Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On Noises That Stimulate Wonder

Crunchy, crunchy leaves...

Contrary to my last post, not all sounds make me nuts - more often than not, it can be exhilarating to have my concentration disrupted, to have the world tug at my attention and insist that I perceive something, regardless of how small, in a wondrously different way. Of course, this has been happening all along with the CI, but here's the most recent chronicle.

This is my first fall of experiencing such vibrant, dynamic sound. Thus, when I walk outside, I find myself directly experiencing the things I've, until now, only read and heard about secondhand. Yes, I knew leaves crunched, and maybe I could hear that a teensy bit with my hearing aid - but then it was only a dull whisper, not like this. Not this crisp, crackly, amazing noise that so perfectly matches the chill edge in the air outside. I've taken to walking - no, stomping - through them whenever possible. Around me I can hear branches rustling, birds, other people talking as they pass, doors closing, occasional cars. When the breeze picks up, it is one of my favorite sounds, so soft and whistling and elusive. I feel like I could listen to it all day. There's a lot of cobblestone on the roads around here, and my most recent game is stepping from one surface to another, from smooth sidewalk to bumpy stone to cracked asphalt to gravel, and seeing how the sound changes. I shuffle my feet, tread lightly, stamp, vary my gait, and the fact that I hear something different each time is just... stunning.

Even while I'm inside, noises sneak up on me when I don't expect them. Last night, while reading for class with a pencil in hand, it suddenly struck me that each time the lead touched the page, I heard something. Even from way down in my lap. Scratch. Scratch. I was mystified at first, and then felt as if a light bulb had switched on - the scribble of a pencil! But of course! Suddenly jubilant, I scrambled to find a piece of scrap paper, then sat scribbling, scribbling, writing my name and other random words, scrawling out in cursive versus print, listening and grinning like a fool. It was only a pencil, but hearing it was like extending my reach even farther into a world I'd never really imagined. Other sounds keep making me feel the same way: the peel ripping off an orange or a banana, the constant rustle of clothes, the stir of my hair in its ponytail, the squeak of my hands on the glass or the china, the umbrella popping open. Each time the thrill of discovery is the same. It is this thrill that I love most about the CI, this sense of wonder that seems inexplicable (and maybe incompehensible) to anyone but myself.

How amazing, that the world has sounds like these! And how lucky I am, to be able to experience them!

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