Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Hearing (sense)’

The Sights I See The Things I Hear

Today I am on another road trip with husband Greg – who has many occasions to do funerals and weddings out of our immediate area. It is a rainy dark day with many clouds looming above that look heavy with water. The further north we drove the darker those clouds became. I have these great sunglasses that have a amber type glow to them. When wearing them I notice how bright everything becomes – without the glare. Today as we rode into ever increasing darkness – I finally had to take them off. There was no brightening up that darkness – not even with amber glow glasses.

I am thankful for my sight – even though at times I complain about things being too bright – like yesterday when we went to a nearby pumpkin patch to pick out a special pumpkin for carving. I wanted a picture – but the glare was unbelievable.

 

However, undaunted – I posed for the camera anyway. What's a little glare, right?

I'm also surrounded today by a bunch of NOISE. It is a crowded Starbucks with many conversations and LOUD music streaming through the place. Not that anyone is listening to it. I close my eyes and try to imagine what it would be like to be blind. To have to depend on just my heightened sense of hearing to take in everything happening around me. It is confusing – not sure how I would process all this noise without seeing.

The other day we watched the original “The Miracle Worker” with Anne Bancroft playing Anne Sullivan and Patty Duke playing Helen Keller. It had been many years since I had seen this great movie and was just as fascinated with it when watching it again. Can you imagine a world with BOTH sight and hearing gone? This seem inconceivable and very rarely do we hear about a person today with limitations in both areas at once.

When I try to imagine what it must have been like for the very brilliant mind of Helen Keller to be in a world of darkness and silence – forever – it is difficult. When is my world ever completely quiet? I always have some music playing when working at my desk – can hear my husband upstairs coughing or sneezing – hear the neighbors with their dogs – or when they are working in the yard. I hear cars and trucks going by our house and a million other sounds that I am just used to.

When I try to imagine a world of darkness I think about this when it is night time and I am going to bed. I lie very still in my bed and as quiet as I can and try to stay there and not move. This was the world of Helen Keller.

What must it have been like? Helen was not born blind and deaf so the chances that she had some memory of seeing and hearing are very probable. She would have wondered what happened to her I'm sure. But mostly she had to learn how to communicate with Anne Sullivan who came to work with her and would not give up until she found a way to make Helen understand that letters formed words and words belonged to things she could smell and touch. When this was learned (I have NO IDEA how that could possibly have happened – except that Helen Keller was brilliant) it was no problem for her to learn – and learn and communicate she did! She graduated college and traveled the world – even learned to speak – truly amazing.

We truly have no excuses – those of us that have sight and hearing at our disposal. Sometimes I wonder if our senses actually handicap us out of doing remarkable things – like Helen. It is so distracting to have sounds and sights in our everyday world. We get used to the distractions and it numbs us to producing things that limited people seem to have no trouble achieving. Is it because they are silent and have that inward focus that we lack? I know I would not have the personal modivation to live in silence and darkness. That is something learned and practiced. A person with limitations either in sight or in hearing has learned valuable things in the darkness and silence that the rest of us will never learn.

Can you imagine a world without music? Without mountains you could see? Never see the face of the one you love? Never hear their voice?

Dear Lord – help me be truly appreciative of your many blessings today. Amen.

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To Spotify Or Not To Spotify

Image representing Spotify as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

I love music.  Not noise – but real music.  I also love listening to what I want to listen to – without any other “fillers” or “lesser” songs – like on CD’s – or the radio.

I used to love Pandora because I could pick and choose and put together a “personal” station of artists that I enjoyed.  If one came along that I didn’t care for I could skip it  or even delete it permanently from my list.  That was nice.  And I was quite satisfied.

But then I started hearing about Spotify.  I got an invitation and signed up for free.  At first – I’ll be honest – I wasn’t thrilled with it.  Pandora had done all the work for me and let me just “like” or “delete” a song occasionally.  That’s NOT how Spotify works.  You have to make up your own playlists by doing the research and then painstakingly choosing one at a time which songs or albums you want.  This was a big turn off to me – at first.  Then I gave in.  Took the time.  Started finding artists that I like – AND the missing songs from my youth and one by one started building my playlist.  Spotify has EVERY song from your favorite artist – going back to the beginning of time.  Something Pandora does not do.

I was thrilled to find such classics as “Grey Seal” by Elton John – not heard in more than 30 years.  “Change of Heart” by Bread not heard since the early 70’s and old classics by Billy Joel such as “Got to Begin Again” and several from the group “Second Chapter of Acts”.  My list is long – and grows everyday as I remember other songs and artists from long ago – and recently.   Once I type in a name – I get a WHOLE LIST of songs and ideas.

There is no limit for what can be added to my personal list – at least none that I’ve found so far.

But here’s another really GREAT thing about Spotify.  You can see what others have found and have included in their own music list!  If they have an account like you do – they will show up on you home page and you can click on their name and be snoopy and find out what they like – and what they listen to.  It’s pretty cool!  I got some great ideas from some friends of mine last night.

I have the free account – but there are also a couple of paid accounts – and my friends love this because it allows them to play their music list from their phone or any other computer by just logging in.  And on the paid accounts there are no commercial interruptions.  Not thrilled about that on the free account – but used to it – Pandora had the same thing.

I would encourage you to join – at least the free account and snoop around at what all of us are listening to – you may find songs you have forgotten about – and you may make some pretty cool discoveries of your own!

I say – SPOTIFY!!!

 

God Bless

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