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.”