In 2012 I lost the hearing in my left ear. I woke up that morning in September and couldn’t hear from that side. I’m a listener more than a talker, and it has been a continual adjustment and a real loss. Vertigo accompanied the loss during the first couple of months as my brain made the adjustment to a different stability and I would find myself holding on to furniture and walls as I moved from room to room. Voices and noises bounce around rooms, making crowded places disorienting. So now, when I listen, I must look at people and watch them speak, giving them my complete attention.
The world spins while I am deaf
Silenced by the inner ear,
To learn to listen with the heart.
Am I also blind?
Or is this focused learning
balanced by an unseen hand?
To discern an unseen mask
hidden in the spoken word,
unheard meaning deep inside the words.