~ End of the school year sunrise photo by Linda – thanks Linda!
I stumbled on, of all things, a lipstick ad that really speaks to this experience of adjusting to not singing in tune…and now occasionally right on task. I’ve never been a professional in music – but I dreamed of it as a girl. And, as far as coping with life goes, hitting all of the notes, especially in church, was a fail safe relief for almost all of my first forty some years. It wasn’t funny after a while when my kids had to break it to me that I was not just singing too loud in church, but I was way off key, more times than not. I rely on their honesty. But, it’s hard to explain how quickly I, for the most part, got over my fears about the fact that I may lose most of or all of my hearing at some point in time in my later life. Losing some or all of my ability to accurately hear music? That’s a tough one too, but this year I’ve learned to watch and listen and just enjoy. It’s less work anyway.
But, feeling left out, experiencing exile – it’s tough no matter how, or why, or for how long. It’s tough.
(photo credit: Beth A. Richardson – thanks Beth )
The closed captions are not totally accurate on the lipstick ad that I mentioned so here is a transcript. It is SO beautiful. You don’t have to be thinking about anything other than that life can be challenging to appreciate it – it just happens to also be about the Deaf experience and the joy of singing music in key.
Here is a link to the ad: #LOVEYOURNATURE “Silence”
Burt’s Bees “Silence” ad re: #LoveYourNature
Closed Caption Transcript
In life you have a lot of barriers and you have two choices: you can allow yourself to stay stuck and do nothing, or you can find your way around and experience life.
I started performing when I was about four and I was always the singer, but I had problems with my hearing so, losing my hearing was always my biggest fear.
When I was in music school I started noticing that I couldn’t understand my teachers. Everything just got quieter and more muddled, and it was just….
it was gone.
I lost all of my dreams.
I lost everything that makes sense.
I could have stayed angry and fearful, but I made a choice to face my fears and find happiness again.
(musical tuning sounds)
I had to start small, so…I wanted to find the notes.
I started on a journey of feeling vibrations. Through the floor I could feel the drums. And, the bass, I can feel through my chest, and the high frequencies I can feel on my skin, my arms, my face.
(Mandy to accompanist) “I can’t tell if you are playing lower or just louder, so I just kind of want to look. (finger snaps, 1-2-3-4 followed by music). Pull back just a little.”
Before I was just terrified to actually sing in front of people, but losing my hearing was my biggest fear. So, now I don’t have that fear holding me back and I just enjoy singing.
Now I feel the music, like I am a part of it, even though I can’t hear it.
And….I love that about myself.”
“My love is stronger than the winter you were frightened of…” ~Lucy Wainwright Roche
I hope that this summer offers time to write more about this – this thing of an enjoyable challenging winter. One that ended with finally getting a hearing device and yesterday, James Taylor and I singing in perfect harmony for the first time in what may have been years.
I would have been okay if I’d never hit those notes again.
More than okay.
That’s how happy with my full life and all of it’s changes.
This gallery contains 3 photos.
To be enlightened is to know that heaven is not “coming.”
Heaven is here.
We have simply not been able to realize that yet because, like King Arthur and his search for the Holy Grail, we look in all the wrong places, worship all the wrong idols,
get fixated on all the wrong notions of God.
We are always on our way to somewhere else when this place,
the place in which I stand,
wherever it is,
is the place of my procession into God,
the site of my union with the Life that gives Life.
~Joan Chittister, from “Illuminated Life”
My friend Ned put that in a Facebook message yesterday – and it’s awesome.
I don’t know about you but I started out this Lent with all kinds of plans – the kind that involved trying to figure out what I feel guilty about and a plan of action about how to make those wrongs right.
One of our local pastors gave a most dynamite Ash Wednesday sermon, complete with asking us to listen closely to “The Man in Mirror” by Michael Jackson and to come up with some Lenten activities that involve doing something that brings about social justice.
Well….I haven’t done that.
I’ve done a lot of reading. And a whole lot of thinking – particularly about audism (oppression from the hearing world toward the deaf world).
But….nope. The heavy hitting Lenten reads that I signed up for are still in my email inbox – but are dutifully flagged for another time.
My idea to give up TV and listen to music – not really a sacrifice – it was a trend that was already happening. Because of my hearing loss TV is more frustrating than enjoyable most times and I tend to use the head phones and binge watch during school breaks.
And, I also started out the semester with an assignment in my Linguistics class which was to come up with three MEASURABLE and DOABLE goals. My instructor for that class is fantastically patient – which is good, because the first few things I sent for this assignment were….a little bit over the top shall we say.
After a few weeks she mentioned to the group of us that “some of you might want to consider being a bit less hard on yourselves and adjusting your goals and measurements to the reality of your daily lives.”
So – I asked one of my classmates – the one who is typically quiet, and will be brutally honest if you ask her to be. I wanted brutally honest.
“I need you to red pen this thing” I said to her during break.
She took one look at the goal assignment on the computer screen and, to my delight, burst out in laughter and expletives.
I’m proud to say that the red penned goal list is working quite well. I hit most of the goals but not always, and they include practical things like remembering to do laundry and playing with markers on a regular basis. I’m too embarrassed to admit how complicated and impossible my first list was.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Why do we think that the good stuff is yet to come?
Why do we ask “Where does the time go?” What does that question even mean?
When will we appreciate what we have, right here, right now?
So …thus far…Lent 2016 has been about friendship – and becoming utterly dependent on friends in addition to family. Not just relearning how to make new friends…I figured that out last year.
But, telling the truth to friends, and…I hate this…
asking for help.
Here’s the view from my window yesterday morning:
What more could I possibly ask for….
“…the place in which I stand,
wherever it is,
is the place of my procession into God,
the site of my union with the Life that gives Life.”
So – in a jiff I need to start to catch up on homework and prepare to deliver our son to a nice snowy hill somewhere, but…
I sort of want to put into a few words why still, in view of this strange generation that my youngest son is in: I really cringe at the phrase,”kids these days are just Bratz!”
It’s what we say – always have and always will. I get that.
But on a deeper level, let’s look at this thing of :”kids these days are selfish brats.” Maybe, but are they also selfless leaders, or is it some of both?
I say both.
My friend has a daughter that has for, three years now I think, has proudly shaved her head to support the St. Baldrick foundation (a cancer fundraiser).
Give my son a few minutes to spout his thoughts and he will in no uncertain terms tell you about his feelings on why he supports Bernie Sanders. He can back it up with historical facts that tie back to the underground railroad and will make logical ties to the benefits of rap music and storytelling.
And these two young people are only 14 years old.
I posted a quote from a really good article about narcissism a minute ago which includes a link. (Hit the button up above that says “earlier post” if you’d like.)
On one hand, to be honest – I’m less sure every day that when I get my interpreting certificate and/or license – I’m not sure that I want to go back into school work. Is it because the challenges are many these days and I’m not up for it? Sort of – not sure I’m interested in the stress of what childhood and education has become these days. More so, it’s just so loud – literally. Loud speakers, amplified voices, super sonic toilets – it all hurts my ears and grates my nerves.
But – that’s just me.
I miss being on the floor reading Maurice Sendak books to my boys and blowing up wooden train tracks with megazords.
If you find any good articles about raising teens during this super selfish time of history in the 1st world – please pass them on!
Raising children in this day and age is no easy task. ~ Kate Cooper
“A healthy self-love that leads to true happiness is what Rousseau called “amour de soi.”
It builds up one’s intrinsic well-being, as opposed to feeding shallow cravings to be admired.
Cultivating amour de soi requires being fully alive at this moment,
as opposed to being virtually alive while wondering what others think.
The soulful connection with another person, the enjoyment of a beautiful hike alone (not shared on Facebook) or a prayer of thanks over your sleeping child (absent a #blessed tweet)
could be considered expressions of amour de soi.”
“Following Jesus means to incarnate an attitude, a disposition, an openness,
and a receptivity to the divine offer of grace actuated in loving service;
it means taking up a new way of being in the world for God and for
the flourishing of all God’s creation.” ~ M. Shawn Copeland