Sunday, June 22, 2014


Tam Nguyen


“If you want your dreams to come true, you need to wake up and work”.  That’s how my Father woke us up early in the morning.  He would come in and throw back mosquito netting, saying, “Wake up. The sun is rising.  The cock is crowing.” 


We did not have many sweaters for choosing which one would wear for each day.  Occasionally, we have new clothes, but during the year, we wore what we have.  As kids we didn't know when we dress poorly and get a cold, running nose, and nose and ear infection.  And during the day, pretty much the older sister take care younger brother and sister.  We had plenty of fun, running out in the rain, taking a free shower.  The water would get into our ears, but we did not stop because we feel so much fun.


I had a lot fun and also had an ear infection.  Unlucky for me that my body’s immune system does not do good at healing.  I also did not have antibiotic to treating, either.  I slowed down.  Whenever my friend saw my running nose, they said, "Tam, you got two worms under your nose.”  My ear had liquid running out with bad smell.  Sometimes it would dry out and a piece of stuff still stuck inside my ear and blocked my hearing with the wax.


I also changed myself to become bossy and harder.  My voice became louder and louder.  When I had conversation, my voice was like a big fight with yelling.  When I lost my hearing, I crawled inside myself, but my Father was there for me, on my side during my childhood.  He filled me with stories for my mind.


At that time, during 80’s and 90’s, television was a luxury and expensive, too, but my Father taught me using my mind to create television by image and keep scene in the mind to remember things, like hearing.


One other of stage of meditation is to travel by my own spirits.  I was not really good except when I go to bed.  I talked to him about my dream.  He always encouraged me to keep my dreams and live with them.  It was painful to live with dreams and notice that I lost hearing.  I barely heard the sounds of around me.  My father pointed out for me that in the quiet there are the micro sounds under of silence and to listen to the micro sounds.  It was trick for me manage my life with all of that.  Wake up and work to let dream come true, but in the mean time, I had to sleep to get the dream.


I held the attitude and moved on, until I got myself fixing my lost hearing.  The sound of leaking of pipe at the sink, I explored myself, and I realized I can hear it.  The tears ran down.  The tick tock of the wall repeat it.  A long time since last time I hear that sound and question my father about the tick tock, and I understood his answer way back then.  Seeing it is heaing it.  I can hear the wind with the tone of it.  It is simple but gave me happiness.  


Since I got hearing back, I realized that I was in prison myself for so long.  I just live the life for myself more than I can care for things going on around me.  And now, I am free, but it also the sound blast me too much.  Hearing the sounds and my brain process more information.  I am aware, and I catch up with 20 years lost.  I can hear the wind, and I feel how hard for leaves moving and made tone of sound higher.  


I walk out my prison and free myself.  Giving back joy, happy with every second and hearing the birds singing in the early morning.  I used to tear the petals of flowers to look inside with curious where it stores the aroma when I was bored.  Now with my hearing I went to school to learn about the aroma.

Tam Nyugen is a student at NAU and The Literacy Center.  Smith and Freddi Steele edit Gardening Etcetera for the Arizona Daily Sun.  Smith emails at and blogs at

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