Way back when, when my eyes worked a little bit better, I used to act a little differently. I used to approach, talk to, react to, mingle with folks a little differently. I think I was a different person, to some degree, way back when.
I have written a few times that I have been quite uncomfortable with my appearance throughout my teen years, and into my adulthood. Whatever my perceptions were from a reflection of myself in a mirror, well, that usually gobbled up my day and left me with a bad case of indigestion. I took those quick glimpses of myself, and twisted them into a tangled ball of gut wrenching emotions that played a strong hand in how I made it through my day.
These direction veering, detour filled road maps lined my glove compartment, and every time I pulled one out for guidance, it directed me towards who I eventually became.
Way back when, when my eyes worked a little better, I approached things in my own unique little way. One of the first things I tried to do when I approached folks was to analyze them, to study them and try to understand their actions, their reactions, their body language towards me. I used to try and head them off at the pass, maneuvering to and fro so as to work my brilliant deductions and extravagant equations in with how I was feeling about myself at that particular moment. With my own perceptions of them that I collected, I worked my own existence to fit in to the situation. I became a chameleon of sorts, working and changing and morphing into what I thought would work best with what I was processing. It was a continuous struggle to try to change into something I thought would fit the best, something I thought would get the best reactions, something that I thought everyone would like to be around. I became enamored with the actions and reactions of everyone around me and through it all, I completely changed who I was and what I was all about.
I was a child of my surroundings and my surroundings seemed to come at me with blinding speed. My visual input became so skewed that I never really gave myself enough time to thoroughly enjoy anything. I never was really able to just sit back and take it all in. I was never really able to enjoy just being me.
Way back when, I saw things with my own little eyes and molded them into my own little world. I took what I saw, what I heard, what I felt, what I imagined, I took all the things I could grab hold of and I folded and cropped and twisted and shaped it all into a tiring, exhausting, worried version of a badly lit, poorly rehearsed play that was up on stage, with only one spectator in the audience, me. My vision, now that I can look back and reflect, seemed to have the upper hand in who I became. My vision convinced me of things that probably weren’t really happening. My vision put it’s hand on my shoulder and guided me over there, instead of where I was supposed to be, right here.
That was way back when, when my eyes worked a little bit better. They don’t work so well now though, and I see things a lot differently now. I see things from the inside out, instead of from the outside,, in. I see things now in a way that I honestly wish I always could have, with honesty, with humility, with an innocence that cradles my neglected child inside and nourishes my starved past. I still see now, even though my eyes don’t work so well. I see things I never saw before. It’s amazing how I take what I hear now and turn it into how and what I see. It’s amazing how my senses have come around full circle to finally show me all that is out there to know, to cherish, to fall in love with, from the ground up, from the inside, out. It’s simply amazing that without my vision, I don’t seem to worry about what folks perceptions of me are. I don’t worry about how people look at me, I don’t worry about how folks approach me, or look at me, or talk to their friends about me, and I don’t have to worry about those quick little glimpses of myself in an unsuspecting mirror, or plate glass window, or anywhere that my image used to creep into my day.
I also notice that I get a whole different feeling from listening to the conversations of folks these days. I hear things these days from a totally different viewpoint. I take in all of the subtleties, all of the soft vocal gestures, all of the sharp dialect, all of the charisma that wraps itself around the unseen, and then, I am able to react quite differently than ever before. I am able to take in all the vocal abnormalities that have always gone hand in hand with the visual ones, but with a different feel. My mind isn’t all muddled and mixed up with all of the sighted commotion that used to manipulate all of my responses. It really is a different feeling to react mostly to what I’m listening to, rather than what I am looking at. It gives me a totally different perception that allows me to approach situations from a completely different direction.
I think I am able to learn more about people these days also. I feel as though I can sense different things about folks according to how they sound. I can respond to them from a whole different plane, one that gently slides right in beside them and makes itself at home, not worrying about how others are looking at me, but by how others are responding to me with words , as well as with those emotions that wrap themselves around those same words.
I have said a few times before that it feels like I had to become blind to see. The visions of voice, the visions of words, the visions of speech play out in my head, one reel at a time. I race back and forth with their possibilities, fitting them here, trying them out over there, and so much of what I feel seems to snap in, strap on and buckle up with such an ease that I sometimes wonder, wait, and welcome whatever it is that I might hear next.
It really is quite a different set of rules that point me and guide me into these new directions. It really is quite a different feeling that grabs hold of me and gives me a little nudge into my days. It really is quite amazing how the subtleties of speech can take you by the hand and show you so many different things. It really is nice to be able to just listen for a change, without the commotion of a million ever changing visions continuously pulling and tugging me into a completely different direction. It really is fun to build a story in my mind with nothing but words.
It really is quite simple , you know? I mean, all you have to do is just sit back, take a deep breath, and listen.