The Rhythm Of The Words And Music Of My Life

I was having a chat with Ursula of An Upturned Soul about people talking to or at us and their words. The actual words, the feelings behind the words, and the sounds and rhythm their speech makes. She did another of her fantastic mind-bendy, Thought Journey posts on the subject and at the end, asks some questions.

I had made a comment about being partially deaf from my eardrum being scarred by Scarlet Fever I had as a baby. As a result, I don’t hear or understand a lot of spoken words. I had also made a comment about using my ability as an Empath (I capitalize it because I don’t mean the regular empathy that humans feel. I am a person who actually feels other people’s emotions. I absorb them. So grouchy, angry people make me jumpy, nervous and achey. Sad people make me tired, lethargic, heavy, numb. Happy people give me energy and clarity…etc) to feel the vibe of a speaker and trusting that feeling more than what the person is saying.

She replied with:

“A while ago you mentioned viewing your fibromyalgia as a gift in a way which made you focus on fewer things and become happier with yourself. Partial deafness can be viewed similarly, allowing you to focus on more than words – words can be very distracting and aren’t always necessary. Sometimes people use words to hide what they really mean – not hearing the words clearly can be revealing of what is being hidden by the words.”

It’s true. Whether I would have developed my Empathic skills had I not been partially deaf, I don’t know. I do know that I trust what I feel. People very often don’t express their “truth” in the words they use. I’m not a better listener, because of my deafness, but I’m much better at understanding what is being communicated.

So, on to the questions…

What is your personal you-being-you soundtrack?

This is really difficult. Mostly it’s kinda

But there are times it’s

(R.I.P. Chester)

And of course

Add in songs playing on the radio from early 1968 (my birth) through now.

What’s your favourite song – does it remind you of you? Do you listen to it when you forget yourself?

I really can’t choose a favorite song. I like so many genres from so many eras and different songs express different moods.

I can change how I’m feeling with music. Singing along with angry music will release the anger. If I want to relax and just groove, I listen to “70s Easy Listening”. Dancing and being silly belongs primarily to the 80s.

A lot of songs are tied to memories. I can invoke those memories by listening to the songs.

What’s your favourite sound?

This is the only one I could answer without thinking about it… The beach by the ocean. The sound of the waves crashing, the sea birds, the water slapping against the pier (or bluffs if I’m at the cliffs). I’ve listened to recordings of beach or ocean sounds and I like those, but it’s not as good as being there.

Has your tune changed as you’ve changed? Have your favourite songs and sounds changed as you have?

When I was younger, from childhood up until my mid-twenties, I was very insecure. I mostly felt unworthy, less-than, never quite good enough. So desperate to feel loved. This song feels that way to me. Bouncy and happy on the surface, but desperately repeating “Love me”

Then events occurred in my life where I was basically thrown into therapy whether I wanted it or not. I made the decision to take advantage of it and began a lot of really hard work. By the time I was thirty, my mental wounds were healed or healing and I was growing stronger and more confident. Then began my journey through chronic pain, my eventual total disability with fibromyalgia and the destruction of my marriage and family.

There was more growth from all those events and now I’m very happy and comfortable with who I am.

What sound do you hear when you think of yourself?

Something silly and bouncy but with a steady beat. Maybe laughter and heartbeat?

What does happiness sound like to you? What does sadness sound like to you? What does anger sound like to you?

Happiness is a light, bouncy sound… A flute. A fiddle. Tambourine. Trumpet. Piano. Acoustic guitar. Native American Drum.

Sadness is piercing and heavy… Bag pipes! Bass. Violin. Bass drum. Saxophone. Bells. Organ.

Anger is loud, sharp, heavy, chaotic and discordant… Instruments falling over. Electric guitar. Cymbals. A violin can be angry. Drums. Car horns. Static. Feedback.

What song do you sing when you speak?


You’d have to ask what other people hear when I speak. I guess it’s all subjective.

What music do you make when you write?

I write the same way I speak. When I’m typing I’m basically talking to everyone. I guess it depends on the subject I’m writing about.

What is your favourite type of music – does your favourite type of person sound like your favourite music? Does your favourite activity sound like your favourite music?

I really don’t have a favorite. I guess I tend to listen to more rock than anything else, but I like classical, jazz, hip hop/rap, funk, big band, folk, punk, dance music… I like all kinds of people too, so I guess you could say they go together.

What about your least favourite type of music – does your least favourite type of person sound like your least favourite type of music? Does your least favourite activity sound like your least favourite music?

My least favorite music is Country and even some of the “rock”ish country is okay. The whiney, twangy stuff is grating to me. Like whiney people. Or like passive-aggressive people, happy music with sob-story lyrics. My least favorite activities are cleaning various things, doing laundry…there’s probably a country song about it.

Who do you love to listen to?

As in who has a pleasing speaking voice? Hmmmm… Anthony Hopkins, William Hurt (he did an audiobook and it was fantastic), Morgan Freeman, Audrey Hepburn… I’m sure there are more.

And I love to listen to Ben when he’s making his “happy noises”!

What does the ‘Like’ button sound like to you when you press it and when others press it on your social media posts, tweets, etc? Is it a Ka-ching, a slot machine win, a yeah-baby, a cheer, the sound of approval, a gold star being stuck on, one hand clapping, hollow-emptiness, silence after the storm, the sound of people-pleasing, Kilroy Was Here, popcorn…?

When I press “Like” it’s a murmur of greeting and thanks. (I only “like” something if I’ve read it.) If I have thoughts about what I’ve read, I leave comments.

When I get a “Like”…hmmm… I guess it depends on who it is. Sometimes it’s wind, like someone waving hello, barely there air movement. Sometimes it’s a cheer. Sometimes it’s hollow emptiness. Sometimes it’s the rustle of clothing and a soft murmur as if I’m receiving a hug.



Well, I finally finished. These are questions that I could think about every day and come up with different answers or no answers at all.

Tell me in the comments about your thoughts, your favorite songs or sounds. What different emotions sound like to you?


(featured image from pixabay)