In personal terms the author, wife of the well known naturalist Robert Cushman Murphy, describes what she calls a new design for deafness based on the affirmation of the fact of deafness, ignoring the effects on one's self to remember the effects on others. Mrs. Murphy writes principally for those who are disabled as she is, but she gives many insights which hearing people will appreciate. The story of her struggle for a full life in the face of deafness which progressed to total hearing loss points up the need for human communication which is so terribly difficult for the unhearing to satisfy -- lipreading and new aids help those not totally deaf. The problems of balance for some, head noises which make mockery of a silent world, pitching one's voice -- and speaking at all if one is congenitally deaf or deafened early in life, time -- consuming talk when one hears through eyes alone -- these emerge. Mrs. Murphy still loves music and theatre and has found joy in nature and driving. She sustains her zest despite her troubles, and urges others to join her.