Sonia Allori: What I hear?


Sonia Allori offers the first in a series of three songs on the theme of being locked down and locked out.

digital photo of a red plastic scoop in bright yellow sandThat first lockdown at the end of March 2020 seems a long time ago doesn’t it. But then 2020 was the year that kept giving us all difficult days and the one which would not end …… until it did end, and we limped into 2021 and more of the same. I like many did not have the 2020 I was expecting which was a wee bit of momentum in my life and career.

It was rather like a giant hand came down from somewhere and pressed down hard on an equally huge pause button. But what could we do except collectively suck it up and muddle along? That’s what I’ve been doing, muddling along as best I can.

So now, 10 months into the pandemic has given enough perspective to see the huge changes in outlook and approach that everyone has had to adopt. For those of us who were shielding and already muddling along in life anyway, the changes were twofold. I’m a deaf and disabled musician and I found it a challenge to “keep up” and “join in” with the rest of the human race even before Covid creeped up and said “boo!”.

Like many others with disabilities, I felt a certain amount of half-life existence anyway, able to do some things, to take part in some things and to turn up sometimes.

As we all moved to work, share and to create and express emotions and experiences online I realised I was more cut off than ever because I couldn’t hear. Most online events aren’t captioned, and I missed out for many months before I discovered auto-captioning software and actually asking for what I need to participate. I started to write songs ….. “What I hear” describes the world as a shy deaf and disabled person who found a persona of sorts to hide behind while online.

What I hear

What I hear is muffled
Small sounds grumbling
From another room.

What I see is twofold
With glasses or without
In focus or a delicious blur.

What I say is thoughtful
Not quick but fun and sometimes
Laced with slurring.
Though sadly not through gin!

What I know changes
From day to day I live,
I learn, I read and listen.

What I feel is sharp
It cuts to the quick
And aims for the heart.

What I do is goof and loon about.
A jester hiding
A melancholy soul behind a smile.

Who I am is nobody?
And everybody
And all that is between.