Second listening

By Published On: September 28, 2005Categories: Living in Bolivia0 Comments on Second listening

I lost my hearing on Monday. The noises of the city muffled around me, streets and people swirled past me at a distance, colleagues and friends faded into an almost silent background. I retreated behind impassive computer screens and walls of English newspapers.

But yesterday, through scratched membranes I re-emerged into the noisy flickering of urban life.

I found myself in a packed basement listening to a rumbustious Italian restaurant owner and a shy young German man meeting in a Latin American city.

He is escaping a troubled past in search of a fictionalised love only to find unexpected new connections away from home. She finds through their meeting a realisation that her long-held hopes of reunited love are baseless. Inside her grows a yearning for the homeland that nourished her.

What makes us leave a homeland entwined with friends and family?
Why are some meetings far from home imbued with strange intensity?
How can loneliness and connection sit so closely together?
Who will I be when I return?

I awake to a city buzzing with energy and warmth. My flatmate chats amiably over breakfast in a language that feels my own. Mount Illimani shimmers in noisy brilliance as I walk to work. The roar of daily life envelops me.


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