Shrill tones, a constant gushing river of sound is in my ears, piercing my mind. The cacophony clamors for attention. If I listen long, I begin to feel crazy, knowing my private din is forever. I can almost drown it out with music, with white noise, with ocean-wave mp3s. With mental focus, somehow, sometimes.

Hearing aids amplify the world, help subdue the hiss. I understand Van Gogh’s desperate act; I sympathize. Did he have tinnitus? At least I know what he didn’t: my quiet roar would prevail if I cut off my ears.

In this moment, I focus on birdsong for relief.

small stone 3


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