The deaf possess a plain naivety and honesty of intent which, unfortunately, will show up the hypocrisy of some hearing people who are often embarrassed when confronted by deafness. There is a tendency for people in a group to ignore the deaf when talking to each other. I am sure that this is an unthinking action, but it has always strained my tolerance and understanding. Rejection is so traumatic.
The tranquillity borne by deafness is said to be one consolation in this busy and noisy world, but to me it is most certainly not! It is only by touching the television or radio set and feeling the delicate vibrations that I am aware that sounds do exist, and although I have dealt with musical appreciation in the previous chapter, two of the pleasures denied to me are the actual sound of musical notes being played or sung and the singing of the birds. Being alone in a silent world can be beautiful at times, but it is a state which can also be extremely difficult and very lonely. As one becomes older, memories become a refuge from loneliness, and are greatly cherished. However, one of my worst regrets is that of missing out on opportunities by being unable to hear, but I hope I have always been able to face the realities of situations such as this.
Imagination can flourish in the silence of loneliness, as it is undisturbed by surrounding sounds. This, and the deep appreciative feelings coupled with a terrific power of observation and perception enhanced by my lack of hearing, have contributed to my general happiness and enjoyment of life as a whole. At the best of times I may feel isolated,but never alone in a public environment, as there is always a touch of humanity. In my daily life I am aware of being surrounded by warmth and affection which I happily reciprocate.