I began this post a while back and then put it aside, unsure as to whether I actually wanted to share it, but it seemed fitting to submit a post that includes a poem written just a few days after 9/11/2001, this same week seven years later.
It is often true of those with a lessened ability in one sense to be more acute in their remaining senses. It is also true that many who lack hearing seem to have a heightened perception. With me, this phenomenon borders on the unexplained… sometimes when I look at still pictures and photographs they come alive with motion.
When I first read “Harry Potter” (I often read what my children were reading, but I also wanted to see what all the buzz was about surrounding this book when it came out years ago) I was excited at the description of portraits in motion, as it was exactly how I sometimes see pictures and photographs.
I believe that I possess the aforementioned heightened perception, but I also have a vivid imagination and a somewhat whimsical nature. My unscientific opinion is that all three of those things were developed as a result of my brain learning to hear. The brain is an amazing thing and so rather than think I am just crazy, I like to think maybe my not hearing stimulated a portion of my brain that might not otherwise have been stimulated, making my whimsical and imaginative abilities beyond what they would normally be?? As good an explanation for crazy as any!! LOL
On the morning of September 14th, 2001, I arose at my normal 4:00am time to write at the computer. The news of the morning, just as on every morning since the horrible happenings of the 11th, was taken up with speculation on who was to blame, who masterminded the plot? A news story about Osama Bin Laden was the first to come up, and along with the story was a thumbnail picture of him. As I read down the screen my eye, detecting motion, was involuntarily taken back up to the top where the story began, to the picture of a smiling, turban clad terrorist. The picture came alive and Osama Bin Laden threw his head back with haunting laughter that sent chills down my spine, and it made the hair on my neck stand up. I believed, and continue to believe, that what I saw and heard was the actual, chilling, and maniacal reaction of a evil and mad man lacking in conscience and heart.
The following poem came to me and I typed furiously to put down my thoughts in print.
I Hear You Laughing
I close my eyes and try to picture the monster that you are. No vision comes, but I hear you laughing.
I am wondering what it is that you think you have done? Do you think that this somehow makes us even? Somehow this monumental loss of human life makes you feel better about the injustices that you feel you have suffered? Is this revenge sweet? I imagine you perceive it to be. I believe you feel joy in the pain you have caused America and the world.
I close my eyes and try to reconcile your hate. No reconciliation comes, but I hear you laughing.
Is there any injustice that warrants such hate? How have we, as Americans, hurt you so? Is it jealousy? Do you hate us solely because we are a nation thriving? Do you think we will crumble under your terror, that we will surrender our freedom out of fear? You have grossly overestimated your power and have greatly underestimated the American Spirit.
I close my eyes and try to understand your soul, so evil. No understanding comes, but I hear you laughing.
I am wondering what your mother thought of you as she looked into your eyes those first moments after birth? Did she see the evil there? When did it take root? What were the circumstances that made such hate boil to the surface of your soul? Are you born of Satan himself? Surely you must be, for what other explanation could there be?
I close my eyes and try to reason how this could happen. No reasoning comes, but I hear you laughing.
How did you find others such as yourself, souls so filled with hatred and evil to carry out your terror? Did you recruit them, or were they just so lost and troubled that your cause appeared attractive to them? I will give you your due, your planning and patience has paid off. You have succeeded in bringing destruction on our nation and the world. However, you have failed in all ways but that.
I close my eyes and try to feel hatred for you, myself. No hatred comes, but I hear you laughing.
I ask myself, “Why? Why can I not hate someone so vile?” I am disappointed by my lack of hate. What is in me that you are lacking? What is the contradiction of our souls that robs me of my hate, but makes your hate abound? My heart, in all it’s aching, cannot conjure so much hate for another, no matter how despicable I find you. That is my revenge.
I close my eyes and try to see the justice that must come. I see it clearly and I hear your laughter fade.
You are a monster of unimaginable magnitude, consumed with hate, and a lover of evil who has easily, as it would seem, wrought havoc in our great nation. You have brought human suffering to so many of our citizens, but you have not broken us. Our revenge will not come as the hatred you have shown us. It will come in the form of justice. It is the world against you and there are more of us.
I closed this poem with an even more dramatic paragraph, but I find I am embarrassed to include it here. Embarrassed, because our government’s response to this terror was to go in a direction contrary to where a lot of us feel it should have gone. A direction that has looked nothing like the justice I glimpsed at the closing of my eyes, but this is not a political rant and so I will end here.
You, dear reader, can possibly understand my reluctance to share my phenomenon publicly, but I am curious to hear from others who might share this phenomenon. Heightened perception, overactive imagination, whimsical nature, or just plain crazy? Call it what you like, but I continue to believe it to be one of the positives to losing my hearing gradually, at a young age. :o)