I may be blind, but oh how I can see.
Although the darkness has crept in from all around, the colors continue to push it out of the way. A pinch of this, a memory of that, a recollection from way back when, it all becomes what I see, and sometimes, what I can feel.
With these memories comes the smells, the sounds, the feelings that instantly sweep me away and take me back to those specific dates and times when vision shaped and molded a young man.
As these pictures from the past keep me company, once in a while I seem to acquire the exact feelings from yesterday’s experiences. As though I’m right there, living through the moments again, a shiver runs up and down my spine. A feeling exactly from my past, from my moments, from my existence knocks on the door to pay a visit. It doesn’t last very long, but when it occurs, it’s almost like a déjà vu, a second helping, an instant replay of the senses.
During my initial vision loss, everything went black. I had what I call tracers, floaters, teases of visions running here and there, but they were just mental sparks showing me things that weren’t really there. As the next months progressed, I reclaimed a tiny portion of vision, but only the right outer peripheral, which I was told was a temporal vision condition that was a normal occurrence from the type of vision loss I experienced. Some of my colors started to creep in, like yellows, greens, reds and my favorite one of all, my Wal Mart Blue. I called it this because when my wife and I would go to the box store, I would see it all over the place. I truly thought my vision would come back.
It never did.
Over this past year, the colors have faded, the edges of the shapes have softened, the sun has grown dim and the features of the most beautiful creature on the planet have slowly and sadly drifted into the shadows of my memory.
I imagine that it won’t be long before I am totally blind, but I’m hanging on with all that I’m worth. My perception of light seems to be holding on, and for that I am grateful. I’m also grateful for having been given vision for fifty years. One of the ophthalmologists I visited back in 2010 told me that with my infancy retinal cancer, in his opinion, it is a miracle that I did have sight for those fifty years. His words brought it all into a totally different perspective for me. My outlook for my future changed then, and I try to hold onto his insight as I place one foot in front of the other.
Vision is the key to so many things in life, but the vision comes in so many different forms. The eyes of the world have the bulk of the sights, but the heart takes what the eyes see and shapes it into a complete experience. One by one, the recollections that are connected between the mind and the spirit set the heart pounding and the blood pumping. True vision, true sight, true glimpses of what we were, what we are and what we might some day become are the most important things that we will ever encounter. Of course, this is my opinion, as it is also my own personal vision.
I am only four and a half years into this new journey, and as a toddler does, I learn with each step. I see new things every day. I live different emotions every day. I feel frustration every day, but as I have throughout my life, I grow with each opportunity that I come face to face with. A lot of what goes on around me eludes my sight, but I sense so much more of what used to elude me.
The colors will always shine brightly within my day, and the bursting palette of memories will help fill one empty canvas after another with a vivid artistry of life. Like an artist looking for something to paint, I’m a feeling, an emotion, a memory waiting to happen.
I am blind. I am vision impaired. I am a member of the blind community, and oh how I am learning how to see.