"With you, I don't feel I am deaf."

I think we all like getting compliments. I also think it is easy to miss those we get when we don't think we are really doing out of the ordinary.

I used to have a deaf friend. She started life hearing, but progressively lost her hearing (because of a heritable condition) until she became, as describes it, "profoundly deaf".

We were having lunch one day and she remarked, "With you, I don't feel I am deaf."

We communicated by scribbling on a pad of paper and passing it back and forth. I wrote back something akin to, "Perhaps you are not deaf, but I am mute." (I could look it up, but, first, I would have to find the papers – then I might find my response was far more banal or completely different, so we'll stick with the recollected version. Alright? :)

Her most striking feature was her eyes. They did not sparkle or shine or gleam or twinkle. They flashed.

The first time I had an opportunity to chat with her, I immediately thought she would be perfect to cast in the role of the goddess Athene as described in Homer's Illiad: Athene of the flashing eyes.

Image nabbed from here.


RennyBA said…
There is a lot of ways to communicate you know and I'm sure you had a good conversation since you really had something to 'tell' each other. Besides: silence can be a good thing among friends too :-)

Wishing you a great end to your week buddy.
Richard said…
rennyba: genuine communication flows freely and easily and overcomes whatever barriers may be in place.
b said…
Sounds like you two shared a deep connection, even in those brief moments. When we feel someone "gets" us, it is a magical and powerful feeling. And I love the way you describe her eyes!
Richard said…
breal: I don't know how deep we got, but chatting with her was a pleasure, not a pain.

She is the only person I ever met with those kinds of eyes. When I read The Illiad I remember thinking what a lousy description "flashing eyes" was. Honestly, who's eyes "flash" - except in cartoons. But, when I met my friend, the description fit her perfectly.

She had a great smile to go with those eyes, too.
Barbara said…
I've sometimes wondered whether I value sight or hearing more. As you have shown, you can compensate for a lack of hearing. Sight is a lot harder. Writing is so slow as opposed to speaking. I would imagine it's a little frustrating to communicate that way. But then kids do it all the time with their text-messaging.
ghee said…
im not surprised to learn how smart and kind you are,Richard! thats an honorable act! :)

have a nice weekend!
Richard said…
barbara: I could live without hearing, but not without seeing. Yes, conversations were slower, but also more suspenseful, since you could hide you response until you were ready to reveal it.

ghee: it has nothing to do with being smart, just being respectful of other people.

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