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I’m trying to define or describe the experience of sound from someone who has been without it all her life. It’s something new to me still, and something I still don’t have 24×7. So it’s hard to describe feelings and things that are alien for so long. It’s at times still painful and at times still very overwhelming. But in the past 21 months since I got the implants I’ve had two surgeries to correct the positioning of the devices and months of waiting to turn them on. Months spent filtering noises most take for granted and now months learning words. I’ve learned to play the guitar for pitch which is helping me with sounds and words. So much is changing so fast it’s like a whirlwind and I’ve was blown from my feet nearly two years ago and still haven’t regained my footing. At times it seems like this is just a ride and I’m not in control of how far or how fast and others I realize it’s all on me. Maybe I’m the one pushing, maybe I control the speed and just don’t realize it. Or maybe life is just racing past and I’m trying to catch up. Either way for me this is a brave new world full of mystery, wonder and newness. I’ve heard my sons voice for the first time ever, I’ve heard music, and the sound of my own laughter. So much, so fast and yet so much more to do and learn.

Enjoy the colors of my travel through sound and join me on my journey with all the vibrancy, pleasure and pain:

Colors swirl reds and blues and greens making patterns invisible but inside. Like reflections of water filled with color and painful without touch. Blinding lights, dull and cool sparkle with vibrancy. How can such beauty cause pain? Blinding by definition yet subtle and seductive. Passing through me and imprinted upon me yet remaining in motion. Ever in motion as it sparkles just out of reach but within my grasp. Reflections of the mind and times spent new, reflections of all i desire still just beyond touch. The echo of a dream realized yet standing yet fulfilled. Dancing in vision upon my mind new and foreign in nature yet welcome change. Painful such painted vision and unexpected joy and tears. Joy brought forth from water parted and colors intertwined.

Downing beneath it’s waves the weight bares heavy upon me weighing me to sink further beneath it’s surface. Thick with anticipation it fills my lungs with heavenly pain a bliss of action heavy inside me. Pain my companion for which my gratitude over flows even to unwelcome guests. It’s hurts I scream silently while smiling to the world, unknown all faced by one on alien terms. Welcome as my dream sated ever so slowly sated and filled. My mind fills with new and strange things and register both pleasure and pain. So much and yet so little are the steps taken and internal a struggle to race forward while the world around wishes patience for a time. Don’t rush things is what they say but what I hear is try harder you can do it. Seems the disconnect of reality and self expectation is still something of a disconnect. Will this come in time?

Each day and each practice i yearn for a moment in anticipation of the colorful pain and confusion I’m about to face. I push myself to become an artist of silence broken. A day when my voice shall paint the world and the voices of others shall create a collage in harmony with my own. I long for this day when my voice can paint the very wind and the master piece inside can be seen by those who have never listened before. My words spread and my voice finally heard in earnest among the sea of people who before now have been silent before me. I long to join the choirs unseen to me before now.

I know in the end a masterpiece will stand where once only muted colors stood. It will be a master piece un-shared but through conversation on terms with others and without need of written word. A time when colors splash and words take form within my mind and upon the air. A time when I shall be normal like others and when I will be as them on equal in the world of sound. The colors of my words painted within ears of those I choose to share words with and finally can tell them in my own words. A time of level floor and playing field where my voice is heard by all and my silence broken.

Tireless effort and hours spent practicing and studying. The effort can be exhausting and can make for many long days and long nights. Through effort and will this is one more challenge I will conquer. As with all days of long nights rest shall overcome me and I welcome its dark embrace.

-Michelle Styles Sept 28, 2013