ok, i'll say it . "i take my ears for granted" . that's the cold hard truth. i'm ashamed and maybe i need to go to "EAA", but it needed to be said.for the past three weeks, after a lifetime of problem free ears that i never thought about, except to put earrings on, i've had various forms of an earache; ear pain, whooshing, ringing, crinkle tissue paper noises, and of course that weird "do i have a cold?" clogged ear thingy. the first week my doctor said.."its a virus. it'll be gone in 2 days" the next week, i called and said "doctor ! is there nothing i can take? i said "doctor ! to relieve this earache?" (with apologies to harry niilson) and he said "call an ENT" so i did and he pushed and vacuumed and poked and said "go home and put drops in your ears for a week and then come back and i'll get a hydraulic lift to remove the immobile ,inpenetrable, massive, but resilient piece of wax that has taken up residence in your ear canal." as i sit here with ear drops running down the side of my neck, pooling upon my shoulder..i'm thinking about ludmilla, a deaf woman that i work with.. i've known her for 5 years. in all that time, her deafness would never be the first thing i'd say to describe her. she's a great communicator, reading lips and using profane and very funny sign language to let you know EXACTLY what she's saying. she's got a great sense of humour and irony. she does not think of herself as handicapped and she's never once used her deafness as an excuse or apology. i haven'tbeen able to hear well out of my left ear for three weeks and i've been whining like a baby. i can't hear, i can't sing , i can't sleep, i can't eat peas and carrots (hate them!!) waaaa waaa waaa. i've taken the gift of sound for granted..i who cannot live without music..the car radio blasting whenever i'm driving..the pleasure of the beachboys blaring on a hot summer day, my ipod cranking out justin timberlake's "cry me a river" while i paint a baby nursery (yeah..i like him..so? it's not like i'm listening to miley cyrus ) ..abbey road or the white album on the cd player while i paint banks, dire straits, dave matthews, steely dan, the rolling stones,even tupac!! i need my ears! and so my promise..i will adorn you with jewels and caress you with sweet oils and never use a q-tip, and i will be grateful every day to have you both with each ,beautiful sound that enters my head ( not the voices though..gotta do something about that!) all i have to do is think about ludmilla and say thanks.