|Dang! Why is it taking me so long to fold this laundry, I wondered. No music is why. I decided to be “deaf” for my writing assignment. After I put in the ear plugs, I went about my chores. My husband is coming home from a business trip Saturday and I have to work so today is the day to get everything done. Housework has always been boring to me and without music I could not find an internal rhythm to make the job a little enjoyable. When I was finally done, I looked at my clock. The job had taken no longer than normal, but it seemed like eternity.
Time for me to get the dishes done. Normally I would put on the TV with the latest Netflix or iTunes offering. Since it was noontime, I turned on the news and played with the remote so that the closed caption would crawl across the screen. This will be fine I thought. Until I realized I can’t listen as I wash. I have to stand and read the news. Disgusted, I start to turn off the TV, when I realize the captions are about a half to a full second off the action on the screen. And there seem to be the occasional spelling mistake. Is this how deaf people really get their news, I wondered. I switched over to one of the soaps. Yep. It was the same. Captions ran behind the action like a badly dubbed Japanese movie. This was too frustrating and I’m not really deaf. I turned off the TV and finished the dishes.
As I dried my hands, Murphy, my Brittany spaniel, threw his tennis ball at me. I took the ball and he followed me to the backyard. Now our game of “Catch” is not played the normal way. I toss him the ball a few times and he brings it to me. Fine so far. Then Murphy will take the ball and disappear into a small grove of trees to 1. take care of business or to 2. bark at the squirrels, birds or nothing until I yell “I’m going in!” Then he runs up to me with the ball completely surprised that I am not enjoying the game.
We started the game as normal and he disappeared. I can’t hear him bark so I hope he is taking care of business. The thing is without any sound, I have no marker of what’s happening. I cannot hear birds or squirrels or Murphy’s bark. I started to panic a little. How long has he been gone? Is he always gone this long? What if he ran into a raccoon or skunk? “I’m going in,” I yelled, but no Murphy. I started to walk away, then change my mind and headed toward the grove. Half way there, Murphy bursted out of the brush. I guess I didn’t give him enough time.
After the game, I see that my time for the assignment is up and I took out the ear plugs. Sound overwhelmed me from the noise of Murphy’s panting to the hum of the fridge. I turned on the local Christian music station and thought about what I’ve learned. Truthfully, I thought I lived a pretty lonely life. My husband travels a lot, I work weird shifts so I’m off when everyone else is working and I am an introvert. Putting in the earplugs brought me to a new level of isolation. I wanted to go to the grocery store but how could I drive without sound? I missed my husband call to talk about finishing his project. I texted him to call me later. I missed his voice and enthusiasm for this trip and his work. Without outside noise, I felt trapped inside my own head. Then I heard,
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,” Chris Tomlin sang on the radio.
Thank you, God for eyes to see and ears to hear.
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