Am I seeing what I think, or am I thinking what I see? I wonder some days if the visions I think I am actually seeing are really what I am experiencing, or if my brain is filling in the blanks with what it deems as most appropriate for the occasion. My day is a never ending collage of moving pictures, scattered along a murky palette of what used to be and what I imagine to be. I am blessed with nearly half a century of moving pictures that I effortlessly fall back into, ever reminding me of how things used to be, and making up scenarios of how they ought to be. My day is made up of what I think I see, how I imagine it to be and what it really is. It really is a finely tuned instrument, consisting of imagination that accompanies reality.
If ever I get to the point when I see nothing at all, no light perception, no glimmers of dull hues, no faded hints of what really is, well, I will have to rely on my internal library of what was, in order to be able to fully enjoy what still is.
I have often wondered how folks who have been blind since birth form their imaginations. I wonder how their minds process data as it relates to what is going on around them. Do they categorize things in strange and unique ways? Do they process data and correlate information in ways that sighted folks wouldn’t even dream of? What do they picture in their minds when they are confronted by a field of colors, or changing temperatures, or a sharpness of an edge, or the softness of a pillow? It must be a fascinating difference from how they think, compared to one with vision, or one who has had vision.
I know, for me, when I first lost my sight, I had a horrible time at first trying to categorize and sort things out in my head. My mind was so full of the past that it didn’t have time to process the present. I couldn’t even memorize a seven digit phone number. It was too cluttered up there. Outside of the unbelievable situation that I was catapulted into, everything still continued to happen, and it was happening all around me. Not being able to see it was a life changing event, but none the less, things just kept being. If ever I was able to catch a little snippet of this, or a smidgen of that, my mind wasn’t ready to grab a paint brush and fill in the missing strokes. It didn’t know how, and I wasn’t aware of it, at all.
Time passed, and along with it, my ability to sort things out changed. Here I go referring back to that old post again. I learned how to absorb, adapt and advance. It’s something that I had always known how to do, but had quickly forgot. The recalculating of my own adaptation took some time, but I did adapt. I did form alternative ways to process information. I lived and learned what it meant to be blind, and with lesson upon lesson thrown at me, the reluctant student soon became the grateful study. I soon found out that I had no choice but to step back and let my mind do most of the work. Giving up control of something I had no control of to begin with, well, it opened up my eyes and showed me that if you just let it happen, the world will always continue to come to you. You just have to be ready to hop on and go for a spin. There’s still much to see and much to do in my life, and I welcome it all, as long as there is enough chocolate.
I have talked many times of the incredible inspiration that is all around me. I have talked often of taking the positives and use them to run the negatives out of town. I am still learning how to let my mind fill in the blanks by itself. I guess that my personality used to lean way over to the controlling side, never wanting surprises, never wanting the unknown and certainly never wanting change. In 2010 everything changed and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it. The only thing I could do was to learn what to do with it. So far, I have been doing quite a bit with it, but there’s still that uneasy feeling that goes along with not being able to see exactly what it is. Scary? Uneasy? Frantic surges of anxiety? Oh, you betcha. That’s who I am, and that’s who I will always be. I paid for the wiring, now I have to take the time and figure out what all the wires go to.
Am I seeing what I think? Could it be that I’m thinking about what I see? Could it be that if I just step back for a moment, my mind will let me know what’s what?
Hmm. Let’s see. I got a can of paint, and I think I set the paintbrush down, right over…
Excuse me? Do you see a paint brush lying around here somewhere?