Aeon has been one of the better things I’ve recently found scattered upon the Internet. It’s not new; It’s new to me. One of my super-powers isn’t actually a super-power. It’s a piece of software that I wrote. Take a look at Aeon and imagine if, somehow, every day you were offered a couple of these essays to consider. Most of them I pass. But some of them…
For those with more serious loss, the decline of one sense often strengthens others. Watch anyone who has had hearing problems for a while and it’s obvious that they are listening differently. They listen with the whole of themselves, bodies turned towards the speaker, drinking in cues. They don’t hear so much as inhale, taking in everything from the expression in the other person’s eyes to the story told by their hands. At a sign language class or a deaf pub night, people — British people, even — will be listening and communicating with everything they have: gesture, expression, if necessary grabbing the other person and physically manhandling them into understanding.~ Bella Bathurst from, https://aeon.co/essays/listening-is-a-pleasure-a-balm-and-an-art-time-to-tune-in
I have always had poor hearing. If you’re a certain age, you’ll remember lining up to go into your school library, where someone gave you headphones and told you to raise your hand when you heard each tone. I didn’t have to raise my hand much, so, yay? /sarcasm Over the years I realized that I was compensating in other ways. Lip-reading being the most obvious. It wasn’t as good as Ye Ol’ Ears, but it worked. Somewhat. Eventually I got hearing aids and that’s another anecdote for another day.
Those who know me best, laugh derisively when I say, “People tell me I’m an amazing listener.” No really. A lot of people tell me that. And after reading that essay, I’m left wondering if having really poor hearing for most of my life, might be the secret to my listening.