“hopelessly hearing”

I had lunch today with an old dear friend – over a decade by golly! Who at one point (after I made some nonsensical polite “filler” type of comment) laughed heartily at my cultural non-deaf-ness. 🙂 Then, she said I really am “deaf” though, in the sense of being estranged from family. She was referring to my family of origin, with whom my ties are tighter now than in many, many years, but which never nurtured a deep sense of belonging. She likened this to the experience of that vast majority of deaf individuals born into non-deaf families, and the seemingly inevitable distances that arise because of language acquisition issues and a range of phenomenological differences.

Marvin Marshall once told me I had a “deaf heart” which is dang near the highest praise any non-deaf person could ever hope to receive. He was a sweetheart. Died a few years ago. 🙁 Got death/dying on my mind today. Just posted some more about Mary Frances. Re-read a “requiem” for her and this line jumped out at me:
“She said it out loud. You always said it out loud.” So True! 🙂
And my pal and I today reminsced about others who’ve gone on – Charlie Tummino, for one. Some of our relatives.
There was a bunch of other stuff we talked about too – modes of consciousness and groovy stuff like that. 🙂 It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.

2 thoughts on ““hopelessly hearing””

  1. Hey, Steph!
    Yeah, it sure was a great way to spend the afternoon, indeed!
    Just for my education: Does the shy waiter’s assessment of my questionable sanity after making the ghost grandmother comment fit in with the concept of phenomenological differences?
    Thanks for posting info on Mary Frances. Will read her works, starting with the one on the crip kickball game.

  2. I think the shy waiter was questioning MY sanity, as I’m the one whose voice he heard! Hard to say – so many non-deaf people really don’t “get” that you moving your hands is language – that’s a phenomenological difference! – but I don’t recall saying something extremely explicit like “SHE wants to know if…”
    But I think what threw him was the tense, and that wasn’t phenomenological, that was an interpreter error. Interpreter ERROR! I missed whatever the “past tense” cue was, so me asking about his grandmother in the present tense as if she was still alive would be enough to throw anyone, don’t you think? 🙂
    I suppose I could do better in those casual situations? I tend to imagine that it’s “obvious” who’s speaking and who isn’t when there’s just two of us and a third party joins – I use my eyes and a head tilt/inclination, but then that’s a DEAF thing, and I don’t know if hearing people “get” that either. This is also phenomenological, about an orientation to information, ways of perceiving what “counts” as something to pay attention to and what doesn’t.
    Also, I’d just made a point of not using my voice to order (!) so he might have just thought I was one weird chick. 🙂

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