The Crucible

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

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5 Responses to The Crucible

  1. So happy that you posted this. When I heard your presentation, I was hoping I could have had a copy of what you talked about.

  2. Jenny T says:

    Hi Jeff, No truer words have been said, but they may be the hardest to learn and understand. I read in a book recently, when a character kept asking why me, that maybe this particular individual had been made this way because he or she was not supposed to be anything else. Hard words to hear, but true, never the less. I think it takes us so long to accept our circumstances, because it is on the journey, and not at the destination, where we learn the most important lessons and truths about ourselves. Thank you for sharing and being so honest. I truly believe that your words make it easier for others. Blazer and I enjoyed our little trip to the bakery and have become regulars, as it is a nice place for a college student and her guidedog to study and write. Jenny and her amazing guidedog Blazer

  3. Sara says:

    Eloquent and honest. Thank you for your words of insight and quiet boldness.

  4. Carl Dalka says:

    Jeff – is the crucible hot or cold? I can;t tell. As age adds to my problems and vision reduces them.. I am happy to have met you and Randy. Your words fill my mind. I can not tell you how much this blog post has helped me. My text to speech reader – run – it – over.

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