The room is mostly quiet, but it is filled with the energy of ideas and pictures drawn in the air. A whispered clue is sometimes heard, and a face clears of puzzlement.
It is the second week of our third-level sign language class and we are beginning to find friendship in our small group of ladies.
Involuntarily, the attention of much of the room turns toward one woman’s purse. The others see our distraction and we all watch and smile as the lady grabs for her phone and quiets it.
The teacher hands out papers and we grin as we see that we are going to play Bingo. We begin playing and each of us strain to watch her hands, struggling to cipher the words that rush so fleetingly across her fingers. I look up from my paper and realize that I have missed the next word. I’d never noticed how often my gaze wonders. It takes discipline to keep your eyes continually focused on the teacher.
A lady waves her hands excitedly in the air. She’s gotten Bingo! Our hands join hers in the air, waving in a congratulatory dance.
When class is over I talk to the teacher, pleased that my hands find the right shapes, expressing my thoughts.
We walk out into the fresh spring air in clusters. As we head to our individual cars I call over my shoulder, “Bye! See you next week!” shattering the silence of the last picture that hung in the air.