By Alyse Bukach
Being Deaf we pickup impressions a lot easier than the hearing. I cannot hear voices, I can only see your mouth moving. We can not hear our own voice, we can only feel it in our throats. I can not hear laughter, but I see it on your face. I can not hear the sounds of people playing instruments, but I can see them playing. I can not hear someone scream, only see their mouth open or the expression on someone else’s face like a startle. I can not hear someone crying, I only see the tears running down the face. I can not hear love and peace in a voice of loved ones, I see love and peace in their face and eyes. I can not hear your name being called, I only know if my friends and family informing me. I can not hear the beat of the the music, I only feel the vibrations. I can not hear wind whistling through the leaves on the trees. I only see the leaves swaying back and forth. I can not hear footsteps in the darkness, I only feel them or smell them and just having the sense someone is there. I can not hear the humming of machines around me, I only feel them when I put my hand upon it or even a hand if it strong enough to feel it through to my feet. I can not hear the television, I only read the subtitles on the screen.
Hearing people’s world is filled with sound, as my world is filled with sight, vibrations, smells and expressions. Some people think we are missing out on the sounds like hearing. When people put their mouths to my ears and scream down into them, I still cannot hear as I’ll feel the air coming from their mouths and feel the vibrations.
But we can hear the golden sound of silence. I know silence because I’m Deaf and it gives me time to prepare to listen with my heart, not with my ears and with my eyes so full of passion and determination.
In the last 5 years, I have learnt to know silence.
Trying to learn a new language, it’s not very easy to do. I need your help and assistance so I thought i’d explain it to you. Next time you are going to speak to me.
Don’t turn your head away, for I only by seeing the words on your lips. Can I understand what you say, if you talk to me more distinctly.
Not to loud and not to fast, don’t hide your lips behind a cup, your hand or keep talking walking past me.
When you impatiently say “never mind” I shrivel up inside. For I frantically fought to hear what was said. You don’t know how hard I tried.
The tick of a clock, the sound of birds, the sound of rain on the roof. Approaching footsteps, loved ones voice. What I’d give to hear them again. Will you help me to remember through the picture of a word, a sound, a melody that once I loved. And that once I also heard.