THE HOUSE THIS BABY AND MOTHER HAD BEEN IN, THE CLOSING OF THE BOOK. THIS BABY'S DEAF. THE ANGELS LOOKED AT EACH OTHER... AND REALIZED SOMEHOW THEY WERE AT FAULT. "IT WAS YOU." "NO. IT WAS YOU." "NO. IT WAS THE 3 OF US. WE DID THIS," AND THE 3 OF THEM REALIZED THEY NEED TO CONFESS TO GOD, WHOM THEY APPROACHED. THERE HE SAT WITH HIS FLOWING BEARD AND HIS FLOWING HAIR AND REGARDED THEM. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY TO ME, MY CHILDREN? "GOD, WE'RE SO SORRY." "WE WERE PLAYING. WE WERE PLAYING TOO MUCH." "AND WE FORGOT TO FIX THIS GIRL'S EARS." GOD SAID, "DON'T WORRY. "AS THIS GIRL GROWS, SHE WILL HAVE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HAIR."
Notes: 
"This project is supported by a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant program is made possible by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation."