Thursday, June 26, 2008

enjoy the silence...

...well, in small doses anyway.

today, i signed on my computer, as usual. i checked my email and then signed in to my blog, as usual. saw a friend had updated her blog, went to go read, saw she'd posted a video, clicked play, and was a little confused... honestly, my first thought was that it was a performance piece of never know with you tube...a band was singing, but no sound....lots of other stuff going on...i watched the whole thing waiting for the finale.

it never came.

i mean, the video ended, but i was a little more than a little confused at that point. i went back to my own blog and, out of curiosity, clicked on the beatles video i posted yesterday. ahhhh, similar themed "performance piece"...the beatles move their mouths, but there is no sound. this has happened before. something came unplugged or something. the first time it happened, i felt desperate...."fix it" i impatiently commanded my spouse. i'm a little more practiced at patience and relaxation these days, so i didn't command anyone to do anything...but i did feel that same sort of desperation... (i just let it move through me and not define me.)

when i was a teen, i worked at a camp for children with different disabilities...most of them had multiple disabilities. we had a weekly dance and the campers i worked with who were deaf would often climb in the dj's huge speakers and hang out there through much of the dance. (rendering their counselor hearing impaired by the end of said dance...) but i'll never forget these little scrawny kids, climbing around in a big black speaker, feeling the sides, their eyes lit up. once we had a week of kids who were just deaf, and those guys danced...i guess they could feel the beat without climbing in the speaker...although "kokomo" by the beach boys did confuse them some...

then i worked at the school for the blind. in the life skills department. and i watched the kids there navigate through a world they couldn't see. it was often scary for them. there was one child we worked with for months just to get her to touch was scary shit for her. she would scream and claw us if she thought we were trying to get her to touch it. but she'd been born blind, and no experience with anything like sand, or with anything that would make sand make that was sort of different. we had other kids who'd jump on trampolines, swing in swings (ever done that with your eyes closed?), even roller skate.

have you ever watched a blind person "see" another person? touch their face? i mean, my son has a blind flute teacher and i don't think she's ever "looked" at him, but when a blind person does touch someone to "see" them...have you ever seen that? the times i did, i'd often look away, feeling a little embarrassed by the intimacy of those touches. not the abstract brushing hair out of some one's face, or taking a crumb off of some one's mouth...a touch with the intent to imprint, to remember, to learn. i don't know...maybe i'm a prude. i wondered, often in my younger years, which i'd prefer (if given the choice, of course), being deaf or being blind? and the failure of my speakers, the watching of videos going on with no sound, affirmed what i've always thought...

i'm pretty sure i'd still rather go blind. because while silence can be nice and healing, for me personally, it is a damned lonely place that i just don't think some vibrations would find me in. i'm pretty sure i'd go mad if i could never hear another song, another guitar, another voice...the wind through the trees, footsteps in grass that needs to be cut, the sound of oars dipping in and out of turning over in their sleep, laughter, my sexy spouse walking through the door, mamas talking and sharing and lifting. i have too many things already in my head...if the rest of the world couldn't get in there...i just can't even imagine.

there were some other things rattling around in my mind, but this took it all out of me for today....snort


JO said...

I am definitely with you on this one. If I couldn't hear music, I'm not sure what I'd do.

And the face thing? God, yes, the most intimate touch of all, I think.

earthmama said...

intimate is right...i've had kiddos shove their fingers in my eyes and up my nose trying to figure out who i was or just familiarize themselves with me... :)

but whether it's gentle or frantic, it is quite intimate to observe.