Monday, November 2, 2015

The Wrecking Ball

“The only wishes that will ever change you are the kind that may, at any moment, eat you whole.”
- Janette Rallison, My Fair Godmother

Time weaves her web and ensnares us in impossibilities and what ifs, while all the while she chats with destiny and has already foreseen our fate.  I’ve always thought that I alone held the stern which propelled my existence through the vast ocean of life. Alas, fate handed me a card and the hand didn’t play out the way I envisioned. I raged like a storm at sea, until the ship lost its mooring. Adrift, I learned to adapt, and finally found a safe port to lower my anchor.

That is until fate dealt another card.

For the longest time I was led to believe the damage to my ears would never allow me to be a candidate for the Cochlear Implant.  Ten years later, I find there is hope. And I did dare to hope, to wonder, to speculate and grasp at possibilities I’d never before entertained. I remembered sounds - music, laughter, voices, the wind through the trees, and the rain, all of the things I couldn’t wait to hear again. All the while aware there were no guarantees.

Then comes along karma, karma bitch slaps fate every single freaking time. Karma used my web as her personal trampoline. My ship didn't sink obviously; I’m stuck in a molten cesspool of seaweed, kelp, and scrum – a veritable net of algae. There are way too many analogies for life, we humans are often left adrift to brave our own storms or caught between a rock and a hard place.

The short end of the stick is, I dared to hope. I found a video online which allows hearing people to hear how speech and music sound to a deaf person with cochlear implants and had someone listen to the video for me. I pretty much figured out how bad it must have sounded when I saw tears run down his face. He knows me all too well…I’ll leave the link at the end of this post and you can decide for yourself.

In the end I am the master of my fate. I couldn’t control the circumstances which robbed me of my hearing, but I can choose how I live with the silence. I still remember sounds; some things are starting to fade like all memories do, but what remains soars within me. I can almost tell you what someone sounds like simply by watching how they talk. I heard so much music in the years I did hear, a simple description of the beat, rhythm, along with lyrics, can bring me back in time and I know what you’re listening to. There are too many surface memories still locked within my sub consciousness, such beautiful renderings, why would I want to relearn to hear in a robotic sonance?

Maybe in five or ten years when the memories are more distant, who knows? *shrugs* Someday the technology may find a way to include tonal sound in cochlear implants. Perhaps then, I’ll jump ship and wade through to the shore. In the meantime, I’ve already survived quite a few years weathering these silent storms in uncharted territory.

 Bernard Beckett once said, “Human spirit is the ability to face the uncertainty of the future with curiosity and optimism. It is the belief that problems can be solved, differences resolved. It is a type of confidence. And it is fragile. It can be blackened by fear and superstition.”

Yes, we’re (I’m) fragile, and sometimes hope floats. Me? *Thumbs up*. A few days of raw nerves and a small bit of anguish…I still believe my world is hauntingly beautiful the way it is. I communicate just fine with not hearing and if you give me a chance you might discover, I’m worth the extra energy. The world is only as complicated as we make it.

The link is included below. In the end, the choice still remains mine.

*I do realize for someone who has never heard before, the cochlear implant would be a blessing. I consider myself fortunate for the the time I did hear. - Indigo

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The 4am Writing Argument

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This is what becomes of sleepless doubt about the direction ones writing should take.

Is there an explanation for everything, even the illogical? Our lives are a series of decisions harboring consequences like a loaded gun in a game of Russian roulette. No matter, in the end someone else will make a decision which will in turn become a tsunami of choices which affect you. You can’t excuse whatever decision you’re left with, because…wait for it…you still have a choice to make either way. The argument comes undone. In the end the only thing anyone can honestly depict, is how they react to the consequences.

“You should write.”

I can’t help but glare at the owner of those last words. Tell me something I don’t know. Tell me something I haven’t told myself at least a half dozen times on any given day. The words reverberate along my ribcage like a zydeco washboard; Write the violence, the deafness, take your readers on a journey through a world of silence. Do you know how much money people make on feel good books? And why would I even want to write one. I scoff, because…

I never wanted to write, I didn’t choose this. My world is a tidal wave of illogical sequences. Life is easy to write into a sonnet. Fiction? Fiction is the bellows to the flame beneath an unreality which carries more truth than not. Fiction is the expose.

“This”, my hand waves in a wide arch to encompass everything, “is the sum of consequences.” A vessel in which I poured everything out chapter by chapter, one word after another, for no other reason but to hear myself.  Somehow in the idyllic fuckery that became of wrong choices and consequences (my life), I learned to write my readers into the story, one synapse after another. No it wasn’t enough to merely evict my demons, I went ahead and unwittingly discovered a whole new world beneath the surface of my silence, and decided to take you along. Yes, you, the modest reader who found me wanting and said I wrote in such a way, you felt my misery, my pain, my sense of wonder, and every epitaph. Love was also sewn within the tapestry like a silver lining for life and second chances and all the emotional dogma that exist.

You’re the consequence.  That’s the epiphany. Every decision you’ve ever made in your life led to one arbitrary consequence after another. You’re the sum of your choices. 

“So if you don’t want to write about those things, what then?” What other choice is there, it’s not a matter of wanting, but everything to do with need. The need exist to write. Remember my analogy about the loaded gun in a game of Russian roulette? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t…

Ah, I’m so fucking loud in between these words. The untethered scream is my filet skin pulled back to exposed nerves revelation. The ambience is in the typing, the letting go. You can’t dictate what gets written, that choice remains mine. I’m unwieldy with the terms, those consequences will arrive in due time. Instead, let me take you into the bowels of visceral horror; I’m comfortable among the dreaded and fearful words. Who can't help but recognize the monsters in human guise. Familiarity creates a wide berth for exploration.

Two sides of a coin, heads poetic hope or tails the shades of darkness, whereas you may need to hold my hand or lose your way. We all have choices and must pay the tithe.

I never chose to write, but I do. The question remains…can I?

"I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? ...we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us."- Franz Kafka in a letter to Oskar Pollak (27 January 1904)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Where The Words Went

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” ~ Ana├»s Nin

It’s been a while since you’ve been gone. The ache remains, a festering raw wound that I imagine will never fully heal. I can’t help but rake nails across my heart, ripping scabs and bleeding all over everything. Some days it’s the only way I know I’m still alive, the wound weeps. I feel so damn guilty sometimes because I’m still here and you… were far more worthy of this life than I.

You taught me better than that.

Dejan Stojanovic wrote, “There are no clear borders, only merging invisible to the sight.” Life and death overlap and in-between are those who love. I’m stronger now. Do you know the words went away with you? Guilt may be to blame in part. Why breathe life into words, bereft of you? Hell, I made my therapist cry. I had sufficient words for sorrow, absence, loss, and so much raw sewage of hatred, but I felt with such an intensity, he couldn’t escape the emotional seepage.

You know all this, how could you not. I buried it so deep inside that cartilage I called a heart; forgetting for a time I was drowning you. Time is an awkward teacher beating around the bush, until an opening presents room for a lesson. Time…three years later and I get it. The words will keep you and I alive. Even when the silence is so freaking loud without you here.

I owe you my life, a life I was willing to forfeit in lieu of this mute stillness. Because of you I learned calm existed in the gathering quiet of my deaf psyche. I miss you, there are no words for that kind of absence. You were spiritual, beyond understanding, a being of grace wrapped in the fur of a dog. I saw a picture of a man holding his beloved pup today, wailing, so much anguish on his face. His friend died in his arms. I recognized myself and bled a thousand more tears.

Alive is a state of self, soul, a spiral in continuous movement. During the winter snow piled on the head of your statue and I smiled for in some form you were there, along with a barking Bjarki and Yazhi. They both share parts of you. Bjarki is the protector, the one who feels everything with his whole being, the klutz, and the giant lap sitter. Yazhi has your gentle disposition, the feral cat whisperer, the hand (paw) holder, and long ear indignity. Life gives me small windows of you in the most unlikely places.

I’m okay. I’ve learned to stand up for myself against indifference toward my deafness. In those moments, I feel you beside me leaning in close as if my four legged side-kick were still there lending encouragement. I learned strength and perseverance from you and I couldn’t care less if anyone knows what that construes, outside you and I.

The words keep you alive, as long as I write there you are.

*For those who may not know, Pickles was my working dog for the deaf. She was also a Katrina survivor. The only reason I survived those first few years of my deafness was because of her unfailing guidance and love.  She did more for me than any human being possibly could have. Pickles passed away without warning from Acute Leukemia three years ago. My words went with her…

“It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.”
 John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent