One More Time
Another Christmas day is almost done. So fast it came upon us. So fast it will tip its hat and bid us a good day. So quickly we will get on with our lives.
I spoke to a group of friends a few weeks back and tried to explain to them that Christmases weren’t the same since my vision loss. I tried to explain to them that I wasn’t really able to find the Christmas feeling, the spirit of the season, the comfort and joy that had managed to graced my soul on so many occasions, for so many years. I tried to convey my feelings of how the experience of Christmas wasn’t the same now without the visual input. I tried to explain to them, what I didn’t really understand fully myself.
I guess what it boils down to is that I have a section of the Christmas spirit stored away, inside me. I never really thought about it because it just, was. So many feelings, so many images, so many memories and recollections and all of it was due to my own experiences. Triggered by this, and set in motion with the help of that, I never knew when the surge of holiday emotion would take control, but it usually would find a way, and year after year, I was the better for it. All the magic, all of the tidings of the season, all of the hopes and love and faith and good will and it would all come bubbling out of me, each year, no matter what. It was a part of me, and I, a part of it. With all of the tinsel and lights and songs and frosted wonder, no matter what was going on, I would eventually be consumed by Christmas, and the season really didn’t start to swing into motion until the motion took hold of me.
I tried explaining to the group of my friends that I had come to the realization that the feeling of Christmas was indeed inside me, but those internal swells of the season were, for the most part, able to be in me because of what I had seen, what I had witnessed, what I had peered at over the years. The visions, the sights, the things that caught my eye were blended in with my own internal conversion mechanism and constructed into my feelings of the Christmas Season is, has become, and will always be. I may be able to add some to it over the rest of my life, but the data banks have been correctly labeled and the files have been transferred accordingly. My instincts, my perceptions, my individual spirit of the holy night of magical delight will live inside of me, forever, with every ounce of personal experience and influence playing a part in the movie that now plays in my mind.
The old feelings, the old ways of compressing and storing the data, the kid inside me will always feel the Christmas Spirit, but perhaps in a different way.
I listened to A Christmas Story on TV tonight, and as I listened to the scenes, one after another, the movie was playing in my mind, one scene at a time. A couple of times, I was caught up with emotion as I pictured the facial expressions during the movie. When the Father told Ralphie to take a look over behind the bureau, that there might be something special over there for him, I remembered the look on his face and the sound of laughter spilling from his heart as his son walked over and found his Red Rider bb gun. As I listened to the movie, a swell of emotion became apparent that I was experiencing the holidays, granted, in my own way, but with the same surge of emotions that have always caught hold of me in the past.
I was thankful. I was grateful. I was happy and joyous and nostalgic and humbled that the spirit of this season had finally caught up with me. Perhaps I was the one who had to do the catching up? Which ever is true, it is what it is, and I celebrated in my mind.
Visions do form places in the heart, but there is so much more space left over for the rest of life. What we become does lean on our visual encounters a great deal, but it also pulls in touch and taste and smell and sound. All of them, no matter how many of “them” you have, shape and mold and teach the spirit, the soul, the thirst for life.
I am still new to this sightless encounter with life. I am still learning and living. I have become an open book with so many pages to fill up. I know how to type, I do love to write and my story is under way. It’s a story that will continue to change, evolve, adapt, transform and teach me things I never knew existed.
Christmas is a wonderful time of year for me. It reminds me so much about what is truly important. It gives me so much more than I can ever give back. It is the pureness found only within my childhood past, wrapped inside what appears to be an adult, but don’t let that fool you. In so many ways, I am still an adolescent, and probably will remain as such for some time to come.
My visions start from deep inside these days. They take a look at things from the perceptions of my other senses, and they form their own opinion, an opinion that I will learn how to read, to understand, to live with and to love.
I found Christmas again tonight. I found the joyous feeling that has warmed my heart more times than I can count. I found that everlasting piece of peace. I found the kid inside me, one more time, one more year, one more Christmas and I breathed in deeply and smiled, one more time.