Winter and the Cold Moon

Shabbat gratefuls: Rabbi Telushkin. Avivah Zornberg. Shemot. The Dark. The quiet of a Mountain night. Luke. Leo. Edgewater Market. Amy, my audiologist. Hearing mostly the same. Hearing tests. Ruby. Cold weather. Some Snow. CBE. Snow Plows. Mark, mail carrier. Mark, brother. Mary, back from Oz. My son back from Nellis AFB. CDOT. 285 not looking good. Pablo Casals. The cello. Bach. Mozart.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Friends

One brief shining: Amy opened the door, watch your step, I went in to the small room all black with noise dampening small pyramids on all the walls and sat in the chair, she came in and wired me up to her console from which she sent out beeps I was to hear and raise my hand, I did, then we switched to sentences said with ambient noise in the background and I was to say the sentences back and only got a couple.


Hearing about the same. Which is good from the perspective of progressive loss, but not good in that it was bad to begin with. I am somewhat more sensitive to background noise and my ear drum had some sort of problem. I may be able to fix the ear drum with nasal saline spray. Aids the Eustachian tube which in turn reduces pressure on the ear drum.

Amy lives in Conifer and coaches girls soccer at Conifer High School. She went to New Zealand this summer to see the U.S. Women’s soccer team play in international competition.

She adjusted and reprogrammed my hearing aid, but encouraged me to use the Roger more. I’ve let it become an expensive TV audio setup. Why use it more? It helps with the ambient noise problem and frees up my brain for memory, cognition. Without it in noisy situations or even in some quieter ones I’m still straining to hear. It tires me out trying to understand and distracts my brain. People with my sort of hearing loss, she said, often avoid noisy places.

I had an immediate instance of what she meant when I went to see Luke for lunch at the Edgewater Market. These markets are in several spots in Denver. Sort of mini-malls with a focus on interesting food choices and hip stores. Aimed at millennials and GenZ I think. I enjoy them, too.

Except. Noisy. Luke and I were trying to decide where we’d get some food. He pointed out several places, but said he liked the Euro King. I had no idea what kind of food that might be until we got to the stall. I trusted that I understood him when he said Euro King. That sent me down a path of imagining what sort of food the Euro Kings might offer. Fancy appetizers? Elegant finger food from gay Paree? Some other European delicacy? When we got there. It was the Gyro King. Oh. I see.

It’s those moments when I trust my hearing but am shown to be wrong in that trust that are the most confounding. Why? Because we trust our senses to give us accurate information about the world around us. I have to trust my hearing because it’s my hearing. But it’s not always right and I have no way of knowing if I’ve misunderstood. Until I do.

The most dangerous instance of this effect occurred in Bogota in 1989. I already had five years of living with my deaf left ear but I encountered another assumption there that could have killed me. I crossed a road with a boulevard of grass between two streets. I assumed the traffic on the next road would be coming from the opposite direction, my right. When I started to cross, a horn sounded and I jumped back on the boulevard. Both streets had traffic coming from my left.

In England I knew to be careful because of the driving on the left. But in Bogota I assumed their traffic patterns matched ours in the U.S. Wrong. In that instance, wrong. And could have been fatally wrong.