Editor’s Note: Hearing With My Heart

Editor-in-chief Liz Vaccariello recalls the sounds of her life.

Liz Vaccariello
Photograph by Steve Vaccariello; Wardrobe Stylist: Elysha Lenkin

I was recently inspired to think about sound, thanks to Trevor Cox’s story in the May issue of Reader’s Digest. I’d never considered the isolated sense of hearing outside the context of music and noise (“Can you please turn that television down?!”). So one afternoon I went for a walk and asked myself, What are my sonic memories? Perhaps you’ll be inspired to do the same.

I’m a kid in the backseat of the family car. I hear the confident knock of my father’s class ring on the steering wheel. I love this sound.

I’m a girl preparing for a piano recital. I hear the steady click of the metronome keeping me in perfect time. I resent this sound.

I’m a traveler who’s walked right up to the edge of Exit Glacier in Seward, Alaska. I hear the creaky groans and happy pops of ice moving, pulling, shifting, settling. I am in awe of this sound.

I’m a new mother, peering into her daughter’s crib. I hear the soft sucking of fingers in a tiny mouth. I cherish this sound.

I’m a daughter, sitting beside her dad in his final days. He’s sleeping in his bedroom under the mustard-color blanket that’s come out of the closet to comfort us since before I can remember. I hear heavy, still quiet. I hear, almost imperceptibly, his beloved cat Lucy licking her paw. She’s curled at the foot of the bed, keeping his feet warm, keeping watch. This is the sound of peace.

—Liz, @LizVacc, [email protected]

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