In the quiet of the break, with commitments in the outside world reduced dramatically, both music and some fiction crept back into my life. The absence of a soundtrack in our lives has been one our our hardest long-term adaptations; I’ve been pretty much unable to take much aural load and still get things done since the surgery. It’s especially hard for Michael, as in many ways, he connects with the world through NPR and music. Over the break, though, the combination of continuing small improvements and (I conjecture) being at home without external stimuli, I affirmatively felt like listening to music for the first time in ages. That leap empowered me to take another stab at reading fiction, and while that didn’t produce as big a step forward, every tiny bit of progress there always feels disproportionately important.
The music urge first surfaced doing puzzles with Shea, a traditional holiday activity. She always listens to something and has, in recent years, been characteristically generous in adapting to my inability to stay long in a room with much sound in it. This year, though, it just felt right to have music, and one thing led to another. Something must have been stirring around in the back recesses of my mind all along, as, in the oddity of the fact that I’d bought Michael five or six CDs for Christmas hadn’t struck any of us until we started listening together. It was a bonus gift for all of us.
As demands of external life pick up, the ability to pull that off is receding. But that’s ok with me--knowing the capacity is there, and it’s a matter of balance and how, not if, it’s possible is hugely encouraging. It is a nice way start to a new year. I hope yours has glimmers of promise and hope as well.