On Quietly Going Deaf

IMG_1696 IMG_1646 IMG_1046“What?”

“What did you say?”
My family is sick of my hardness of hearing. It seems that hearing hardens and arteries harden at just the time that other things soften.
One of my body’s pumps has softened noticeably. I refer to the one with the ventricles.
What human heart can stand firm against the arrival of grandchildren?
This happy, happy stage of life where our children use their sexual organs for the pleasure of us, their parents!
Technological Man has invented old age. Nature, blind and base, has no use for us once our litters have matured and reproduced. We are supposed to wither quickly and politely die. But doctors have intervened and prolonged the moments of aging into an epoch. From fifty to ninety we live on, noting the failing function of joints and arteries, of ears and eyes. Our teeth desert us, our balance fails, our uteri prolapse, our prostates swell, our bladders leak and we dare not trust a fart.
But we have grandchildren. I can hold a newborn on my knee and croon off key and she will not object. I can hold the toddler in my arms and tell him a thousand stories, long after my eyesight darkens, for just as long as memory holds strong. And when memory fails, I can confabulate.
Who needs hearing aids, dentures, titanium hips, dental implants? We have grandchildren.IMG_0009 IMG_1603 IMG_0482

5 thoughts on “On Quietly Going Deaf

  1. Hello! I’ve been reading your web site for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the good work!


    • hello wallinside

      just found your kind and encouraging note

      thank you

      please tell every citizen of texas to buy a copy of my books – ‘raft’ and ‘my father’s compass’

      and if they plan to read it twice, they should buy two

      early next year, there’ll be a third – ‘carrots and jaffas’

      goodest wishes



  2. Howard – I just love your blog, which I discovered after seeking, via Google, comment on the Boston Marathon tragedy. There is so much wisdom and inspiration in what you say. I have now become one of your on-line fans. Best wishes from your former patient, Judith.


    • judith

      i found this only this evening

      please forgive my tardy reply

      you mention wisdom, an elusive substance

      there is a yiddish folk tale of hershel of ostropol, a man famous in folklore for his cheerful poverty

      hershel is asleep one night in his hovel

      a burglar enters and blunders around looking for something to steal

      he disturbs hershel and is about to run when hershell begs him: don’t go. let’s light a candle and search together- we might find something

      wisdom is like hershel’s’something’
      not easy to find



      Liked by 1 person

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