…just another brick in the Wall…?

Now, apologies to the Almighty Pink Floyd…

Just a short observation I wanted to share since I ONCE AGAIN CAN’T SLEEP…I was interpreting in a group setting today and made an interesting discovery at the end of the session. While I can tell you in minute detail who the the deaf clients were (well, I could, but I won’t, confidentiality and ethics and all…), I have no real memory of any of the other faces in the room. I have a sort of photographic memory, but when I call up my memory of that room I can’t make out any of the faces. I can tell you who was African American, who was male, who was female…but if I were to pass any of those people on the street I can guarantee that they would recognize me far before I recognized them. And I suppose that’s as it should be. I just wonder why. Their faces, in my memory, look like the melted/distorted faces of the school children in the “Another Brick in the Wall/We Don’t Need No Education” part of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” No definition, nothing, just blank. For you Doctor Who fans, it was like the moment in the episode “The Idiot’s Lantern” when the Doctor finds the caged up people with no faces…the room, in my memory, is filled with people with no faces.

On the one hand, that’s good because it preserves confidentiality for the group members. But in a way, it almost trivializes them, at least in my memory, because there is nothing individual about any of them. But that’s good as well, I suppose, because I’m remembering them as a group of people focused on a common healing goal rather than as this man or that young woman or the like. I have to admit that even though I certainly do not wish to share the illness that brought those people to that group, I always leave those situations feeling a bit like an outsider. I know that’s what I am, really, but when you’ve spent an hour being someone else, speaking their words, signing their thoughts…when it’s over and everyone separates into groups and you’re left standing there it’s just an odd feeling, like breaking through the surface of the water to find that everyone has already headed for the beach.

Profundity. A CLEAR sign that I need sleep. Cross your fingers it comes soon…

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