Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Hearing - Music is my First Love

01:19:00 Posted by Pamela Winning , , , , 2 comments

To quote John Miles, ‘Music is my first love…’.  I grew up with ‘The Light Programme’ on the wireless, my mother’s records, usually stacked to drop in turn on what was probably a Dansette and the sound of the Juke Box filtering up from the bar below. When I’m at home the radio is always on until the television takes over for the tea time news. Later, if I have a job to do in the kitchen before bed, I’ll put a CD on, something gentle and soothing.  I can’t imagine a life without music. I enjoy the spoken word, poetry, live theatre and birdsong. I love listening to the baby-babble chatter from my grandchildren. Soon they will be speaking our language and this magical time will have passed, though some words in my family which began with my children will always remain – bagsketti and amnials are two which are still in use. Say them out loud if it helps. I’m very thankful for my sense of hearing and mostly I feel empathy towards those with hearing loss. My main bugbears are those who pretend they’ve heard when they haven’t and those who need a hearing aid but refuse to wear one for vanity reasons.
I was starting to get annoyed with someone at work when every question I asked was met with ‘Eh?’ as he cupped a hand round his ear and leaned further over my counter. For the benefit of his privacy and the protection of my throat I gave up shouting and started writing it down instead. He wasn’t impressed but we got the job done and I managed to resist asking if he normally used a hearing aid.
On another occasion at work I was trying my best to help someone profoundly deaf and dumb with an answer to a query on a letter he had received. This involved me telephoning an unrelated NHS admin department. The person on the other end insisted she had to speak to the person concerned, not a third party. I reminded her that this person is deaf and dumb, can’t possibly use a telephone, doesn’t have email and would like me to act on his behalf.  My request was met with a total refusal to co-operate and I’m still waiting for someone to come back to me with a suitable method of communication.
There are times when the sound of silence, or near silence is preferable. A wind down after a busy, challenging day is better with a hot cup of tea and the rhythmic creak of my old rocking chair with no other noise to spoil the moment.
That’s enough grumbling.  I should be more patient with those who can’t hear so well. After all, I have sight problems and no sense of smell, so help me out if you think I’ve left the gas on.
This is my poem,                                             Imagine if You’d Never Heard
Imagine if you’d never heard
The crashing of a stormy sea
Pounding the rocks so forcefully
A flock of seagulls swooping round
Calling and screaming constantly.
Imagine if you'd never heard
A newborn baby’s lusty cry
A nursing mother’s lullaby
Singing the little one to sleep
Then gentle kiss and happy sigh.
Imagine if you’d never heard
Music filling a concert hall
Ready to host the Christmas Ball
Waltzing and Foxtrot and Two-Step,
Roll up and join in, one and all.
Imagine if you’d never heard
The beauty of the spoken word
In the rhythm of poetry.
A silence that can’t be disturbed.
PMW 2016
Thanks for reading, Pam x                     



Anonymous said...

I love this poem Pamela. My Mum is both profoundly deaf and almost blind now. Most organisations are happy to speak to me as her agent, except the bank. When she lost her cash card recently, they insisted that she read out the dates of some of her standing orders. The Data Protection Act has its uses but sometimes...

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