I stop myself from creativity
J. Parrish Lewis I stop myself from writing posts like these because in the act of writing them, I judge myself for whatever I might say. I second guess my words. I dismiss them. I think I should edit it, and then edit it a whole bunch of times more, and I think about how after I have [â€¦] Source
Sat, Dec 07 2019
J. Parrish Lewis When I wait in line at the coffeehouse (or anywhere else, really) and thereâ€™s a bunch of people chatting in front of me and laughing and sometimes horsing around, I wonder just what it is that theyâ€™re saying. The usual response Iâ€™ll get from someone who is hearing is that these conversations that they overhearâ€”or [â€¦] Source
Thu, Feb 14 2019
J. Parrish Lewis I canâ€™t expect peace to find me, I have to look for it. I canâ€™t expect inspiration to tackle me, I have to tackle it. I canâ€™t sense what is beautiful about the world if I donâ€™t use what senses I have to notice it. I canâ€™t expect the best from others, because we arenâ€™t [â€¦] Source
Mon, Jan 28 2019
Flash Fiction: Without
J. Parrish Lewis Without By J. Parrish Lewis Â© 2018 They didnâ€™t come for our guns, we surrendered them. On March 15, 2021, the inexplicable desire to be rid of every gun in my home woke me from my sleep with the sleeping wedge pillow. It wasnâ€™t long before I learned that the same desire welled up within [â€¦] Source
Mon, Jan 28 2019
I may delete this post
J. Parrish Lewis I just wrote a paragraph of this post and then deleted it. Not surprising. I may still keep deleting. Itâ€™s funny sad how I dislike my writing, usually. So rarely satisfied with anything that I write, which, I guess, is pretty much the norm for anyone who cares about being a writer. I lack originality [â€¦] Source
Mon, Jan 28 2019
J. Parrish Lewis Welcome to J. Parrish Lewis websites. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!
Wed, Oct 21 2015
It was a dark and stormy Fatherâ€™s Day
J. Parrish Lewis Thunder crashed. Wind lamented its life with haunted howls. Cats screeched or perhaps meowed. I heard none of this, of course, but it happened. Lightning flashes lit up the frame of the front door. The doorknob turned. Slowly, steadily, ever so mercilessly. From across the room, sitting in my Daddy chair, I watched. The lights [â€¦]
Fri, Oct 10 2014
J. Parrish Lewis Once, I was pulled over on the road for a burnt-out tail-light. Upon finding out that I was deaf, the police officer wanted to confiscate my driver license. â€œDeaf people canâ€™t drive,â€ he said. Oh, but they can, and they can drive well. They can also drive poorly. Just like hearing people, we have all degrees of skill. Being deaf, Read the full post...
Sat, Feb 01 2014
Doing an IamA on Reddit
J. Parrish Lewis Friends have suggested that I do an IamA on reddit.com, since Deaf writers (and novelists) are uncommon. Posting this here simply for proof that I am who I say I am. (Not Popeye, not Sam-I-Am) Cheers, Redditors!
Fri, Mar 08 2013
Star Jog: The MFP Generation (Part 4 & Conclusion)
J. Parrish Lewis Fat. The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Exercise. Its continuing mission, to shed more unwanted pounds, to seek out new life and new muscles, and to boldly jog where no one has jogged before. A loud crash startled the senior officers, so much that if you had a ruler handy and the ability to stop time, Read the full post...
Fri, Jan 18 2013
Our Hearing Friends
J. Parrish Lewis I dream of a country where our American Sign Language catches on like wildfire until it's so common to see signing on every street corner, in every mall and museum, in every school and park. I would love it: just to feel that much more connected to the world around me because of communication becoming [...]
Tue, Nov 29 2011
Don’t Hate The Hearing
J. Parrish Lewis This post is for my fellow Deaf Community members. I write it because I care about our Deaf Community. Do we often face discrimination by hearing people? Yes. Do we feel frustrated when hearing people don't learn to sign? Yes. Do we wish more would make an effort to communicate with us, especially when we [...]
Tue, Nov 29 2011
Plant the ASL Seed & Your Wish Will Grow
J. Parrish Lewis If you're like me, you wish more people in the United States of America could communicate in ASL. What good is a wish by itself? Your wish is only a seed that needs to be planted. Without planting a seed in soil and watering it, giving it care, it will not likely grow. Perhaps by [...]
Fri, Nov 18 2011
The Tightrope Across the Chasm (or why hearing families...
J. Parrish Lewis Today in explaining the value of learning American Sign Language to hearing family members of deaf individuals, I used this imagery to give them a sense of what it means, to a deaf family member, when they make the effort: Imagine you see your family, not too far away from where you stand. There they [...]
Thu, Nov 10 2011
Enjoying the Simple Moments
J. Parrish Lewis I think most of us, when we were kids, we wanted to fill every moment with something fun to do or see. I know I was that way, at least, though I don't recall being easily bored. I was fairly good, unless I am deluding myself, at keeping myself entertained for hours on end. It [...]
Tue, Sep 06 2011
J. Parrish Lewis I've been thinking about setting up a sort of sangha for signers. I'd welcome deaf, hard of hearing, and even hearing individuals who are committed to communicating with sign language when we got together. A Sangha is what they call, in Buddhism, a community with common goals and purpose. It's essentially the equivalent of a congregation in a Church....
Thu, Mar 31 2011
Writing lately, by hand.
J. Parrish Lewis Pen on paper. Shouldn't feel so foreign to do a lot of it, but it does. Lately I've been writing more by hand instead of on the computer. Notice: less blogs. Have I given up on blogging again? No, but it's likely I'll go through periods where I'm prolific with blogging and then have a lapse. It doesn't mean that I'm not writin...
Tue, Nov 02 2010
Sometimes I get tired of explaining I’m deaf
J. Parrish Lewis There's this woman who lives in my town who seems to pop up everywhere I go, who always approaches everyone in the coffeehouse or restaurant to say a few words to each. I don't know if she's lonely or just social, but she forgets she has already met me 100 times before and each time I have to explain that I'm deaf and don't understand her...
Tue, Oct 12 2010
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Poisoned by Negativity in the Blogosphere
J. Parrish Lewis I haven't written anything recently because I tend to write when I'm reading more. Recently I spent a lot of time reading various blogs and watching various vlogs, all of them deaf-centric. I started to feel a bit poisoned by the negativity. The truth is, more than half of the negativity wasn't in the blogs themselves, but in the comments. Feeling po...
Sun, Oct 10 2010
Practices in the Blogosphere
J. Parrish Lewis I wrote an earlier post today about how the things we're skilled at, whether they're good things or not, are due to the practice that we do on a daily basis. I wanted to directly address the practices I've witnessed online in the blogosphere, just to share my perspective. I'm relatively new to reading blogs, though I've written them for y...
Wed, Sep 29 2010
The Smoke Alarm is (NOT) going off!
J. Parrish Lewis When I was in high school, I spent a lot of time doing artwork. My last two years of high school, I spent hours everyday in the art classroom working on one project or another, totally immersed in my work. One day I turned around and everyone was gone. I walked to the other section [...]
Tue, Sep 28 2010
About Deaf Aliens
J. Parrish Lewis Last night, my roof was ripped right off the house in an instant, which was unpleasant because it let the mosquitos in. The culprit was this silvery and polka-dotted spaceship that had landed on the house and apparently has a vacuum setting. Unpleasant. Fortunately the roof must have jammed it, because the whole thing shut [...]
Sat, Sep 25 2010
Yakety Yak, I talk back!
J. Parrish Lewis You ain't gonna rock and roll no more Yakety yak (don't talk back) -The Coasters (1958) yak 1. a large, stocky, shaggy-haired wild ox, Bos grunniens, of the Tibetan highlands, having long, curved horns: endangered. I spy a shaggy yak over there on yon horizon*. -noun 2. to talk, esp. uninterruptedly and idly; gab; chatter: [...]
Fri, Sep 24 2010
ASL FLASH MOB!
J. Parrish Lewis Today, a group of us did an ASL flash mob performance of u2′s Beautiful Day. This was one of our Deaf Awareness Week projects for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center, where I work, and involved Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Interpreters, CODAs, and ASL students. I'm very proud that we accomplished what we set [...]
Thu, Sep 23 2010
My Deaf and Hearing Brothers ROCK, oh yes.
J. Parrish Lewis Hey, why not? While I'm on the topic of family and appreciating them regardless of their hearing status, I figured I might as well give a “shout-out” to my brothers (what would the deaf version of a shout-out be?) because they ROCK. I've been blessed with two. One's deaf and one's hearing. My deaf bro, [...]
Wed, Sep 22 2010
I Have Awesome Hearing Parents
J. Parrish Lewis I just wanted to say it. I have awesome hearing parents. Why am I even mentioning that they're hearing? Because I just think it's worth mentioning that parents can be great even when they're hearing. Because throughout my entire adult life, I've seen looks of disappointment on deaf people's faces when they learn I don't [...]
Tue, Sep 21 2010
Deaf + Screen-free Day + 2010 = Harder Than It Should Be!
J. Parrish Lewis Recently, I posted a blog about my self-imposed challenge to have a day without screens, meaning no computers, pagers, TVs, or Videophones. For me, that day was yesterday. It was much harder than it should be, and shows how addicted I am to the internet in particular. I believe that my being deaf contributed to [...]
Sun, Sep 19 2010
Things I wonder about us…
J. Parrish Lewis A random collection of things I wonder: Does every country's deaf community have the same oral deaf vs. signing deaf conflict, or are there any with total acceptance of each other's differences? When ASL interpreters grow old and become deaf, do they join the deaf community in a new way? Why do people push each [...]
Fri, Sep 17 2010
A Challenge: A Day Without Screens
J. Parrish Lewis Think you can skip internet, TV, movies, and video games for a day? Turn off the computer? Put away your Blackberries, your iPhones, your Sidekicks? Put your VPs on “Do Not Call”!? (I imagine horrified expressions on some of your faces.) That's my challenge for all of you. A day without your eyes looking at [...]
Mon, Sep 13 2010
J. Parrish Lewis I was curious about how many deaf Muslims there are, at least deaf Muslims who sign. I've never met one myself, as far as I know. I'd like to. I think diversity makes life more interesting, including diversity in our beliefs. If we all believed the same thing, it might be a more peaceful world, [...]
Sun, Sep 12 2010
Being Deaf on 9/11
J. Parrish Lewis It's a few hours 'til 9/11 here. I think the recent stories about the mosque that's planned for near the WTC site and the on-again-off-again burnings of the Qurans (which I think is an absolutely wrong act to commit) has made this year's recognition of 9/11 a little more prominent. Frankly, on that day I [...]
Sat, Sep 11 2010
Being a Deaf Dad
J. Parrish Lewis Fatherhood's a new thing for me, though my daughter's 7 years old. We met her just 6 months ago, after a year and a half of a stressful adoption process. It's not finalized, though hopefully next month will be. While it won't be legal until the adoption is finalized, in our hearts she is 100% [...]
Fri, Sep 10 2010
The Flip Side: To Speak or Not To Speak
J. Parrish Lewis Getting to the point, but first read my last blog post. Is it okay for some Deaf people to tell other what their choice of communication should be? Is it okay for one Deaf person to tell another Deaf person, “You should not talk, only sign.”? Is it okay to say we devalue ASL if [...]
Fri, Sep 03 2010
Hypothetical Question: What if Hearing People Deny Deaf...
J. Parrish Lewis This will most likely never happen. It's very unrealistic, and is pretty much the opposite of what's normal today, but WHAT IF... What if hearing people told deaf people, “No, you're not allowed to speak. Deaf people shouldn't speak. You must use sign language or write. No talking.” (As a potential and ridiculous reason, because...
Fri, Sep 03 2010
I Dare You
J. Parrish Lewis I dare you to... ...think something nice about someone who has angered or frustrated you. ...let them know, even if you think they'd never do it for you. ...delete the next thing you start typing that is name-calling, or something you wouldn't want said to you. ...imagine people as the children they used to be, [...]
Tue, Aug 31 2010
When Deaf Folks Take Over The World…
J. Parrish Lewis Here's the plan, Stan. World Domination by the Deaf Community (includes EVERY country, not just America) will begin with the following: 1. We all learn every sign language that exists from A to Z. This might take some time. 2. Each sign language is assigned to a specific topic. For example, ASL will be assigned [...]
Mon, Aug 30 2010
Even More Secret: Deaf Drawbacks!
J. Parrish Lewis Ok, I'm still here. The site hasn't collapsed from revealing the secret perks of being Deaf, so perhaps I'm safe. I feel emboldened now. I think I'll take it one step further, and share some even more secret info: drawbacks to being deaf. Why not? 1. We're more susceptible to alien abductions. The ship can [...]
Sun, Aug 29 2010
Secret Deaf Perks
J. Parrish Lewis We all know what the usual perks to being deaf are, like being able to sign underwater and all that, but I'm going to share the SECRET ones. I got to do this quick before someone figures out a way to shut my website down. THEY don't want you to know. I'll get to the [...]
Sat, Aug 28 2010
Hearing Child, Deaf Parent
J. Parrish Lewis It's too bad there's no snazzy acronym like CODA, for us: Parents of hearing children. POHC? Doesn't have the same cool factor. I'm a deaf parent of a hearing child. And guess what? I'm happy about that. It doesn't have anything to do with her being hearing. Which brings me to the reason I'm writing [...]
Thu, Aug 26 2010
My Closest Daylight Silence
J. Parrish Lewis On Sunday morning, we threw together our hiking necessities and set out the door for Kings Canyon National Park. After a quick stop for a Subway lunch to add to our packs, we drove 2 hours to the park on a road we've never taken before. Much too long, and we'll probably never take that [...]
Tue, Aug 24 2010
Gossip: Negativity versus News in our Community
J. Parrish Lewis Speak or act with an impure mind And trouble will follow you As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart. –The Buddha Don't speak evil of someone if you don't know for certain, and if you do know ask yourself, why am I telling it? –Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741-1801) Swiss theologian and poet. [...]
Fri, Aug 20 2010
I Speak … But I’m Still Deaf
J. Parrish Lewis Yes, it's true. I speak, but I'm still Deaf. (And I confess, I like to speak) I sign imperfect ASL, borderline PSE (most definitely not SEE), but I'm still Deaf. I “hear” things when I see them, because my mind imagines the sound without my trying, but I'm still Deaf (and sometimes, or often, this [...]
Wed, Aug 18 2010
Being Deaf and Pursuing Creativity
J. Parrish Lewis Recently I wrote about being deaf and writing, stating that there's no reason that deaf folks can't write. I still feel this way, but before I move on to my thoughts about creativity, I wanted to add a few comments to clarify myself: -I wasn't suggesting that all deaf people SHOULD want to write. If [...]
Tue, Aug 17 2010
Writing and Being Deaf
J. Parrish Lewis There is absolutely nothing to prevent deaf folks, whether culturally deaf and using ASL or not, from becoming writers. We can write. We can throw down poems from our minds on paper. We can shape the stories in our minds into the written word. We can also do this in ASL, but I ask: why [...]
Sat, Aug 14 2010
Wherefore art thou, leaders?
J. Parrish Lewis The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet. Theodore M. Hesburgh I don't know if this is a common problem in small communities across America or not, but lately I've been frustrated with the lack of local leadership in my own local deaf community. Where [...]
Wed, Aug 11 2010
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