Blindness is not my biggest problem. Rather, it is the crucible in which my character defects boil over. Add blindness to a perfectionist and he becomes immobile. Add blindness to a victim and he becomes insufferable. Blindness is the catalyst, not the cause.
For years, I blamed blindness for my shortcomings. “If I weren’t blind, I’d do this. If not for blindness, I’d be that.” It was more convenient to blame than to take responsibility, safer to look outside than inward. I see now that blindness is an inside job.
Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% what I make of it. These proportions have reversed over the years, even as my eyesight dwindled. Way back when, I thought happiness was proportionate to eyesight. Now I am less fearful and anxious. I’m beginning to see what it is to love life. This remarkable change came not from a momentous event. Rather it came from an invisible change in perception.
Way back when, I thought blindness was the end of the world. I was a different person back then. I still carry some remnants, but I have changed and I am changing. I can deal with it today. True, blindness is no Sunday picnic. But I don’t need to lug around twenty-seven years of baggage.
A crucible is a vessel in which elements change when heated. It symbolizes trial by fire. My crucible now contains patience, tolerance and acceptance, perhaps in relatively small proportions, but they are present nonetheless.
To a wise friend, I expressed dismay that it had taken me so long to wise up, to come to terms with blindness. She said, “Perhaps your difficulty was more with life and less with blindness.”
“Hmmm. I think I’m beginning to see the light