His World Without Ears

His World Without Ears

A poem about the importance of emotional expression within relationships

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The man with ears represents a person who is deeply empathetic, but unwilling to open up in the same way as the people he is empathetic towards. The visitors in the poem are said to not have ears, and yet the man with ears and the visitors are able to communicate emotionally. When the man with ears is faced with the very same emotions as his visitors, he does not express them to anyone because he believes that no one else possesses his ability to listen and understand. In the end, his choice leads to his own wallowing demise.


His World Without Ears


He is the only one

With ears


So everyone comes

At some point or another


And he

Listens.


When they need validation,

Asking if what they are doing is right,


He nods

And offers a face full of encouragement


And when they are enraged

And he sees their zealous light


He flares his nostrils

And jumps up with them, yelling out


When they cry

Shaking and trembling with grief


He holds them

And they rock back and forth together


Then when all the tears are gone

And all the anger is spent,


They hug him and thank him

Smiling and saying they will be back soon

To spend time with him, a beloved friend.



When they leave,

He smiles and waves goodbye

Before closing the door.


Once they have left him,


He turns to the wall

And asks if what he is doing is right


The wall cannot nod;

It is incapable of inspiring confidence.


He trembles in anger

Screaming, red-faced


But the wall just looks blankly back

Expressionless and unshaken


And when he cries,

He can only curl up into a ball and make himself as small as possible


Because when he looks at that wall and sees its vastness and strength,

It makes him feel weak and even smaller.


And when all the tears are gone

And all the anger is spent


He wishes they would return.


Because it is in the silence

That the hole inside him grows and grows and grows


And he wonders

If he will ever meet someone else with ears.

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Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

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Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

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I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

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However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

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In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

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