Falling on Deaf Ears

 Now Playing: “Daytime” by The Stereo System

There’s this video on YouTube. It’s about a 29 year old woman who had been born deaf and was able to hear for the first time with the help of cochlear implants. There are other similar videos, some with the subjects being as young as toddlers. And watching them be able to hear for the first time feels so surreal, their conflicting emotions so apparent on their facial features, that you just can’t help but feel happy for their excitement.hearnoevilfinal

Music has an overwhelming influence on me. The right notes, arranged in just the right way, can wake up in me something spiritual that otherwise remains mostly dormant. Some older notes have the ability to wrap me in a blanket of nostalgia, allowing me to travel back to a time of teenage angst and innocent optimism and remind me of how grand youth was. And other notes have been able to seduce my senses, much like a lover’s touch. I couldn’t imagine never being able to experience any of those emotions if I couldn’t hear.

I used to imagine them missing out on all the wonderful sounds of nature, like the crash of ocean waves, or even hearing their child’s first word. I would sympathize with not being able to hear beautiful music. And that was before realizing how ignorant I was. After all, Beethoven was deaf for most of his life, but that never stopped him from creating beautiful symphonies.

At the other end of the spectrum are the people who believe that their deafness is a gift. And while I can never fully empathize, having never had a hearing disability myself, I do sometimes wonder about how nice it would be to just block away all the excessive noise of the world. And I’ve always found sign language to be a beautiful form of communication. The graceful flow of movements of the hands somehow bring more meaning and depth to the words being “spoken”.

My random Saturday morning thoughts.

 

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