*NOTE: DO NOT be alarmed!! No bees or lightning bugs were harmed for the writing of this article–I always found a nail or ice pick to poke holes in the lid of the jar, and I always released my critters alive. Much more humane than my “out-of-body” experiences, as there are no air holes in my glass jar.
Okay, I’m overeacting here! My extreme and dramatic imagination has kicked in, but you get the idea. When you lose the ability to understand and participate, it DON’T FEEL GOOD, and it AIN’T NO FUN!!
Words spoken while sitting around a campfire, dining by candlelight, or lying in bed at night with your significant other, before falling asleep, all have become things enjoyed in the past. I have already grieved for those losses, as it has been years since I have been able to hear in low or no light situations, but I do occasionally still become sad when an aforementioned scenario arises. However, I try not to think on what I can’t hear, those conversations missed (missed v. tr. noticed, regretted or felt the absence, loss, or lack of.) in the dark.
In the previous paragraph, I purposely did not mention conversation, at night, while driving in a car, as most of us who have lost hearing know that talking in a car, even in the daylight hours, is difficult at best. Especially if it is the hearing impaired person who is driving. Turning to look at a speaker is so second nature, I always tell my passengers before our journey begins that I do not converse in the car, as I find myself taking my eyes off the road to see what they are saying. Sometimes I can catch what someone is saying from the back seat, if the rear view mirror is positioned so that a person’s face is reflected, but still, it just isn’t a good idea to concentrate on anything other than driving, when driving.
And yet, I love the dark! I worked very hard to overcome my fear of darkness, learned as a child. I forced myself to think rationally and practically and have come to enjoy late night walks alone and an occasional solo camping trip.
And then there are those conversations missed (missed adj. not caught with the senses or the mind; failed to hear.) in the dark. You know! Those phrases misheard or misinterpreted. Here are a few examples of common mondegreens in song:
- “There’s a bathroom on the right.” vs. “There’s a bad moon on the rise.”
- “The girl with colitis goes by.” vs. “The girl with kaleidoscope eyes.”
- “I hurdled through the grapevine.” vs. “I heard it through the grapevine.”
Yes, the brain can be a poor substitute for the auditory nerve, but it’s ability to fill in the blanks left by hearing loss remains mostly miraculous, even if flawed on occasion. And it is those flawed occasions that lend some much needed comedy to the malady of losing your hearing.
I will ever miss/miss words uttered in the dark and will surely feel sadness when situations where it is impossible for me to understand and participate arise, but that sadness will always be countered with laughter over those words or phrases misheard or misinterpreted.
How wonderful that life counters sadness with laughter. It is so with most of life’s challenges.