Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A silent world, a not-so-silent life

This morning, I caught an appearance of Marlee Matlin on Good Morning America. They were discussing her book, I'll Scream Later. I didn't know she had a book out but now I'm definitely gonna hunt down a copy.

Anyway, I was watching how she signed and talked at the same time. I know that in the past, she's been criticized for speaking as she signed. I'm glad she has not stopped speaking as she signed. Nothing against those who choose to sign without speaking, but one thing she says is that she is nothing like "silent" even though she is deaf. She is heard loud and clear. Her world may be silent, but her life is not silent. (My quote, not a paraphrase of hers.)

This is true for me, too. I totally agree with her statement that even though she is deaf, she is not silent. I am not silent, either.

I have often pondered about how I am "very loud" on the Internet. As in, I chat with people, I e-mail people and I have blogs. I write stuff on the Internet. My voice is "loud and clear" on the Internet and it is definitely one "world" where being able to hear is not mandatory.

And even as a writer, I don't need to be able to hear to write my articles or stories. I can use e-mail for interviews and write that so-and-so said this to me via an interview -- an interview conducted in a way that required NO need to hear at all! And I can "pretend" I hear the rain fall or that I can hear a phone ring when these things happen in a story, because I am "there" in the story to hear them.

But it's not just through writing in which I am "loud" and "heard." I am "loud" in everyday things, too. I speak, cry out, cheer. I "bang on the keyboard" (according to my sisters!) and walk with footsteps you can hear. I stomp my feet, tend to "loudly" close a door or cabinet, even move things with noise.

If anything, a deaf person is far from silent! Even when they don't speak with a voice you can hear.

And that's true of a deaf person's spirit, as well. Our spirits are "loud" and hearing people need only take just a brief moment to tune in and hear what our spirits have to say. Because our spirits have quite a lot to say, and quite a lot to be heard by.

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