AVA, Daily Prompt, deaf girl, Heart to heart, Jeanna' Soul, kindred spirits, Uncategorized

A Blessing and A Curse

 Friday afternoon a friend of mine stopped by my massage studio and we sat outside on the patio,drinking beer and catching up. He had been doing yard work all day and I had just finished several massage sessions. It was a rare chance just to sit down together for a little while.

 We started talking about our days and I mentioned that I had done a Thai massage on the patio early Wednesday morning and that it had been so peaceful. He grinned and said,”It’s a little loud out here right now.”

I looked at him with enough surprise in my eyes that he pointed out that he could hear someone hammering 100 yards away, cars driving by and car doors shutting and people talking in the parking lot across the street.

100 yards! I couldn’t even imagine because,since I’m hard of hearing, I think-although I KNOW better- that only what I am seeing and feeling is making noise.

For me, sound is visual and tactical. I can feel the wind blowing so I realise that it’s making a rustling sound, and I can see the wind chimes moving,so I know they are making a sound…but I’m not sure how loud it is or if it’s as soothing as i assume it is.

I had no idea that my clients would be hearing a lawn mower yards away or the chatter of people walking up the sidewalks during the Thai massage sessions that I do outside on the covered patio deck at Rockwall Body and Soul Massage.

 This space is surrounded by trees and a high privacy fence so I’ve always considered it a peaceful, sacred oasis..far removed from the sounds of everything but when Jim told me what he heard, I was, quite frankly, a little shocked and then, I was filled with gratitude..

You see, hardly anyone ever tells me what I’m missing and I’m so used to missing out that it’s an incredible act of kindness when I’m made aware of something that I didn’t know.
I told Jim that I didn’t realize how loud it was outside.

 As we sat facing each other, only inches apart, I explained that, as far as I was concerned, he was the only person in the world at this time. My eyes were watching his lips so I could read his words. I paid close attention to his eyes and his body language and I listened with every ounce of my being, concentrating so hard to avoid missing anything important and to have to ask for it to be repeated.

He nodded his head in understanding and said, “It’s a blessing and a curse.”

A blessing and a curse.

That’s exactly what it feels like. A blessing that I’m unaware of noises that I don’t see. A curse because it could affect the way others feel about the sessions they receive.

A curse because I’m so used to being left out that I just accept it. When people are talking right in front of me but don’t bother to slow down just a little so I can understand, I just pretend it doesn’t sting and walk away. 

A curse because I feel invisible- unnoticed,unnecessary, uninvited.

I’ve sat at tables,sharing meals and not sharing conversations. People glance up, catch my eye and pause, as if they just now realized I was there, and then give me the “Readers Digest” version which usually begins like this, “Oh,we were just talking about……”

But it’s a blessing,too, because I’ve learned to be alone. I’ve learned to find the beauty in solitude, to fill the voids in my heart with other things. it’s made me a very compassionate,empathic woman. I appreciate kindness so much+ the extraordinary gifts of patience and understanding. I marvel at the wonders of technology like the AVA -Audio Visual Accessibility-app I use every day and captions for lyrics through Sound Hound and MusicMatch which gives me the gift of understanding the songs I’m listening to.

It’s a blessing because I don’t take anything for granted. When someone takes the time to include me or tells me something that makes me feel connected, then I am overwhelmed with gratitude, especially when I haven’t asked.

.My Mema used to listen intentionally and purposefully wherever we were at and then, when we were alone, she would pat the seat beside her, beckon me over and give me a play-by-play of everything she had heard. 

I would look so forward to these times because I knew she would tell the stories in such a way that we would both be roaring with laughter.or bought to tears, or shaking with indignation. She made me feel as if it was the greatest adventure to be able to share the stories with me. She had a knack of making everything come alive.

It was a blessing and a curse to hear the stories second-hand, filtered through her Southern sass and sensibilities. 

It’s a blessing and a curse because I can’t choose what I hear but I can choose how I listen to others. I choose to sit closely, and to seek out places that make lip reading as easy as possible. I choose small.intimate gatherings over large,rambunctious events. I choose to be mindful and grateful, instead of bitter and spiteful. I choose to walk away and find my own peace rather than stay and feel alienated.

That’s why it was such a rare  thing when my friend came by, sat outside and talked with me.  He knows full well that it is a blessing and a curse to be friends with a deaf woman. It takes longer to visit and sometimes people get the wrong idea because I sit closely and lean forward to understand. I touch often, which is my way of feeling the vibrations. of making connection, of being centered with whoever I’m listening to.

It’s a blessing because he knows that I’m giving him my utmost attention,but it’s also a curse because I look so much deeper into the heart of a person and that can make some people feel a little vulnerable or uncomfortable.

It’s just the way things are with me and all I can hope is that I’m more of a blessing than a curse. 



Jeanna’ Mead

9 18 p.m. 6-6-18

http://www.jeannasoul.com














Uncategorized

 Dazzled and Reflective


I read a poem

the other day

sent to me by a far away friend

and the words etched themselves

into my heart

let me be dazzled, absolutely dazzled and then reflective

by the beauty of the things I see

the tiny fireflies lighting up my sky

the big brown eyes that twinkle

with sheer delight

even the blackberry thorns

that catch me by surprise

dazzle my ears

with the sweet sound of laughter

the rich voice of a man

that sings just for me to hear

the melody of the birds

way up in the trees

and the whispers I can feel

against my cheek

dazzle my heart

with the goodness I keep finding

scattered in the most unlikely places

love that crosses miles and reaches across boundaries

dazzle me with the way

things taste

chocolates melting on my tongue

the Americano in my cup

a well cooked meal

margaritas and wine

dazzle my senses

the calloused hand in mine

vibrations on an old wood floor

soft as silk baby skin

hugs so tight I almost can’t breathe

by the music’s rhythm

 that makes me move in unison

and the way I feel

when my hands glide down

someone else

finally be held

feel myself exhale 

at long last

let me be dazzled

and then reflective

just like the poem

that my far away friend sent

❤Jeanna’ Mead

7 03 a.m.  1-29-18

http://www.jeannasoul.com

For Joshua and Bubbie 💗👣

AVA, C.A.R.E, Choose to be love, Create A Ripple Effect, Daily Prompt, deaf girl, Heart to heart, kindred spirits, Make Love, Massage with Soul

Margaritas And Music

Here I am, sitting in a chair

A woman is putting color in my hair

just like Mema always did

I’m carrying on the tradition

ain’t no gray gonna give me away

I already had my coffee

dipped a cookie in the cup
 listened this morning

to all the greats

those deep. rugged voices of the men she loved so much

Got me a little Conway, Tom T and Marty

“Elvira” by those Oak Ridge Boys

I’m going to do a little shopping

buy something bright and sparkly

I won’t know until I see it

and it calls me by my name

Then when I’m good and ready

all dolled up and looking pretty

I’m going to sit at a table

with others that knew and loved

 her just as much as me

drink a frozen cmargarita

eat a bunch of sopapillas

covered in honey

tell a few good stories

flirt up a storm with the waiter

sweet talk to everyone

just exactly like my Mema

would want me to do

celebrating her birthday

just like she would do

carrying on traditions

like I was raised to do

.
Jeanna’ Mead

12 04 p.m. 1-25-17

http://www.jeannasoul.com

Happy Birthday, Mema

I love your bones!❤❤

writers with soul

Happiness

Paulo Coelho-  “Happiness is getting rid of the unnecessary”

I find such wisdom in this sentence..such freedom in a few well chosen words and such a desire to follow through on it.

Happiness is indeed getting ride of the unnecessary.  I look in my closet- clothes I don’t love, shoes I never wear and I put them into a bag to give away.

I open the cabinet drawers and take out anything that’s cracked or chipped and I toss it.

Over the next few days before the beginning of the New Year, I’m going to clear the closets, the drawers, the cabinets of anything that is no longer beautiful to me, useful to me, or good for me.

I want to open things and see only what is good and purposeful, nothing that is half broken but serviceable, nothing that is just “okay” but not “good”.

I’m also doing a spiritual journey…seeking out the people and places that belong in my life and letting go of those that don’t.

Maybe they did once upon a time, but not now…maybe they will once again, but not now.

This isn’t easy, but I’ve realized that I know my body and my soul so very well and when I listen, and pay attention, it whispers to me, “Let go. Go on. Speak up. Hold on. Lean forward. Step out. Slow down. Pay attention.”

Part of this impacts others and sometimes it’s hard to stand up for what my heart tells me but the time has come..it always had been there, but it’s clear to me now that I can and should make these choices and seek the happiness that comes from doing what’s necessary and good.

Letting go of what’s unnecessary frees up room in my closet, in my cabinets and, most of all, in my heart for all that really is necessary.

Uncategorized

THANKSGIVING WITH AVA

On November 20 of 2012, I wrote this because I’ve always been frustrated by gatherings because of my hearing loss.

AVA -The Audio Visual Accessibility app has changed this. I’ll be able to sit outside around the campfire and understand the stories. I’ll be able to participate in family board games without feeling like a burden. I’ll be part of life!

Do you even understand how grateful I am?
I’m sharing my journal posts again because sometime I need to remind myself..and others of what I’m thankful for
“I may not always understand every word you say, but I will always understand how you make me feel.  I may misunderstand your words sometimes, but I will never 

misunderstand your patience and  kindness.  I may need to stand closer than others do. but I do it so I can  understand you better… The way I look at you is on purpose.. so I can read your lips, see your expression and follow your body language -it is all part of the way I communicate.  Please, don’t insult me by saying ” never mind” if I ask you to repeat…and don’t give me the “readers digest” version of the story.   Please, let me turn the lights on, let me look at you.. choose a table where I can be part of things… or don’t ask me to come….  Look straight at me, get close, talk and I promise to listen with my full attention…  because that is what you deserve and what I do too.  .Just in time for Thanksgiving… this is for all those who make me feel valued.. and those that don’t..”