Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Deeper Kind of Silent


Some part of me always knew I would eventually call myself a writer – that was a given.

Then came the deafening roar of silence…
*I should note here for those of you who may not know. I had been hearing impaired since the age of five. This is about a precise date, January 8th, 2005 – the night I ceased to hear. Imagine a light bulb burning brightest before it fizzles, pops and goes dark. Going deaf was a bit like that.

What I didn’t plan on was deaf being part of that descriptive nuance. Five years later I can’t imagine describing myself any other way. It’s the very current that flows beneath my writing. Life lessons that echo and reverberate against my words.

Why would I find myself with this need to define who I am? The question begs of me.

Because, it wasn’t until this year that it dawned on me, the subtle hush that falls soon after Christmas and stays with me until the very day – January 8th. A pattern that apparently repeats itself year after year as predictable as the air I breathe. It wasn’t until this year that I noticed something unremarkably different in as much as, the day slipped by without a whimper, unfelt and forgotten. Could it be?

Could I have somehow crossed that threshold of deeper understanding and awareness? What changed and where do I go from here? Those questions and more were in the forefront of my mind today, along with that insatiable need for definition.

If memory serves me right - that first year of deafening silence was spent exploring the space within my silent world. I tried to temper my feelings and prepare for this new learning curve by stretching my boundaries as far as I could, to see which parts of me snapped back into place. The second year was a defiant one and by the third year I was done exploring. I wanted all the jagged edges of my life to somehow work themselves out.

I discovered over these last silent five years, I didn’t get to take the easy way out – no one does. I had to put in the time and labor and let it teach me how to be complete. Think of it as reading a book: If you tear out the pages you don’t like and rush to the happy ever ending – you’re left feeling as if you missed an important part of the story. What happened to the journey to get there? Doesn’t it seem so much more enriching after reading the struggle that ensued to see the end results? Didn’t the book gain substance and life with those points of controversy and compromise?

Honestly, I don’t need to define this deaf writer. Questions come with anniversaries, dates (point being Jan. 8th was the day I first learned my world was completely and incomprehensibly silent forevermore) and life changes. My humanity simply begs to understand and the hush falls on my contemplation.

These last few years the pages of my life overflow, the plot and consistency of my beautiful flaws and exceptions from the norm only made the tale so much more enriched. Are not our lives all an unfinished book with it’s own plots and twist? Some are easier to read, others more complicated and filled with rich detail.

And so it goes…

Five years later my deafness fits me well. The lessons that have come from such a life experience are ten fold. Ink that was once wet with the first rendering of those days, is now dry on numbered pages of my life. Fresh crisp new pages await the next chapters.

These lessons echo in the characters of books. When faced with controversy and dealt a hand in life they didn’t ask for, they tell their story – page by page and show in their own way they haven’t reached that finale yet. Books mimic life. A writer’s experience and voice can be found scratched across a page, underneath the lives of characters. Listen for the whispers between the words, the hush that foretells a deeper kind of silence. Catch your breathe, keep reading, and keep living. There is a deeper kind of silent that unfolds within us all.

“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.” – Helen Keller

Picture from here.


  1. Hi Indigo,
    How moving ... that you can look back on this five year anniversary and see that you've grown from the experience. You're a strong person.

  2. The third instance where I have used this word in 18 months--to describe a post. This is for your sharing your life's later trials with us, Indigo:


    I do not know how to say more, except that your words are sometimes life-changing guides for others.

    Helen Keller was my father's guru as he was blind from the age of 4. He and a blind friend would hold one or the other up to read street signs by touch--to know where they were in the city (Cincinnti).

    When my father's life became completely silent, he almost wanted to end his life, but did not know how--didn't know who might be "looking".

    And he lived his final 20 years in silent darkness, yet in peace, harmony, love and JOY. Happy was he with his business of raising several hundred turkeys each year. He killed, cleaned, and sold one-by-one retail, each holiday season.

    I could (should) write a book about my life with him, even though we did not get along so famously for a great part of that time. Until he became deaf, then I wrote him a long letter once each week in braille--and he typed each week pages of response, even with 5-10 weekly jokes, usually political. He was conservative.
    Love, and PEACE.

    I LOVE your blog posts, especially this one, hope I did not bore you with words about my father.

  3. Lovely. You are one of the most self-aware people I've ever "met" Indigo. You give me an even stronger faith in the human race and our ability to overcome and not only survive, but prosper. :)

  4. Hello Indigo,
    as always,you are an insperation to others.
    It shows that time does help us get to the place that we are meant to be in. If we allow it.
    Great post,
    Hugs, Sheri

  5. I look forward to reading pages you have written :o)

  6. As I scanned down, I read Steve's remberance of his father and wasn't bored. I thought it touching and fit right in with this post.

    You have found and come to a place of such grace... I am happy and in envy of you.

    Hopefully I am on a path that takes me to a happy place.

  7. Thank you, Indigo, for sharing your life with us. We are all the richer!

  8. Indie- thinking words floating around in orbit; peace, silence, happiness, resolution and wondering how to bring them all into alignment. have them fallinto place in their proper order. Damn asteroids! ~rick

  9. beautiful.
    i'm not sure what words i can add but your words have given me more today than i am able to express.
    thank you.

  10. You never waste a word, do you? Everything you say is meaningful. No doubt it has something to do with being attuned to the "deeper kind of silent."

    I'm afraid I have a long way to go to get there, but I like the journey.

  11. Even in the short time that I've known you, I can tell that you've grown more and more comfortable with who you are. I'm happy to see that happen with my friend. :) Hugs, Beth

  12. Do you ever go back and speak to your same little girl self. Share what you know now, and pave her a new road?

    Do you visit your Self five years, ten years, twenty years back, checking in and spying again and telling her there is nothing that she lacks?

    Words on the page some how echo our intent so much farther than if we shouted expletives and proclamations from the roof top, expecting a few village folk to take the time to listen.

  13. I am chilled, Indigo. Chilled. And trying to imagine myself into that place with you.

  14. as always i find myself moved by what you write,and HOW you write.may you write many more pages love mort xxx

  15. Your courage is remarkable. What do we do when we can't or no long want to make excuses for ourselves? I won't reveal any secrets, I'll just write them in a story. Then people can read them and not know they are mine secrets. Hah!

    The silent sobs and silent laughs behind your words speak loudly Indigo. And we are blessed.


  16. I suppose it must be a bit like when someone you loves dies. You mark each anniversary of their death by the month at first, and then by the year. Then after five years or so, you may find the anniversary sneaking up on you and before you realize it the day has passed by without your realizing it. It isn't that it isn't important to you anymore or that you've "forgotten", but that, like you said, it has become an actual part of your life as it is now, and not just a date to remember.

  17. Thank you for sharing, your story is inspiring, gives hope and strength to forge ahead where we think we struggle.
    God Bless you Indigo.


  18. I just love you and your attitude toward life and the situations that life deals out. You're amazing!

  19. You are so brave and the courage you display in never ending. I don't think I would be the person you've become through your deafness. You are an amazing woman and I'm proud to call you my friend.

  20. That is absolutely beautiful.

    I remember seeing the defiant years in a friend of mine. Takes me back some twenty plus years ago like it was yesterday.

  21. I recall reading your first journal when I was new at it from AOL.

    You have come a long way Baby!

    You inspire all of us. Just read all your comments from others and see how much you move them....priceless.

    Hugs, Rose

  22. What an incredibly beautiful post. You write so honestly and openly and with so much courage and simplicity it just blows me away, every time.

    It looks like in the last five years you have become someone who is so amazingly strong and resilient - for that alone, I honor you. But to read your writing, your lack of bitterness, your acceptance of the way life is in its ups and downs, good chapters and bad... you are such an inspiration, Indigo.


  23. This post was so intense that it has taken me days (during which I came back several times) to leave a comment. I can't express how amazed I am (amazed is such a lame word) that you are able to share this incredibly personal experience. Thank you.

  24. You hit it on the head. Sometimes the loudest noise comes from within. Happy New Year!

  25. Indigo,
    Your clarity and honesty in your writing makes me feel so privileged to blog with you..
    I truly admire you my blogger buddy..keep stayting true to yourself and journey..because you really touch others with it ..
    T xo

  26. You are an inspiration to me. Every time I read your blog I think how beautifully you piece sentences together. Thank you for sharing a part of your journey.

  27. Indigo, you always have the amazing capacity to find the right words, the right form. This is so true for all of us, the anniversaries of our lives ever tick by and we ever watchful also watch them fall by the wayside as our emotions are not so drawn to them. This post, very meaningful to me. Thank you as always.

    xo gabi

  28. You have many more experiences (i.e. books) ahead of you. I know you will weave them all into the fabric of a rich life.

    Amazing and beautiful where we end up.

  29. There's an old saying: I'm not where I need to be, but thank God, I'm not where I used to be....

    Where you were at then, and where you are now makes a big difference. But it's the growth process in between that is the story.

    God Bless you and yours,

  30. No words for this...
    just beautiful.

  31. Gorgeous post. You had me from that popping light bulb. Your words are bright and will never fizzle.

  32. In my case, I dealt the unasked for hand to others; a little harder to forgive(myself) for that.

    I do very much believe your flaws are beautiful and worthy of a ray of sunshine....that is not true of everyone's flaws.

  33. Live those unfilled pages Indigo, live! Glad you have found strength and comfort as time has passed since the "pop". They suite you well.


Thank you for giving my silence a voice, my muse your words, and taking the time to discover my prose.