Garden, June 24


I let the flowers riot in my yard because I need them. I need their persistent beauty, their outrageous blooming. There is enough order in their madness to be my oasis.

Outside the garden, there are curious scenes. I will be getting another epidural injection this week. My mother has lost her mind again. To be a part of my family is to ride that wheel of fire that signals it’s time to lose and find yourself once again.

I’ve discovered that someone I know speaks in partial fiction when she talks about her personal life and there isn’t much point in piercing this illusion. After all, her private business is just that. Still, there is a question that nags at the mind, why bother talking about something if the things cited as facts are not true? There must be a motive, and it’s hard not to wonder what it is. There’s a quality to the situation that easily provokes one’s inner Gladys-the-nosy-neighbor from Bewitched.


Garden, June 15, and Can I Hear You Now?


The light has been unreliable at best this week. The phrase “at best” reminds me that my husband could have some aptitude for public relations. Whenever I comment to him that another woman is good looking, he tells me that whatever woman I’ve mentioned, no matter how famous or obscure she may be, is “average at best.”

I think we’ve unwittingly borrowed weather from a random place about 500 miles south of here, as we’ve been trapped between oppressive heat and cloudbursts. The daylilies have bloomed, and my sunflower seedlings will be ready for thinning soon. I don’t like this step of growing sunflowers, but these plants grow so large it is necessary. Every time I worry that I haven’t chosen the best seedling.

In other news, I had my hearing test this week. The results were better than expected, so much so that I’m languishing in some self-doubt over it. I presumed that I was halfway to profound deafness in one ear, but my hearing loss hasn’t progressed at all in 24 years.


The most crucial thing I learned from this chart is this: while it well-established that assuming things about others can lead to comic, even tragic results, you can do the same thing to yourself. I just can’t adequately capture how tightly I sewed “half-deaf” into the fabric of my days. While I do have some hearing loss, I really don’t have enough to use it as an excuse for avoiding unpleasant things.

It was easier to excuse myself from chit chat at gatherings on the grounds that I’d be hopeless at deciphering the words of multiple people in conversation, or better yet, avoid that gathering at all. Now I’ll have to find a graceful way to own the real reason I avoid groups.

I strongly prefer talking to people one on one, and I would rather pluck out all of my eyebrows in slow motion than spend an evening with several people who are unfamiliar to me. I struggle to find my bearings and make conversation flow unless I’m encountering one new person at a time. Maybe this is part of being an introvert, but I thought it was a side effect of my hearing loss.

While there was martyrdom in presuming my “inevitable” progression toward deafness, I do have enough of a loss to get a hearing aid for my right ear. By the way, my martyr complex comes naturally. In my darker moments, I’ve told a few people to not bother playing the martyr card with me because I was raised by masters of the art.

I will get fitted for my hearing aid next week. In the meantime, I’m using a demo model from the audiology clinic that is programmed with my audiogram so it amplifies the proper frequencies for me.

I walked into the backyard this evening and heard the birds flitting about the ditch sing in full stereo for the first time. The light was heavy with the approach of twilight, so these pictures don’t have the usual saturation of sunlight I prefer.

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