Among the deep listeners in Deep Listening 101

A Poem by Daniel M. Becker, MD

Daniel Becket with Boat

are music majors taking the class for credit
and an auditor on Social Security

who can only hum one note and that’s the note he hums.
Overtones find a major chord.  Then we march off and find a place to sit
and list the sounds while building castles out of sound.

Listening is the hardest thing a brain does
according to listening psychologists
soliciting grants and donations.

It is now possible to follow sound into the brain
and map its journey up the brainstem and into the attic.
Some sounds turn on all the lights.
Other sounds turn them off.

In one creation myth human ears fly like bats
from one echo to another.
The bats returning to our attic

don’t trigger the motion detector in our driveway.
It takes poetic license to claim that motion detectors listen

unless the motion detector is a sleeping dog
who wakes up to announce the UPS truck in the driveway.
Look around, listen up:  there are worlds beyond our thresholds.

>During the field trip inside the sound free chamber,
those strangers pounding at the door? 
Heart beats.

  After 44 years of medical practice and teaching, Daniel Becker retired from the Department of Medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine on June 30, 2018.  He was rehired, after passing a background check and showing his passport to UVA HR and ace-ing the aging doctors cognitive exam, four months later.  He teaches med students a half day a week, covers clinic when the schedule is desperate, and sees patients at the outpatient opioid treatment clinic.  Whether building castles out of sound (as in the poem) or wooden boats, he likes making things.

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