Humanness

Sometimes, I get impatient for a cure for blindness.  And I think, “But hasn’t blindness taught you patience?”

Sometimes, I get confused.  I ask, “If you want a cure, does that mean you’re doing a lousy job of acceptance?  Hope all you want; learn Braille in the meantime.”

When I was early into blindness, I would have elbowed aside small children and Ray Charles to get to the cure.  Now, most days, I feel comfortable in my own skin.  Part of comfort is familiarity.  Another part is coming to like myself.  Yet a third is coming to know there is indeed a different way of seeing.

I’m learning to see with my heart.  Blindness messed up a lot of things in my life.  But there was truth in it that I needed to know.  To learn that eyesight is my physical sense.  To learn that vision is my spiritual self.  I see, whether my eyes do or not.

The truth I needed to learn was not about my blindness but about me.  I don’t always enjoy the scrutiny.  Willingness comes and goes

Blindness is a loss on a human level.  And, damn it, it hurts.  At the same time, I know that it doesn’t really matter.  I see concepts, qualities.  As much as I would love to see my wife’s warm smile and laughing eyes, with my heart I see her goodness.  We connect.  Differently than before, but isn’t that what life is all about?

As I cope with blindness, I want to be all that I can be.  But I already am all that I can be.

In this experience that we’re having right now on earth, we are limited.  We are so limited.  But a part of me knows that I am not.  And mine plays out in my ability to see beyond my eyesight.

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2 Responses to Humanness

  1. Sara says:

    Very soulful. Thank you for sharing this part of your being.

    Sara

  2. Jenny T says:

    Hi Jeff, Thank you for such wise words, so appropriate given the approaching holiday season. As I sit at home, after being away for a month helping storm survivors, I find that I too am learning to appreciate what I have, instead of wishing for what might never be. I am also reminded of how lucky I am, especially as I review case notes for the sexually, physically and mentally abused children that I work with as an intern as part of my graduate degree program. In the updates to my case files in my absence, the children left me an extremely detailed tactile drawing of Blazer and myself with the words in Braille “wish you were here, miss you, and come home safe and soon.” For children who hardly communicate and who are so damaged, this drawing is both amazing and humbling. When I asked my supervisor about it, she said, “Blindness makes you imperfect and you have never tried to be perfect around them. Blindness gives you problems, makes you different and shows them that you are human. The children see this, and it makes them feel safe and able to connect with you over other therapists.” After that, how can I feel bad about blindness, especially knowing that others have a far harder journey to make than myself? So, although some days it is still sometimes hard, I am learning to accept myself and who I am, as well as learning to find the wisdom of which you so beautifully speak. Have a wonderful and happy holiday. Blazer is eagerly anticipating turkey, ham and other treats slipped to him by myself and my family who spoils him as much or more than I do. Jenny and her wonderful guidedog Blazer

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