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Guest Posts, Hearing Loss, Jen Pastiloff, Jen's Musings

Losing My Hearing.

January 10, 2016

By Jen Pastiloff

The natural history of this archipelago is very remarkable: it seems to be a little world within itself. —Charles Darwin, “Voyage of The Beagle”

After my father died, we left New Jersey with its death and dying and cold winters and fled to Southern California. We were the three of us in a station wagon—my mother, my sister, and I, and it was a simple case of “should we turn left or right?” Which, I’ve come to realize, is the way most of life works.
Door number one: you stay in college, wear turtlenecks, work in a university. Door number two: you drop out of college, run for three hours a day, wait tables. (And turtlenecks, they’re the devil.)

Turn right: he does drugs “one last time” and dies. Turn left: and there he is on the sofa in his frayed cutoffs and we never make the trek to California.

So a should we turn left or right happens and we choose left instead of right and end up in Santa Monica, where we live next to a man, his two daughters, and their beagle, Darwin, whom they keep locked up in a cage.

Darwin was a mean little dog. But hey, I might be mean too if I was confined all day to a small metal prison inside a dark kitchen. His bark was anxious, filled with accusations. I can see now how lonely he must’ve been in that little box. The kitchen empty, the lights out, and Darwin sitting in his own piss. I’d be angry too. Continue Reading…

And So It Is, Manifestation Workshops, Video

Walk Around With Your Head Up Your Ass & You’ll Have Smelly Hair.

October 24, 2013


Do you make up stories about people? We all do it at times. We assume things. Today’s video is a challenge to NOT make up stories. I mention Howard Godnick, who I met at my NYC Manifestation Yoga® workshop, as my latest messenger. Here is the video I talk about in the vlog where Howard accepts a Courage award and talk about why he always has to wear black shades He reminded me how important it is to stay present rather than to make sh*t up. I constantly get stories made up about me with my hearing loss; it’s easier for people to assume I ma not paying attention. Thanks Howard for reminding me. Watch my video and his youtube vid and share them both if inspired xo

Things I Have Lost Along The Way

What Was Lost.

October 2, 2011

Ah, Loss.

My hearing loss to be precise.

Last week I went through a period of depression where I was feeling very very sorry for myself because what I am missing out on must be so much, so spectacular, so profound. So much must be lost on me. I am the lone angel with just one wing.

Then I come back from the Very Dark Place. The VDP.

Things which I have lost: My eating disorder, my keys, my 20’s, my appetite for drama, my desire to be an actress, a wallet once with 400 dollars in tips from waitressing right before Thanksgiving, on my way to buy pies at Polly’s Pies, while it was still Polly’s Pies. My diamond earrings.  Things I have not lost but thought I had: my father, the sound of quiet. If I try hard enough I can find these things I thought I lost in corners and caves and unexpected rooms of my life.

What have you truly lost along the way? What have you thought you lost only to wake up and realize that it was with you all along, it’s hand right there, over your heart, where you left it.

What if I am not missing anything at all? What if everything I ever needed is right here even if it sounds a little different to my elephant ears? What if my father is right over there, on a couch in my room right now, smoking his Kools, having a good old laugh at how serious I take my life. What if he’s telling me to ‘Lighten up, you’re not missing much, kiddo’?

Maybe elephants can hear mountains. Maybe each mountain range creates a different sound, a different tone when the wind blows over it. A soundscape as vivid as a landscape, only visible to an elephant’s ears.

I am like an elephant.

I can hear the mountains talking to me. I can hear the sun and the wind, the sky also when no one else can. These phantom sounds have guided me through the plains of my life.  I read lips to guide me through the terrain. And when the lips fail me, I have always thought I was lost.

The below video is a 29 year old girl hearing her voice for the first time. Found!


The thick jelly roll of noise

Filled with soft syllables and unspoken words

Is all around you if you just

Open the ear in your heart.

Tune the fork which vibrates in your chest

which knows when something is said,

even if it isn’t.

 I am the deaf poet.

 I hear you.

Clamoring up there in your head

Fighting with your own thoughts who

Use swords and knives and vicious words to win.

Relying on trickery.

 Some things will break or be lost.

 There will always be a hole

Where the sound of wind passing through

Will be a loud lonely sound

that I alone can hear.

You must fill that hole with memories, 

songs your father sang you, people you love,

Your children, favorite songs, photographs.

You must fill it and seal it

With wet sand, bricks, mortar.

And then hang a sign that says

“ No Vacany”.

You’re full up.

I am the deaf poet.

I rely on the train of the invisible,

it’s texture dense, heavy mud.

Your heart has an ear.

My ear has a heart.  

I can hear things that you can’t though. I can feel the warrior in yoga, the curl of the back. The opening of the heart. Even if I miss the direction. I can hear the quiet in between the quiet, the arches of eyebrows, the pursing of lips. I can hear the music of unspoken gestures, the tick tock of need, the roaring of lust, the whining of dissatisfaction. I can hear the tree frog sound of anger even though your mouth moving  in circles alludes me.

Nothing is lost.



The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
~Elizabeth Bishop