It has been a while since I relayed any stories about my deafness so I thought I would present one here. One of my favorite singer/composers was Simon and Garfunkel from the 1960’s. I still have all their albums including perhaps my favorite song from them which was “The Sounds of Silence”. Little did I know back then that the title of this song would take on a completely different meaning for me. I have been deaf for about twenty five years now and as a result of that the sounds of silence is indeed the sound of silence.
In my college days during the 60’s I, like many others around me, played a guitar. I was a folk music freak in that I knew most of the words to the popular folk singers of the time. This included Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, Woody Guthrie and too many others to mention. I was not a particularly good singer, or guitar player, but I could do a pretty good job of imitating Bob Dylan and his guttural type of singing.
During the last twenty five years my brain has slowly shut down in relation to sound. What I mean by that is that my brain no longer remembers what things sound like. This is particularly true for musical instruments and singing. I played the guitar for several years but my brain no longer remembers what that instrument sounds like. I know you pluck the strings and sounds come out but I just no longer remember what they sound like. The same is true for all musical instruments. This phenomenon is very frustrating to me. I think I should remember what a piano sounds like but the memory just doesn’t come about. I can still remember many of the words to the songs of the sixties and can recall the cadence of them but the instruments are a blank.
So now the sounds of silence really is the sound of silence. Maybe another saying is appropriate here also and that is “the silence is deafening”. Yes, there is some advantages to being deaf but there are also many disadvantages. While not remembering what music sounds like if very frustrating to me it is nothing compared to not being able to communicate easily with another person one-on-one without my interpreter/wife helping me. That frustrates me to no end.