As I write in this Café

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AS I WRITE IN THIS CAFÉ, there are 18 people of all ages sat around a large table next to mine. They are the only people in here apart from me. They are all avidly communicating, yet it is TOTALLY silent in here. I am so moved that I have tears streaming onto my smiling face. They are animatedly signing to each other with their hands. Some are clearly more extrovert; some more reserved. It is so beautiful to behold. I have sometimes been able to simulate the blanket darkness of blindness; but I have never been able to simulate the strange silence of deafness. We take our senses for granted when we have them all. The proficient communication of these folks here humbles me and makes me appreciate anew the gift of hearing. Yet, in a sense, here are these lovely people who have learned to appreciate (and I hope you will understand me here aright) the gift of deafness (which gift I cannot now know). The life we have been given is a gift, whatever “deficiencies” we may think that we have. Even the “deficiencies” are part of the gift — a test for us to grasp and enjoy to the full…

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