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Sound of silence

I know it’s an odd topic and I may ramble a bit. Bare with me as I try and bring order to the chaos that is the silence within. The sounds of my thoughts and the sounds that are known only to each of us inside. My struggle to be normal in a world without sound and sounds discovered daily. Sound I never knew as such and have only recently discovered there were things I heard all along.

Being deaf I’d never realized silence has a sound. I grew up never hearing a word spoken not a sound made with my ears. I felt vibrations for hard bumps on the floor or footsteps as they approached. I would read lips and with my eyes I heard the world around me. It never once occurred to me that silence has a sound.

It can be a deafening and overwhelming sound at times and at others a hushed whisper. But it’s always there hovering just beyond the conscious mind. It’s an inexplicable thing this concept of silence. The knowledge that even when the world around is still inside there is sound within us all.

In our silence we can hear the voices within more clearly and the rumble of the storms on the soul. These internal sounds don’t need ears to understand. They only need heart. For a mind in motion creates the sounds within that ears are not required to hear.

I’ve imagined so often what certain things sound like and my mind raced to answer the query. In recent months with new sounds being discovered daily some things have a voice that hasn’t changed. Oh my vision of the sound of seagulls or the ocean weren’t as vivid as the real thing but they are sounds I’ve heard long before getting my implants and I didn’t realize my mind had filled in a sound already.

Though it wasn’t till I got my cochlear implants that I came to realized just how noisy silence is. I’d always just accepted it as thoughts without sound. How wrong I was though. There is sound within even when there is none without. Our thoughts can betray us at times, the voices within waging a private war upon sanity. That is the time of the storms within both violent and loud. The sounds that wake us from dream where not a word was uttered not sound made externally.

Our sounds within can be calming as well. I’d always imagined the ocean though I realize it sounded like my heart beating before my implants. I’ve come to realize the power of the mind. It knew the ocean was powerful and steady and it filled in a sound of something powerful and steady. In my silence my brain gave birth to sounds within and the world without. It substituted things I knew in place of things I wish I’d known.

Think how accurately my brain substituted the ocean sound. It knew the ocean was powerful and steady. Inside our hearts beat steady and powerful as it pumps our blood. The ocean for me has always been a place of wonderment. Perhaps the reason why now is because inside my mind equated it as equal to my heart.

I had always accepted silence as the absence of sound. I know now I was wrong. Our thoughts are in a way sound and though I’d never heard one with my ears I hadn’t been deprived of sounds within. We all have voices inside. Mine surprisingly sound no different now that I know what sound is as compared to when I didn’t know what it was.

My heart has a sound I’ve known since birth. Voices inside have never been quiet and though now I can hear they do not sound differently. Thought itself has a sound the world will never hear. Sounds so personal they will never be heard by another save for written word they’d have no voice at all.

It’s funny to think how as I write this and you read it your sounds of silence inside sound uniquely to yourself. No two will hear my sounds even as written in the same light. The sounds inside of you are personal and raw. None shall ever hear them as you hear them.

Sometimes in silence we hear more than we know. Our moments of silence aren’t really an absence of sound at all. They are really just moments we hear with our heart all that we say only to ourselves. These voices silenced to the world around. They are known only to you on a personal level. Even should your words spoken in silence find their way to paper. The sounds inside you will never be heard the same as the way you heard them.

Every voice you hear is actually just sound interpreted into thought. What you hear and what I hear are the same words but once they pass the ears we all might as well just be reading lips. It’s because inside in the world of silent sound these words are unique to the receiver. Every word once past the ears is but an impression within.

These impressions can be skewed by many factors including how well we truly listen. The only true measure of listening to another is when you learn your ears can deceive you and the sound of silence heard with the heart is the only sound that truly matters. The heart is the only sound every human knows from conception to death it beats steady and true. Powerful and yet so fragile like life itself.

If you believe for even a moment you aren’t unique in a world of seven billion people. I’d ask you to listen to the sound from within and remember that no one knows that sound but you. No one hears your heart as you hear it. Can they hear your heart? Sure if they listen with their own they will hear your pure heart. But the message and the sound they receive is not always the one you hear inside. Even when they hear your message loud and clear the words they hear inside are uniquely their own.

Funny the things we thought ourselves missing were never truly missing inside. For me in my deafness I truly believed I’d never heard a sound. Today decades after my birth I come to realize I could hear clearly without my ears all the things inside. I had the ability to hear all this time because hearing and listening even if only to yourself is something we each learn in time.

You are the only you that will ever exist so enjoy your uniqueness. Learn to listen to it and practice in your own sounds of silence.

~Michelle Styles – December 10, 2013