About Loud Dishwashers and Quiet Strength

handsigns_K“Nothing strengthens authority as much as silence.” Leonardo da Vinci

 

Well now, I hope that da Vinci is right, because the world around me seems to believe and behave otherwise. If I had time this morning, I would figure out what the sound level of my dishwasher is right now. At the moment, my house is silent other than

1: the dishwasher – a noisy one. Very noisy.

2: my dog Paul and the clinking of his dog tag on my feet. and

3: the pleasant chatter of NPR news which I’ve got at a low-level to keep me company and on task.

I’m pretty sure that I can also hear our dog Lennon chomping on some breakfast as well.

Probably this sound mix seems relaxing to some, boring, or maybe annoying as crap to others. My youngest son LOVES noise – he makes a lot of it, and feels anxious if he’s not surrounded by a clashing mix of various people and media streams. Oh, I think that most of us like the IDEA of silence – and maybe even envy those of us who are quiet and highly sensitive souls. I’ll let you research the statistics yourself, and they certainly are out there. Our world is getting louder. Commercials, radios, classrooms, churches, grocery stores. You name it. All of the day to day places we go to have been proven (in first world type of settings) to be really, really loud anymore. So with that in mind, indulge me as I start sharing some tough crap I’m up against of late.

I can’t be the authority of everything I want to control and change – and I can’t perfectly manage my sound environment – after all, I’m not cloistered and I’ve not yet taken a vow of silence. But I LOVE what Da Vinci says, and I want to switch his quote up to something more personal:

“Nothing can, nor has ever strengthened my authority better than silence.”

And, on the flip side – lore has it that the reason VanGogh cut his ear off is not because he1959461_10153074983048810_36322649183088841_n was insane, it was because he had tinnitus – sound that is not sound. It’s fake noise that is created by the brain of someone who is hard of hearing or deaf. It can be related to a lot of things – injury, stress, a reaction to environmental sound, tight jaw muscles, and from what I can tell – it always involves an out of the norm auditory system or event.

I still don’t know why it is true, but I found out a year ago that my hearing status, for now in one ear, is permanently out of the normal range. That may not sound (pun intended) like a big deal, but it really is. It’s a very big deal for me. What I’m up against isn’t as clear as the typical getting older and starting to hear less clearly.

Strangely enough, it is the symptoms that come with what ever is going on in my auditory system that is, I have to say, kind of maddening at times. And what I have going on isn’t even in the ball park of what many hard of hearing and Deaf folks go through. Thankfully, this isn’t my first unexpected life rodeo ride, so for the most part, it’s not too hard to take in stride. world has ended many times I read this morning that one way to deal with tangled feelings from our past is to accept our limitations as deeply and quickly as we can when these limitations become clear. I agree for the most part – I’m a fan of facing the truth, even when it sucks.

So, in a few weeks if at my 6 month hearing test the truth is that my hearing status is the same mild and mysterious scenario, my body is still going to keep telling me: things just are not right. If the ENT is dismissive and says again, “we don’t know what’s going on, there is nothing we can do yet, come back in another six months,” how should I respond?

The discomfort of constant ear pressure and the annoyance of mild tinnitus that I deal with 24/7, again, is nothing compared to many others. I am getting to know a lot of great people who have profoundly difficult symptoms such as frequent vertigo or severe tinnitus. Many of them can’t work, and many of them work anyway…how, I’m not yet sure.

I do know this:

I adore American Sign Language (ASL). It’s not just fun (which it is), it’s not just cute (which it can be) it IS – well, it is indescribably in written word. Because it’s not – it’s not English, and it isn’t written. It is something that we DO and SEE.

It is the BEST language ever, and I would say the same if my hearing was top notch. It conveys feeling, thought, time, time, space, story, history, and details in a way that no other language will ever be able to do.

So, “God willing, if the creek don’t flood,” hopefully between now and mid-April,  I will have the courage to face this ongoing physical limitation by allowing myself to reflect on these difficult questions and not feel ashamed of the resulting fears and anxieties that are about as normal as normal can be.

I’m out of time and brain juice to figure out a way to transition what I’m saying to a recommendation to read these two articles from a friend – so I’ll just add them as a Post Script here. They are all about the topic of this blog: grace.

Take care, and be warm, Kate

10429303_10153075073858810_8420602525960782671_nStaying open to Grace: http://wp.me/p3gSTz-T2

When ‘Happily Ever After’ Meets Life’s Hardships: http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/therese-borchard-sanity-break/when-happily-ever-after-meets-lifes-hardships/

A Super Duper Beautiful poem: http://youtu.be/9GdawG7CBNo

 

 

 

A Post from Last Summer about Tired Hands

What a lucky couple of finds amongst a shoulder full of Monday confusions.

1: A photo from last fall that I took in the morning, but to me, looks like a setting sun:

BPyUYW1CIAA-IFq

2: A couple of minutes to re-read a poem I found last summer. This summer I am reading the poem from the perspective of an American Sign Language (ASL) student. I hope to reboot my skills in a month or so, and for one reason and another, I re-read this poem from a Jesuit point of view. This time, the speaker in the poem became Jesus, and the hands became those of an ASL interpreter WannaBe.

Here is a link to the poem by Erin Bertram. It’s an encouraging poem. Hope the same is true for you.

Lazy Monday in Iowa

Yesterday I didn’t write anything. I did reply via Twitter a few times.

I also sent a few thanks to people who commented or “liked” a blog post, and left comments on a few blogs.

But that isn’t writing…that’s just water cooler chat, right?

What did I do all day?

I actively didn’t write. Oops.

I sat at my desk all day: from 7:30 when I shooed the last boy out the door, until 2:00 when it was after school pick up time.

Today it’s hard for me to conceive that I indulged almost all of that time playing games on Google+.

The

whole

day

long.

I started a farm, I started a city, and I spent most of those hours on an imaginary island clicking grass lumps, that became bushes, which then became trees. The more exciting moves were when I clicked bears, who became cemetary markers, which with some extra effort on my part, became churches.

Do you want me to continue to explain that there was a way to combine churches to create cathedrals? No? Thank God. I’m embarrassed and amazed enough as it is.

I will say that I read quite a bit early on and I listened to NPR the whole time that was capturing virtual bears, so you can now wipe the sneer off your face.

It is now 10:05, and I’m already running circles around my Monday vacation. I’ve cleared away bunches of things on the desk, read and cleared a bunch of email, worked a bit on learning to tweet more effectively, read both the Methodist and Catholic Gospels for next Sunday, and am showered, dressed and fluffed for the day.

So – off I go to do a bit of recycling, a stop at the library, a stop at the Art Museum, and a stop for a bite of something and a few minutes to jot notes about the letter that is in my head that I’d like to send to Maurice Sendak.

Oh. And I had an idea for a poem last night that came from watching a fellow in the pew ahead of me on Sunday. He had prayer cards in his hand and I was interested in how and when he grabbed them – he seemed to hold them tight during most of the mass except for the homily. I noticed that the most tattered one was of our Bishop. What a lucky guy (Bishop Amos) to have someone with such intense loyalty.

So, I’ve now fessed up on my inaction, what have you avoided or blown off lately? Or, even more interesting, how have you spent your time doing exactly the opposite of what you know you “should” be doing?

Outta here. Latah.

Am I a Mean Mother if I Make My Son Laugh?

Ouch.

I’ve handled living far away from our oldest son quite well for the past few months. Being away from him while he has a 24 flu is tough though. So sonny boy…assuming you are back at work and toughing things out…, here are some laughs and pictures to come home to rather than a plate of comfort food.

If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we’re apart I’ll always be with you.
Winnie The Pooh

Looking back, you realize that a very special person passed briefly through your life, and that person was you. It is not too late to become that person again.  Robert Brault

You have a cough? Go home tonight; eat a whole box of Ex-Lax – tomorrow you’ll be afraid to cough. Pearl Williams 

Warning: Humor may be hazardous to your illness…
Ellie Katz

Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.

John Wayne