Thursday, March 4, 2010

Don't Stop the Music

“I know I can be colorful
I know I can be gray
I know this loser's living fortunate
cause I know you will love me either way”

Finally given the opportunity to relax after a harried day, with the words to the above lyrics in live performance running through my head; I wrap my legs under me in my office chair and twist it around to stare out across the living room, out toward the bleak gray sky with skeletal winter branches stabbing skyward. My thoughts are lost in that frozen tundra beyond the window.


“Most were being good for goodness sake
but you wouldn't pantomime”

Shaking myself from my reverie, needing to write and finding myself all kinds of distracted, I glance down and break out in peals of laughter. Nothing so hilarious but perhaps to me, my feet were wrapped in opposing colors - one sock varying degrees of blue, the other shades of gray. I couldn’t tell you why this was so amusing to me, other than I was wearing mismatched socks.

Pickles sits up on her haunches and bats the air with her paws, entertained by my giddiness, causing me to laugh even more. While I laughed my hand crossed laying flat against my chest and I giggle. There you are, I thought. In this way I could hear something I had been missing, my voice - nestled in the heart of me. Oh sure, I could hear myself speak all the time. Although I’m not sure I want to be the deaf woman walking around with her hand over her heart, leaving people wondering if at any moment I might break out into a rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Later still I find myself needing a song, some kind of music to build the crescendo of the moment I’ve just written on the screen in front of me. You would think that discovering new music would have been an impossible task since I became deaf over five years ago. Amazingly no…If anything I find I appreciate the discovery even more now.

Keep in mind I was able to hear right up until I went deaf. Add in all the music versatility that I used to enjoy from one extreme to another, from a monk’s choir to punk rock and it’s not a hard stretch to imagine a new sound, no matter how different. With today’s technology it’s amazingly easy for a deaf individual to hear music in their own distinctive way. It’s all about bringing the other senses into play and recording them in your mind like an orchestra.

Having discovered lyrics I’ve never heard before, I’ll go in search of reviews of what the band sounds like. Are they hard punk or delicate strands of melody? Is there a heavy bass played? (Bass lends a louder acoustic sound that comes through a speaker or amp in a jovial vibrato).

When I’ve found what I need, I close my eyes and listen.

The candle gives off the scent of brisk evergreen reminiscent of a forest dew morning. I hear a complex song, a less gritty version of Nirvana. The latter a band I’m familiar with so it’s not really that much of a stretch, then I play the words I’ve gleaned from the lyrics to ‘Who I am’ by Smile Empty Soul in my mind.

“No one knows the way I feel a part of me I have to find
Buried somewhere deep beneath my skin
The emptiness in me is faded
And I can see my life is waiting
Now I know I’m living for who I am”

Did you hear it? Not only did I hear it, It gave me the edge I needed to feel for the protagonist in my latest story. She’s gritty and angry at the world - full of emotional overflow. She’s me and she’s not – writ across these pages.

Hearing despite being deaf for me was a skill honed by time. Just as time will hone these delicate strands of words I write into something we both hear. I learned by testing my boundaries and questioning everything. My world doesn’t subsist in the box deaf might have labeled me. Nor will my writing. It’s an extension of who I am. We – you and I live/write with the best parts of who we are.

*The first two stanzas were by the Verve Pipe from the song ‘Colorful’
*Pickles - my working dog for the deaf.

Picture from here


  1. and every time I come to visit you I am reminded of how wonderful it is I have gotten to know you, because of this venue.

    Much love.


  2. I think it is amazing how you are getting used to your other senses helping compensate. It will never be easy or the same, but I love reading that you are adjusting.

  3. It is somewhat the invisible part of who we are that gets written, with wishing words that can sing any song. The whispers on the tundra out the window are there singing also, and laughing.

    My socks never match.


  4. You're such a creative soul, Indigo! I love how you always find joy and I so enjoy how you express it. Lovely :)

  5. I second Cat's comment. She put it better than I ever could have, lol!

  6. Beautiful Post. Beautiful Lady....

  7. I could close my eyes and imagine your every word as you described it so beautifully. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I love how you capture laughter in this post, your writing is utterly serene and gorgeous. Following your blog now :)

  9. i'm with db on the mismatched socks.

    having the ability to hear doesnt guarantee people listen.


  10. I, too, feel the same as Cat. It is wonderful that I have gotten to know you through this medium - otherwise, i never would have, and my life would be that much emptier for not having gotten to know you.

  11. I'm learning more about what you mean when you talk about music...(I had plenty of unasked questions). You're teaching me alot. Thank you.

  12. I just hugged my middle and thought of somethingfunny whilst I did it. In a way its like having an internal massage. lol
    No wonder its good for you.
    As for socks...I dislike them and try not to wear them if I can.
    They strangle my ankles and toes.
    I am now goint to imagine you getting dressed in the morning with both eyes on the window outside. There! That's a good excuse for mismatching your socks. lol Who cares what colour they are if they give YOU a good old laugh entertaining Pickles and all of us into the bargain.
    You are a STAR!
    Jeanie xx

  13. If we don't hear the music with our souls, then we haven't heard it at all...I like mismatched socks! hugz!

  14. This was a lovely window into your world. We share this It feeds me. I crave it, seek it, am moved in so many directions.

  15. I very rarely have 'heard' most of the music that I like. It has been that way ever since someone wrote the Ministry's 'Psalm 69' album was 'ultraviolent rock and roll'. Now with advertisers trying to stand out more and giving different genres of music a chance, it has gotten more difficult for me to stumble upon a band.

    I don't know what it is like to be 'you' in the sense that I can hear. But I do listen to and make music in my mind, having listened to and remembered so many different sounds, that sometimes they create something new and unheard.

    Often, a sound can spark me to write stuff down. Music for me is like an anchor for thoughts, and I don't drift away from what I am thining or trying to think of, when a song is synched up to what is going on in my head.

  16. Oh, and you were right in your opinion of SES. I like them and it was the first time I've heard them.

  17. You are the most amazing writer! Every time I visit you I sit in awe of you & your writing! Thanks for sharing with us.

  18. Indigo, I should have guessed that you could hear/feel the music. I am glad for you, and thanks so much for sharing this. Hugs xoxo

  19. my friend at thevodkaassylum liked your writing so i knew i would too:) i love the idea of reading lyrics before knowing the sound--beautiful, tender lyrics could actually be in a punk rock/angry sounding song. Shows that lots of people say the same thing in different ways. And youre right--i may sound smart, stable, perceptive in my blog, but...that's because i try to bring the best version of myself to it!

  20. Frequently I am awed at the many thousands (millions? zillions?) of happenings which must come together for an event to occur. And I think back, how in 1980 I wanted a computer so bad I could taste it.

    And now, I see all the goodness coming through theis gift-of-God
    "brain-in-the-box" which I have named "Higher Power"--grin! and of those goodnesses is that I have "met" YOU here.

    I "hear" music all through the day, mostly symphonic, string quartets, flute trios, concerti, etc. And I do not liosten to CD's, etc. However I have HEARD (played)
    all the things which I "hear"...wonder if it is similar to your "hearing" music?

  21. I am glad that you can listen to music, it is much more important than having matching socks! LOL!
    Thanks for your kind comment the other day, too.

  22. Indigo, I love your statement abut being deaf but never learned the meaning of silence. One of the better quotes I've heard in a very long time. You have an awesome site with terrific commenters.

    Stephen Tremp

  23. music is so much more than sound. It's also something that you feel. It helps to paint a picture of emotions...


  24. Beautiful post! Moments of self discovery are awesome..
    mismatched socks and laughter are priceless..
    Hugs, Sheri

  25. are you telling me that photo is the view from your window?
    music, indeed.

  26. Many times I don't pay attention to the lyrics, more focused on the music and how it makes me feel. I suppose that's being deaf to half the song. I should listen with everyting I have, like you.

  27. It sounds like the music doesn't stop -- it just changes. Lovely post.

  28. That is beautiful Indigo. I think that you are an amazingly strong and talented person. Bless you.

  29. Fascinating what technology can do, what YOU can do! It makes me wonder if you can "hear" better than some hearing people- in any case you're paying a lot more attention. Is it compensation for hearing loss, or is it a whole new perception?

  30. I love Smile soul empty..they have a lot of good songs. I have their "smile empty soul" album. "Nowhere kids" is a good one by them also..the lyrics so true. Another song about "I don't want to be like my mother, I don't want to be like my father"etc..etc..very good forget the name of the song but it's excellent. You can check out the lyrics and let me know what you think?

    Do you feel the vibrations of music? I have a very close friend who I've known for many years. She as born deaf, yet with her "aides" she can put on headphones and hear some sounds and vibrations to music.

    Like you I am all over the map with music. It makes you more "open" to things doesn't it?

    Hope you'll maybe drop by my blog one day. i know I will be back here!


  31. P.S. sorry I meant "Smile empty soul"'s a bit too late and I am tired...sounds like a good excuse to me.;o)


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