Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Ocean In Me...

“You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.”
– James A Froude

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There are several different labels used to describe a person; there are familial titles, society standards and occupations on one hand, on the other gender, heritage, and character. It’s easy enough to accept how we may appear to complete strangers - that is until we’re giving a box or a few lines asking us to describe ourselves. Suddenly we feel almost godlike when we’re given the ability to pick and choose what we wish to define us.

I’ve always found definitions limiting. How can anyone possibly grasp the bigger picture of who you are from a few short stipulating words? It takes time to see all the facets of what makes someone unique. Taking that into consideration, one of the words I use to describe myself easily besides a writer is - deaf. Anyone that has read me for any length of time knows it’s been a learning process to own up to that.

For new readers who may be curious and afraid of offending by asking; no I wasn’t always deaf. I grew up hearing impaired. The nerve damage to both of my ears would continue to destroy what hearing I had, until my impending deafness five years ago. I’ve had people say to me, “I can’t imagine what that must be like.” Neither could I, until it happened. I can honestly say nothing could ever fully prepare someone for that kind of life changing loss.

People have used words such as courageous and inspiring to describe me. I don’t get it. Why? Anyone else in the same situation would have found a way, to do whatever they needed to get through each day. It’s human nature to adapt. Without getting into the issues I faced, let’s just say five years later it’s still a learning process. I refused to take it lying down and found a way to communicate and exist in a hearing world.

So what does this have to do with writing - everything and maybe to someone else nothing at all. Words gave my silence voice, strength, compassion and life. Writing allowed me to be on an even pedestal with everyone else. The same passion I apply to my writing, is not unlike that which I overcame my insecurities with my deafness.

Here on these pages, I’m considered no different than you or anyone else. I still face obstacles with my deafness even in a writing capacity. Conferences and writing seminars are rather difficult under the circumstances. So maybe I have to work a little harder to get where I want to be. To me it just makes it that much more rewarding. I’m no different than anyone else, not really, not here or in life.

Find something you’re passionate enough about and willing to sacrifice for and you’ll find a dream in the making. That last sentiment is anyone’s choice.

Food for thought – When you pick up a conch shell on the beach and put it to your ear, do you hear the ocean? I do, in the sand beneath my feet as it crashes to the shore, in the tangy salt air wafting up my nostrils, in the cold spill of bubbling water and foam spreading across the sand, and in the slimy tendrils of seaweed wrapped around my ankles. I hear the ocean with everything I am. It’s the same way I approach life and my writing.

The question isn’t what defines you; rather how passionate are you about life? I’ll leave you with a quote by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, "I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living.”



Picture found here

51 comments:

  1. I haven't yet been able to define myself because each time I take a step back and reflect on an answer, it is different from the answer I would have given a moment before.

    Definitely dig the attitude. But admit it, it doesn't hurt that you are beautiful and talented!!

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  2. "I’ve always found definitions limiting" - I so completely agree with this statement! As a teacher I've encountered so many people (kids and their parents) who like labels. It's sometimes hard to get them to look past a label or a definition. One of my biggest joys is when a parent whispers to me, "I had no idea he/she could do that - thank you".

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  3. Hello, Gorgeous. For every one that adapts, and does well, there are ten who crawl into the hole of depression and self pity - and never come out.

    You ARE courageous. And I'm proud to know you.

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  4. You are more of an inspiration than you will EVER know Indigo.

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  5. That's a beautiful quote.

    Sometimes regular life bogs me down and i find myself swimming on gray. Thanks for the reminder to always fight for that passion.

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  6. A wonderful post. Yes everybody adapts, but the strength of some makes all the difference to how far that takes them.
    I suspect you are at the strong end of the curve.
    You are all too right labels can screw a person down into a box, if they let them.

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  7. Your observations are like silky pillow cases,Indigo.They make my thoughts feel at ease.Your observations so tranquil and true.
    I am grateful to have met you here in our blogsphere.

    Keep writing.

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  8. this is such a powerful post, and i commend you for sharing your opinion. i think it's true that definitions can definitely be limiting. for some reason we just love to categorize people and label them and stick them in nice, neat boxes. but if we're unable to properly define someone it makes us crazy and we immediately assume there must be something wrong with THEM. we never consider that perhaps we're trying too hard to judge another individual. that perhaps there is something wrong with US.

    thanks so much for this post.

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  9. Indy,
    Truth be known you are more intuned to your surroundings & how precious they are than most people that can hear. You can write in a manner that I can see, hear, smell whatever you are writing about. I'm in awe of you. You appreciate everything.

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  10. Indigo, I have waited a long time to read your acceptance of your deafness...I know the hard difficult times you have had and shared with us these last few years...and Oh how I admire you. I just love your writings you have such a talent.
    I worked for many years with deaf, deaf/blind and blind people and I can say without a shadow of doubt that deafness was by far the hardest to overcome, and to be understood by those who consider themselves to be "normal!! " thats a laugh...
    God Bless,
    Love Sybil xx

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  11. Indigo, you are incredibly inspiring to me. I love your positive outlook on life and how your views on writing parallel mine exactly. Your writing is very strong and powerful, and I love the passion within it :)

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  12. Well, I sure loved this post! It is a great piece of writing by a great person.

    Honestly, I don't think I've ever defined myself. The thought is a bit scary but I'll give it more consideration.

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  13. I love how you hear the ocean. It seems even more beautiful in the hearing you described....heightened in you.

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  14. The ocean has inspired so many writers -- it's amazing the creative energy that's there. xoRuss

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  15. Yes yes yes! For some reason, others always want to stick a big label on our foreheads--it seems perhaps that we find life easier to bear and understand if we can categorize everything, including people. But none of us are any one thing. Your deafness, I'd imagine affects many aspects of your life, but I love that you won't let it define you--rather, you let it motivate you. In that way, you truly are courageous. We do have a tendency to adapt as humans, but not always. Adaptation is a choice, and you've chosen not only to learn how to live with the silence, but to find a way to hear and speak despite it.

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  16. This is absolutely beautiful. You remind me to appreciate every moment and redefine myself every day.

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  17. That's a fantastic quote and this is a great post!!

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  18. Indigo, I agree with everyone here, this post is very moving! A lovely way to be introduced to your blog, your identity, you! I look forward to reading more!

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  19. "Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living."

    I love this distinction of being conscious, being present, aware and reflective.

    Your post was a bell of mindfulness. Thanks!

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  20. Thank you for following my blog, but thank you more for making contact with me because I find your blog to be one of the most inspirational places I have ever been. I am on my way out of a self-pity driven depression and defining myself has become so much easier when I think of words like enthusiasm and epiphany.

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  21. Indigo, what a DEAR are you, to open up your mind and soul and let us in to "see" you, "touch" you, as you touch me/us with your words here. For many months I have admired many things about you. Your attitude, spirituality, your approach to "life-on-life's-terms.

    I agree, that word "courageous" is not definitive as a total description of yourself--although you might well be ALSO courageous.

    To me, you are a survivor, persistent in your pursuit of living free and (maybe) happily! If you knew how positively your words affect me and many, you would be glad, even happy for that alone. For you are a writer of excellence, and I am fortunate, and honored, to be allowed to "know" you cyberly. Which sometimes is more than in person--grin!

    Always, your blog-friend,
    Steve E

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  22. You have a beautiful blog! I'm so glad you found mine and followed, giving me the opportunity to connect with you.

    My sister has been slowly losing her eyesight since she was a child. She's in her late thirties now, and only sees light and shadows, and some color. Through her experiences and through supporting her (I love her so much), I have a glimmer of insight into what you describe in this post. My sister talks a lot about her sixth sense, her imagination. Like you and I, she is a writer and highly creative. There are times when her prose is so in-the-moment and beautiful, because she is calling upon all the senses except sight, drawing her readers into that intimate space of texture, smell, and infinite imagination.

    I look forward to reading much more from you!

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  23. Lovely blog you have here, Indigo. I love your ocean imagery.

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  24. A Beautiful Post.
    In this world I believe we can fight for something we believe in,take it all in...whether its good or bad....or we could shut it out and melt down...lose hope in our dreams and in ourselves...your fighting and I am on my way...That itself is courageous to me...To have a big dream,and push for it...To face locked doors and break it....That puts a smile on my face.I always make sure to take it in...sights,smells,sounds,feeling...Never know how long we have here.:) I love your writing!

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  25. What a beautiful post and I love the quotes! :)

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  26. Beautiful quote, Indigo, for a beautiful post. When we define ourselves we are defining ourselves for others, not for ourselves - and we cannot write that way, live that way, or breathe that way.

    All beautiful things are, at their core, undefinable. That's what makes them beautiful. They transcend description and definition and our own tiny little boxes of thinking. They are bigger than ourselves.

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  27. Indigo, I found you again at last! I was so worried I had lost you! Im so happy that Ive found you! I really enjoyed your entry.

    I find it very hard to define myself! I can never make my mind up about myself! Other people seem to be good at doing that for me. That is good though, I like hearing what people think of me.

    I think your writing is a beautiful gift that you have and its great that you can share it with us!

    Love Laine xxxx

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  28. "...being conscious of living..."
    I strive for that every day.
    Thanks for visiting my blog. It's always a pleasure to meet a fellow writer.
    Your post was inspiring, whether you intended it or not.
    :)

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  29. I think that you are inspiring because of your honesty. It is impossible to label anyone as one thing or another. We are all so complex. Beyond the basic measurable things such as sex, height, weight, eye and hair color, etc. there is so much more that defines who we are. I like that.

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  30. Indigo,
    There is one thing I can't tolerate it's compartmentalising, pidgeonholing, whatever you want to call it. Everybody is unique, and as you wrote in an earlier entry (quite a while ago), it is not your deafness that defines you. There is so much more to each and everyone of us than perhaps that one conspicuous trait. Excellent post.

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  31. A truly amazing post and beautifully written. Thank you very much for sharing.

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

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  32. I have chills. I love the part where you say that anyone would do what you do. While that may or may not be the case, it is human nature to survive, adapt, change and conquer.

    And so that's what I want to do. When I'm down, I pick myself back up and try to feel what I can't hear -- just like you do.

    Thank you.

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  33. Wow, great post.
    Thanks for visiting my blog too. :)

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  34. Beautiful post!

    Yeah--I hate definitions, too. I especially hate it when people talk about "thinking outside the box" because I don't want there to BE a box!

    Thanks for sharing this.

    sf

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  35. This post spoke to me, but I think I need to read it a few more times!

    xo

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  36. Your posts always strike at my heart. They are so honest and you write so eloquently!

    Labels are the worst. They box you in. Do you notice that upon meeting someone, one of the first questions asked is, "What do you do for a living?"... like what your occupation is is WHO you are or something. I try to stay away from that question because I feel it prevents me from seeing you for YOU.

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  37. Hi Indigo, you've hit upon what I've long believed: that passion is a way of life. Your passion is certainly evident in your writing.

    xo
    Belinda

    http://thehalfwaypoint.net/

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  38. Hearing is so much more than the audible sound as you so aptly described. Writing is an amazing way to communicate and a great equalizer in many ways. I am moved by your passion for life!

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  39. What a wonderful blog post. I love you and miss you and wish I had far more time to read blogs.

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  40. I love this post. I love the quote at the end. It is inspiring to me because you have taken something that could have shot you down and used it to make you stronger. I hadn't really thought how much of a release writing must be for you. It makes me feel privileged to read your blog.

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  41. Great post.

    I think it's human nature to try and 'explain away' strength. If you're succeesful, you must have had a lot of luck. If you have a strong gift of writing, you must have lots of natural talent. If you've overcome adversity, then you have exceptional bravery and courage.

    The truth is, we make choices. That's it. All of us are dealt certain cards and we have certain goals. We can allow our weaknesses/challenges/lacking knowledge or skill keep us from those goals, or we can work with them to reach our goals anyway. It's that simple.

    When I publish, it won't be because of talent. It'll simply be because I chose not to give up.

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  42. You have given me much to think on with this and the quote is exactly the way i feel.

    Write it all out - get it out and move on.

    Much love my friend.

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  43. You think you're not different than anyone else? I do believe you're wrong. Just what you ask of us is what makes you different, your passion.

    I sense a real difference in you, Indigo. Who am I to say or see anything? BUt what I see is a fortification of who you are an intensified drive to live well. It's fricken contagious.

    You're gorgeous.

    xo
    erin

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  44. Hi Indigo,
    I think those of us that have followed you for a while would say that in your deafness, you found your voice and have really blossomed as a writer.
    Best,
    Marty

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  45. "Here on these pages, I’m considered no different than you or anyone else."

    Amen and true dat, Indigo. And we are all "deaf" if we are not tuned into our true nature, hmm? After all, what are any of the 5 senses worth if not used, as so many do not use them, to tune into the 6th sense of inner truth and being?

    I love your blog and your writing, the spirit of it. Thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog, I will come back here. I like what I've read and felt here very much.

    Marvin D Wilson

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  46. I LOVE this post, Indigo.

    "Words gave my silence voice, strength, compassion and life."

    Isn't that why we all write? Even those of us who aren't hearing impaired sometimes feel like our voices aren't heard.

    Thank you for a beautiful blog post. I won't ever forget your words.

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  47. What a brilliant piece and wonderfully written. Thank you so much for sharing that part of you - as a new reader I was definitely inspired. I'll be back!

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  48. You have an amazing way of describing things, Indigo. Your second last paragraph about hearing the sea through the sand is stunning. Your words are beautiful.

    I have an award for you, by they way, on my blog :)

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  49. I love your attitude and words on this, Indigo. It's really insightful.

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  50. I define myself as a man. Beyond that, I am lost.

    My friend, Sam, is blind. He has a similar attitude as yours, in as much as he knows he has no choice but accept it. People will ask him what it's like, he just says "It is what it is". He's not trying to be a hard case, he merely accepts his lack of vision for what it is, unchangable.


    But, no! We are not equal here. You write so much better than I do :-)

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