Saturday, July 13, 2013

"What is heaven like?"

Every now and then, there is something that deserves to be on this blog, even though it has nothing to do with hearing loss. This is one of those. It is perhaps, the best poem I have ever written. It has the potential to affect all who read it - not just the select few - and is likely to do so. Warning: You may need some tissues...


"What is heaven like?"
Asked the little girl, lying in her bed
She's thinking of a book
That, with her family, she read

"What is heaven like?"
She calls her dad to her side
He looks down at the floor
There's nothing more he can try

"What is heaven like?"
She asks her mother by the window
But the answer is lost in sobs
A mother's eyes full of sorrow

"What is heaven like?"
She whispers to her little baby brother
He is happy in her arms
But for a friend, he must find another

"What is heaven like?"
She asks the nurse who checks her progress
He pretends he didn't hear
Afraid to say that she's regressed

"What is heaven like?"
She mutters as the doctor rushes in
He quickly increases dosage
In the hope the pain will dim

"What is heaven like?"
She ponders as she accepts her fate
Soon she'll leave it all behind
But can only lay and wait

"What is heaven like?"
She asks, with no trace of tears
Her eyes, full of light
Show a knowledge beyond her years

"What is heaven like?"
She wonders as her strength begins to fade
Her arms are open, inviting death
To pass on, she's not afraid

"What is heaven like?"
She whispers, as she drifts off to sleep
Her family wishes her Good Night
And to forever have Sweet Dreams

"What is heaven like?"
She asks when she again opens her eyes
There's a man she could not see before
He is standing at her bedside

"What is heaven like?"
Her pleading eyes implore
He's wearing robes of white
With a hand extended to her

"What is heaven like?"
She wonders as she sits up to leave
Accepting his hand to follow
While her family behind her grieves

"What is heaven like?"
She asks as they sit on a park bench
She has never seen this place
His hand she won't unclench

"What is heaven like?"
She insists, as the man sits as ease
She's sure they've met before
But the memory she can't retrieve

"What is heaven like?"
He prompts her, with a smile on his face
"What do you think it is like, my dear?
How is it different, that place?"

"What is heaven like?"
She ponders, the question turned to her
Her thoughts mill around
As she begins to form an answer

"What is heaven like?"
She states aloud, sorting through her thoughts
Beginning to realize that all along
She's had the answers that she sought

"What is heaven like?"
She says again, merely out of habit
"It's a place without fighting
Where a cat won't harm a rabbit.

In heaven, everything is pretty
All around you there are flowers
In heaven, I can walk again
My body filled with power

In heaven, the world is at peace
People are always kind
In heaven, hair on my head
I would once again find

In heaven, I'll be with my family
Those dearest to my heart
In heaven, they'll always be beside me
Never e'er to part

In heaven, I'll see God
and by his side, I'll see His Son
In heaven, with them I will live
In the brightness of the sun

"What is heaven like?"
She says again, now just for good measure
"It's a paradise you could never replace
A great and wondrous treasure."

"What is heaven like?"
She repeats, a smile on her face
"Lead the way, and soon I'll know
Your footsteps I will trace"

"What is heaven like?"
He says to her, "The answer you've always known
And I will surely take you there
In light of the faith you've shown.

Through your trials, I heard you cry
I was at your side as you bled
You tried to live your life as I
From the pain you never fled

Firmly on my path you've stood
Living a life that is kind
Trying to do as you should
Rest in heaven, you will find."

"What is heaven like?"
Her heart knows the answer
She takes His hand and walks with Him
For the gates soon loom before her

"I know what heaven is like."
She declares as she walks by her guide
The tears stream down her face
As he leads her gently inside.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Singing in a Studio

So a little while ago, I had the opportunity to sing in a real honest-to-goodness studio. Basically, I got lucky! Art City Records came to my school to find people for a competition they were doing. So, I sang part of a song for them and then 16 other people - and me! - were all asked to be part of the competition. In this, we each went and sang a cover of a song in their studio. Then, the videos of us singing went online and people voted on Facebook. Obviously, I didn't win, but it was still a great experience. Anyway, so the story is this:

  So, I was super worried about going to the studio for one main reason. It was that I'd have to wear headphones while singing. Headphones mean no hearing aids. No hearing aids mean that I am basically deaf! And, well... not being able to hear much of anything + singing = not a very good combination, in my experience.

So when I got there, I talked with the guys in the studio. They were really nice, so my nerves were calmed quite a bit! Right before I went in to start recording, I told them that I wear hearing aids. I warned them that it might be a little tricky. I was expecting to see some sort of look of surprise go across their faces, as that is normally how it goes when people find out that I wear hearing aids. Turns out, I was the one in for a shock. They didn't even blink! They just told me that it would all be fine and that we'd all figure out the best way to do the recording! And we did. I eventually just took out my hearing aids and we cranked the volume on the headphones WAY up. That way, even though I couldn't hear through my normal means, I could still hear my voice as it was being recorded. - I could hear myself through the headphones, and I gotta say... it was pretty cool. :)

Anyway, so once we got that all figured out, I sang through the song once to practice. I definitely butchered it in places, but I was still adjusting to how different and awesome it all was! So the really crazy part was that after I was finished with that rough run through, Tom Jones (one of the head honchos over there who was in charge of the session) said something to me from the other room. Then he disappeared. I didn't know what he said! So I was standing there all confused, throwing an inquisitive look at my boyfriend on the other side of the glass, when the next thing I know - Mr. Jones comes into the room and gives me a hug! I had no clue what was going on, but hey, I'm not one to deny a hug! lol.  Turns out, my silly boyfriend was talking with them on the other side of the glass during my run through. I guess he was explaining to them how severe my hearing loss is - about 70% or so - and who knows what else. All I know is that I suddenly got a hug afterwards, so I guess something he said had quite an impact!

So, after that, we started actually recording. Which was awesome! I've gone through all of my musical training, always trying to get songs perfect for just one play, one concert, one performance. Trying to get all of the bits and pieces absolutely perfect while on stage... It was honestly a relief to be able to perfect the little spots that I would not have even noticed, had I been on stage! It was nice to make something sound as good as I could ever want and have it last longer than just one night!

In addition to that, Tom Jones and everyone else in the studio were so kind! They made suggestions on what parts I should go over and were happy to let me fix the spots I wanted to, as well! Even when we were making the video, they laughed along with me and honestly... it was just a great time!

I've dealt with judgement my whole life, for my decision to go into music. People have always doubted me because I'm hard of hearing - teachers, music professors, other musicians, other deaf people, even some of those who claim to support me. Don't get me wrong! I don't want pity. Ever. Nor have I ever been bullied. I've only heard whispers, caught doubtful glances, and felt judgment from those around me. I have nearly always proven them wrong, and that is something I am accustomed to. It was just nice, for once in my life, to not have to do that. It was nice to be in a place where there was no judgement; no predispositions. It wasn't a mere concert or music class. It was a real, honest-to-goodness recording studio. An actual professional music setting, and despite what everyone assumed, there were absolutely no problems. You know what there was?  Compassion. Understanding. Kindness.

Granted, not every place is like this. Not everyone is as kind as these people were to me. But it is reassuring. - In a world where everyone is quick to judge, there are still those who will give the underdog a chance. There are still those who won't doubt what someone can do, based on something they can't control. It gives me hope to have met people such as this, and I am so glad for the opportunity I had to work with them. It was an incredible experience and it was just so much fun!

If I never get the chance to work in a recording studio again, I'll be ok. I'm just glad that I had the opportunity and privilege to work with the people at Art City Records.

It's not everyday a "deaf" girl gets to sing in a recording studio  ;)