This morning, I was on the streetcar with two beautiful young people who were hearing impaired. I think that the young woman was deaf and the young man was hearing impaired because he wore a hearing aid. It was incredible watching them interact without sound. There was something beautiful about it. I was trying not to stare but I was just fascinated and moved by them. It had me thinking about how easy it is to take something like the ability to hear for granted. These young people were both smiling and have a sense of contentment about them.
I thought about silence and I thought about “self” as I sat there. I remember getting a taste of communicating non-verbally when I was up in Nunavut and, despite the fact that I can speak perfectly well, I found that there was something really calming and precious about communicating non-verbally. I wondered what it would be like to communicate entirely in silence.
It also had me thinking about how we define ourselves. I’ve been reading a lot about “the self” lately. Seeing people who did not have the sense of hearing gave me a chance to reflect on the fact that our/my true “self”, who I really am, must transcend the five senses. If I lost any of my senses, or even all of them, I would still be me. So who am I? What am I? Ahhh....the eternal question.