Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Both Sides Now

My earworm* of the moment is a circa 1967 Joni Mitchell song, Both Sides Now. The title speaks to a coming event. Initially, I'd have sworn the lyrics had nothing to do with me, but, as with so many things, I was wrong.

I've looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all

Both Sides Now is playing in my head because I'm getting a second cochlear implant next month. (Wikipedia: A cochlear implant (CI) is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing.) Soon, I'll hear in stereo-- from both sides now. 

With two implants, people's voices may sound artificially high and environmental noises—rain hitting the roof, bird calls, the ac switching on—artificially loud, but I'll adjust because I WANT TO HEAR EVERYTHING.

The first implant, which I got last July, showed me what I'd been missing—and it was a lot. It's a never-ending thrill to hear the voices of my husband and daughters when they're in the next room. I hear cats meow and the microwave ding.

Yesterday, at the dentist, the hygienist talked to me through her mask, and I was able to follow her rambling, funny anecdote. Contrast that with the panic that clawed a few years ago when a new student appeared in my class wearing a burqa that covered her face. I was taught by nuns and am not fazed by long, enveloping garments but couldn't read my student's lips, hence the panic. #teacherfail

There will be challenges ahead, and I don't expect miracles. Full hearing may be an illusion, but it's one that propels me forward. If I get less than I hope for, it will be more than I have now.   

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As ev'ry fairy tale comes real
I've looked at love that way

What are you greedy for?

*The novelty may never wear off!


Sarah Andre said...

Oh Pat, I'm so thrilled to "hear" your good news! I wish you all the best with the operation (I'm assuming it IS an operation.)

I am greedy for things I cannot ever have again or have very little control over: I'm greedy for youth (with the wisdom I have now)and being a NYT bestselling published author.

Other than that I love my life just as it is. :)

Lark Howard said...

How wonderful, Pat! I know the first cochlear implant was a huge change for you. I hope the second one proves to be another miracle in your life.

I'm greedy for time and experiences. I want to go on a photo safari in Africa, visit exotic places in Morocco and Turkey, experience the wonders of the Himalayas, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. I long to sail again and return to the underwater world I once spent much of my day exploring while I still have the good health and fitness to do these things. It's a good thing that I have my writing and the ability to "go" wherever I want in my imagination, isn't it?

Jennette Marie Powell said...

I'm greedy of time, especially alone-time when I can write. Oh and of course I'm greedy for more sales!

Congrata on getting your other implant, and enjoy your improved sense of hearing!

Sheila Seabrook said...

Pat, I'm so excited to hear your wonderful news and I can't wait to read your report on the results of the operation. No longer will your husband or children be able to whisper without you hearing. :)

Wow, what am I greedy for? Well, my house is already clean -- although I had to do that job myself -- my family is healthy and happy, and I have the best job in the world. What else could I want? :)

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Sarah! Youth plus wisdom = an awesome combination. Sigh. My fingers are crossed for your best sellerdom.

Lark, I wish you trips aplenty--the real kind plus as many virtual voyages as your imagination desires. God, but you're a much more adventurous traveler than moi.

Sheila, I was inspired by your mother's first cataract surgery and am almost as anxious for her second as you are.