Surviving

Feeling the warmth of the sun on a cloudy day. A glimpse into a blind billy goat's unique, ever changing perspectives.

2017 09 01 Hi Maintenance September 1, 2017

Hello September. And that’s it. That’s all I got for you. Oh ya. I see you sitting there, all fat and sassy, but all I really feel like saying to you is, you got some nerve! Who do you think you are? Hmm? You think you can just stroll in and shove August to the side? Do you know how rude that is? Did your mother teach you any manners?

Oh ya, that’s right. Your mother is Mother Nature, and I keep forgetting she doesn’t need an excuse to do anything. I think she raised her 12 little high maintenance months the same way that Father Time raised her, or were they cousins or something?

Anyway, it is the start of fall, and today it sure does feel like fall. A low pressure system blew out to sea overnight, and man is the chill blowing in from the west. Safe to say, Fall is only three weeks away, although Summer is trying to fool us.

Yes, it’s me again, and yes, it’s been some time since my last blog post, and yes, I am sorry, but I haven’t felt like doing much writing these past few weeks. I better get my butt in gear, because next week is the start of the fall semester at school, and there’ll be plenty of writing to do. I’m taking two communications classes this fall, and between talking and writing, there’ll be plenty of communicatin’ going on.

Ok then. I hope you’re all doing well, and that you’ve had a great summer.

Take care, and God bless the lot of ya’s.

dp

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2017 06 26 Journal Excerpt Page 40 June 26, 2017

 

Some days I don’t feel much like writing. Other days, it feels like I didn’t write enough, or I didn’t write about the right thing, or I strayed to the left when I should have veered to the right. Through all of my time spent writing, I have built up quite an assorted array of essays, stories, poems, and a ton of other things that I don’t really know what to call. Through my fingertips a new world has arrived, and as I have read back through this journal, I’m glad I was chosen to create the text.

 

In a word, thanks.

 

Deon

 

***

 

Page 40

Fall 2011

 

During the month of October, I had the chance to attend my first white cane and guide dog walk of independence in Augusta. My wife, son and grandson Jack also came along, and again I had the chance to meet some people in the blind community of Central Maine. The day was perfect, with warm temps and sunshine flooding the streets of the capitol, and as the canes and paws made our way around the downtown area, I realized that when it came to mobility with my white cane, I wasn’t alone.

 

My retired VRC Leona McKenna was also in attendance, but she wasn’t able to go on the walk with us. She had just been through a rather difficult surgery procedure on one of her feet, but she was there 100 percent in heart and spirit.

 

I did get the chance to talk with another woman, Marge Awalt, and her husband Hugh. They had brought a door prize with them, a voice activated dog that reacted to an accompanying book being read. Did I describe that good enough for you to follow along? Anyway, it was a pretty cool door prize that Jack ended up winning.

 

I just talked with my friend Lynn Merril on the phone, and she remembers being there. By the way, I should remind you again that this page post differs from others, in that I am writing it right now, the 25th of June, 2017. I am gap solving with additional journal info that I never wrote about, until now.

 

Well, the fall was full of differences, as you can imagine, and that I never would imagine. A funny thing happened on the way to writing a short story for my Saturday online writer’s group. We were directed to write a short story for Halloween, and so I set off on a quest to do just that.

 

I didn’t end up writing a short story though.

 

Usually short stories consist of roughly ten pages or so. As I started writing my story, something inside me kicked into gear. I knew after a couple pages that this story wasn’t going to be a short story. Just the way the events started happening, and the way that the movie inside my head was playing, I knew it was more than a short story.

 

Well, Saturday came, and during the group meeting everyone started discussing their stories. During the week leading up to the meeting, members usually submitted their writing piece to the groups list serve, an email list only accessible by group members. This way, the writers had a chance to read the other writer’s submissions in preparations for the next meeting.

 

Anyway, the online meeting started, and the critiques started flowing. When the critique moved to my submission, I told the members that I tried to write a short story, but couldn’t find an ending to it, so I submitted it anyway.

 

Everyone seemed to like the 8 or nine page submission, which I had entitled, Chapter One. There was another writer in the group who decided not to write a short story, but instead continued with chapters of a lengthy story he was writing. Even though I felt a little awkward not being able to end the short story, I shrugged it off as a stepping stone for things to come.

 

And come they did.

 

During this time, my sessions with Mike Adams also continued. I was becoming more comfortable with using my computer, as well as web stuff, in particular, my blog. I had started the blog off with posts declaring my hate for cancer. I had named the blog “Surviving”, as a reminder that I was a cancer survivor, or as I like to say, a cancer conquerer. I hadn’t really thought that the name could mean so many different things, such as surviving blindness, mobility lessons, lawn mower repairs, one sock coming out of the dryer, and probably the worst thing of all, running out of chocolate. The word had so many possibilities, and with each possibility came a world of issues, of chances, of opportunities that could either set you on your ass, or pick you up and take you to the other side where the roses were handed to you in the winner’s circle.

 

Yes, the lessons with Mike proved to be very beneficial, as I had become very dependant on my computer. I communicated with people with it. I felt so comfortable with writing, and while doing so, I didn’t have to worry about maneuvering around my day. I did my maneuvering with the keypad and my fingers. The text that JAWS read to me became a world that I could control, and without the vision there were so many things that I was constantly coming in contact with that kept reminding me how much of my day was completely out of my control. I mean, how could anyone control what they couldn’t see? How is that possible?

 

So many times those slogans of AA came into play, Keep it simple stupid, Turn it Over, Let go, Let God, they all reminded me of the one true thing that I could always control, and that was me. Little old me.

 

Every once in a while I go back and read an old blog post. Often times I sit and laugh while reading, and I ask myself how I ever learned how to write the things I do, the way that I do. I’ve often said that my writing is sometimes like a ping pong ball bouncing all over the place. I just shrug it off, and consider that as long as all the words end up on the screen, then it’s all good. Most of the time, they do, but how the hell would I know? grin

 

And now, for those three little words,

 

To be continued…

 

2017 06 24 Journal Excerpt: Page 38 June 24, 2017

As some memories fade, new ones are born. I wish I could have all of my memories back, but if the unwritten rules say we have to turn over those to gather in these, then I’ll keep trying to make the best of it. Some of my childhood memories are as strong as the ones from last week. How is that possible? How can that be? Such a long time ago, but then again, a couple years ago seems at times as far away as a childhood in Little Falls. Digitally manufactured and preserved by an imagination out of control.

 

My memories of my past have come to visit so many times. Some days I just sit and think about different things. Once in a while I reel in something that I haven’t thought of for quite a while, and usually it builds a smile across my face.

 

I like those the best.

 

Go grab yourself some memories.

 

Deon

 

***

 

Page 38

Summer 2011

 

I have an amazing lady by my side. I know she isn’t happy that she’s reading about herself right now, but she is a part of my story, as she has become a part of me.

 

Thinking back, there were so many times when she went the extra distance to help me realize that my life was very much still worth living. Although my pity prone self pushed back many times, there were those times that it didn’t, and the result was a taste of a world gone by, with a pinch of a world waiting to be.

 

That summer of 2011, we bought several five gallon buckets and set off to grow some potted roma tomato plants out behind the garage. I remember every part of the experience, and that first bite of one of the tomatoes was pure heaven. The plants didn’t yield as much as our traditional garden tomatoes used to, but the smell of the vines, the taste of the fruit was unforgettable.

 

I tried to do as much with my stupid sight as I could. I joked that I could see just enough to piss me off, and it was true. So many times I would strain to see just a little bit more, and each time I did, I became dizzy as hell, almost to the point of passing out a couple of times. I dunno what was causing it, but I soon learned that I needed to accept what I had and learn to do the most with it.

 

My dreams were a trip back then. I would often dream about being able to see, and realizing in the dream that I was supposed to be blind. The dreams inserted the belief that I could see, and my blindness had somehow miraculously come to an end. Eventually, I would wake up, and again, I was reminded that I still couldn’t see. I loved the feeling that my sight loss had come to an end, and wish I could have convinced the moment of the dream to follow me back to reality. Oh how I wanted that to happen.

 

Or did it?

 

There were several mornings in those first couple years when I awoke to see something very familiar. Yes, that’s right. See. Each time the experience was the same. The images of my past, or so I thought, seemed to catch up to me for a friendly visit.

 

As I woke up, I lifted my arm off the bed and swung it into a new position. I saw it. I saw the skin color, the contours of my arm, the color of the wall, the ceiling, even the shimmering ring on my finger. I moved my arm a few times to make sure it was real, and the vision corresponded perfectly to my movement. My heart stopped in my chest, my breath couldn’t breathe, and as I stared at my arm, it stared back. I thought I must be dreaming, but knew I wasn’t.

 

The visions continued on for roughly thirty seconds, and then, slowly, the picture faded into a dull gray haze. I was shocked by what I had seen, and sad to see it go. The experience, brief as it was, sent an electric current down through me that lasted all day. These sightings happened five or six times within the course of a year or so, and to this day I can still see the skin tone of my arm. It was like an old friend had stopped by for a visit.

 

Unimaginable, unannounced, unbelievable, wonderfully unbelievable, simply unbelievable.

 

As I wrote a little earlier, Lynne kept tugging me towards new experiences that proved to be eye opening adventures. I imagine she was trying to get a piece of me back from the past, almost like planting a tomato plant in the fertilized soil, so that it would grow and become something new, something that stretched to meet the sunshine and learned how to grow towards tomorrow.

 

As the metaphors stampede my thoughts, I realize that I am the luckiest guy in the world to have the partner I have. I also realize that so many times my stupid ego has continuously gotten in the way of a good day. Pitiful, selfish, self centered child who had no clue how to recognize a golden opportunity.

 

I forgot what it was like to live, but I was comparing everything to my sighted life. I was comparing apples and oranges.

 

While I waded through the turmoil of existence, I did manage to keep my feet moving forward. I kept reminding myself of the promise I had made to myself to move forward, no matter what, and to never turn away from an obstacle, a challenge, a formidable wall of fear, for those things that proved to be opportunities often disguised themselves as things that I used to veer away from or ignore completely. My old character traits of complacency and laziness wanted to take me for another stroll, and many times I still gave in, until I remembered the goal of maneuvering through whatever this darkened corridor had in store.

 

To be continued…

 

2017 06 21 Journal Excerpt Page 35 June 21, 2017

Emotions come, and emotions go. The distance between coming and going can feel like a lifetime, but it consists of all the things that life is made of. A recipe of living, breathing, experiencing, discovering, welcoming, and yes, veering away from. Millions of steps towards a sunset, along a sunrise, away from the rain and towards a familiar face, it all brings us to that certain spot where, for some reason, we’re meant to be.

 

And here we go again.

 

Deon

 

***

 

Page 35

 

Through the rest of summer 2011 I did manage to stick with the two groups, and as the writing assignments piled up, so too did my confidence in writing overall. I had started writing short stories and poems about my experience of losing my sight, and as I almost forgot to tell you, late spring 2011 I started my blog. I can’t really remember how I got pointed in that direction, but as I write this entry now, late spring 2017, I am still writing and posting to my blog, which is entitled, Surviving.

 

I started the blog on Google’s Blogspot platform, and with the help of my then assistive tech tutor, Mike Adams, figured out how to do it. We spent a few sessions going over the ins and outs of blogging, but time and time again I was met head on with issues with the blog site’s accessibility features, or lack there of. Before I knew it, the moderator of the second writer’s group told me about WordPress, which was another blogging platform that, from what Jacki told me, was far more responsive to the needs of those like me who used screen readers.

 

I switched over to WordPress, and am still using their website today. I think I’m hovering around 400 or so posts to my blog, and am right now in the process of posting a series of entries containing this journal that I’m writing in right now. I posted page 25 today, that’s 25 posts, 25 days in a row, and I still have a few to go, especially seeing as how I am lengthening the size of the journal as I write. Grin

 

 

Turning back a couple months, Rosemary and I started back with O&M early spring 2011, and although I didn’t look forward to the mobility lessons, I knew that I needed them greatly.

 

Our favorite stomping grounds were in the city of Waterville, and away I went, following my white cane with a blonde haired woman ten steps behind me. She didn’t have me do any more lessons with blindfolds on, which was a reason for me to jump for joy. What little sight I had was lending me a hand, as it was giving me the opportunity to find and identify landmarks, as blurred and dull as they were. Contrasted items proved to be the most benefit for me, especially with snow on the ground. Bare pavement, parked cars, telephone poles, buildings against the sky, they all soon became my best friends. I learned very quickly though just how many tricks my poor, limited vision could play on me. I remember once sighting what I thought was a telephone pole between the road and I. I soon found out that the pole wasn’t next to me, but across the road on that sidewalk. Things like that really spun me around and smacked me upside the head. A reality check supreme.

 

Our excursions around downtown Waterville usually included a stop into a small Main Street sandwich shop, where we both usually ordered bagels and a coffee. I fell in love with their asiago cheese bagel. As we sat and consumed our drinks and foods, we usually discussed the lesson. I was able to go over issues that I was encountering, and how they were affecting my ability to maneuver behind the cane. Rosemary began asking me to write up overviews of the lessons, which turned into assignments that I emailed to her upon completion. At the end of our time together, I compiled the documents into one single manuscript, which I sent to her as well. I should turn that into a book some time in the future.

 

The lessons over those next few months were a constant reminder of my blindness, but they also helped to open my eyes to what might be in store for me. Rosemary kept telling me that besides feeling vulnerable, frightened, scared, angry, frustrated, inept, uncoordinated and mad as hell, I exuded a level of confidence with the way I carried myself as I maneuvered down the sidewalks of Waterville. She kept telling me that I stood tall as I walked behind my cane, and that people were always noticing me. I was fairly certain that the reason they were noticing me was because I was a very unusual sight. She continued to disagree, and kept telling me that whatever I was feeling inside, it didn’t show on the outside.

 

There were occasions where my mobility lessons ended up being a learning experience extraordinaire. I shrug these incidents off as extreme lessons, and believe me, the emotions that accompanied these instances were very, very extreme. ,

 

To be continued…

 

 

2017 06 16 Journal Excerpt: Page 30 June 16, 2017

This next excerpt was written November, 2011. A lot of time had passed since I had started the journal, and with large chunks of no activity, I often repeated myself with the entries. Many different things stuck out in my mind, and many things slipped to the side along with the rest of the blurred time.

That first year of vision loss was like the 100 meter dash. Ready? Set? Gunshot! Look at me go! It’s amazing that the world was able to keep up with me, because it sure as hell seemed like I was dashing around like a frantic man, late for work, late for the train, late for a very important date.

The important date was the rest of my life, and although I couldn’t see it, I could sense it standing there, checking the time on its wrist watch.

Time’s a wasting, so we better get going with this next post.

Take care.

Deon

***

Page 30

Nov. 12 2011

It has been, once again, several weeks since I have written in this ledger. I realize that when I have such large gaps in the entries, that the subject lines can tend to sway to and fro, as I lose focus of where I am, and the topics I have covered.

Winter 2010, 2011 was a long lonely winter for me, as well as for my wife. I know that it was probably the hardest winter she has ever had to endure. Not only was it a long and cold winter, but there was a lot of snow, and adding the extra work that she was forced to deal with, it must have been hell for her. I do admire her, and her perseverance through the long snowy days.

For the most part, I tried to do what I could, when I could. I managed to keep some paths cleared of snow out back, so that we could manage the dogs. I can only imagine how ratty the paths looked, after I got done shoveling and clearing them of snow. Most attempts at this was just that, attempts. I had no real idea what in hell I was doing. I tried to keep my visual land markers in order, but some days the blinding snow played tricks on me, and I would seriously lose my orientation. I can remember one day in particular, I thought I was shoveling out around the pool, so as to make a short run for the dogs, and a place to chuck the Doggy doo. I had no idea whether I was shoveling the existing path or not.

I was not. I had veered to the left, and was shoveling where no man had gone before. It was the final frontier, and I had no control of the bridge.

I had many times such as these, where I thought I was going in one direction, and to my shocking surprise, I was heading in the total opposite direction.

Writing this, I think back to the Lion’s meeting that I spoke at, and the facing the flag dilemma. grin

From that shoveling round-about experience, forward, , I fully understood that there were going to be times and places where my limited vision would let me down, and that humility would play a major role in how I managed to handle different situations.

I continue to get twisted around from time to time, and there are very many situations where my vision is completely useless, such as in dark, and unfamiliar areas. I will always have to keep the mind set of a blind man, and learn from each experience. I have captured many skills this past year, and as long as I can keep a healthy frame of mind, I will continue to learn and grow, as a man who can’t see very well.

Through the winter months, as I have said, I completely dove head first into my writing. I continued to get pc tutoring from Mike Adams, and with his help and guidance, I continued to advance my knowledge, and learned the accessibility features of my pc, and am grateful for the opportunity in doing so.

In early march, I did get switched over from System Access, to Jaws. I had to wait a couple months for the full version software, and up to then, I had a demo version installed. I was able to dive into it, but the demo version had a time limit on it, and after the limit expired, you would have to reboot the pc to gain another full time interval again. I did not like to reboot my pc, as most of the time, it would take me around an hour to get it fully up and running again. I have been having a series of issues with this pc since back in early 2010, where it would do the dreaded blue screen of death, and crash with a system crash dump. On top of that, when you would start it from a cold state, it would run fine for a few minutes, then with a click of who knows what, the pc would just go black, like someone had unplugged it.

These problems have been plaguing me ever since, and at this time, I leave it on 24/7. I don’t dare to shut it down, for fear of having to go through this process every time.

There also started another issue where even with a quick reboot, the pc would start ok, it seemed, but none of the programs would load up, and the system was virtually unusable. This dilemma would last sometimes for an hour or so, until everything would start loading and working all at once. It really freaked me out when this happened. When this still happens.

Over the years, I had used a little program called C Cleaner. It was a utility tool that had a couple functions. I used it to clean the junk out of the pc, like temp files, caches, recycle bin, and the temp files of the web browsers. It also had a nice registry scan tool that picked up errors, and corrected them.

I had stopped using the program after learning that the company where my wife was working recommended that none of their employees use it. She convinced me to delete the program, and so I did.

It was a few months later that my pc developed the issue with the programs not responding upon a reboot. I was in peril, as my screen reader would not load upon reboots. I was left without the use of my pc, and it really sucked.

I then remembered about the registry scan utility of ccleaner, and figured out how to download, and reinstall the program. After a few frustrating hours, I did manage to get the program up and running, and I ran the registry scan a couple of times. Thank God the program was somewhat accessible, and I could maneuver through it.

After the registry scans, I reluctantly tried a reboot, and the program response was back to normal. I breathed a huge sigh of relief, as I had brought my pc back into a fact simile of normalcy.

Nothing had felt as good as that did in quite some time. I felt independently capable of handling a problem, and was very happy with myself. I will never use another registry scan utility again, and fully feel comfortable in recommending this program to anyone I know.

To be continued…

 

2017 05 18: Journal Post: Page One May 18, 2017

Today is May 18, 2017. The following 1 page excerpt is taken from a journal I started in the winter of 2010. I haven’t read through this piece of writing since I wrote it, so I figured I would start posting it, page by page, to this blog.
I had not been writing long when I started this journal. A few emails back and forth to family and friends was just about all I had been doing, as I had only recently learned touch typing, as well as using a screen reader with the computer, which for me was a very strange, new world.

Ok then. Here we go.

***

Page 1
December 2010,

OK so I have been through quite a lot. I have experienced probably more in my life than most people. I don’t feel any different or special because of it. Most of the time, I feel as though I have just lived a life. A life that is not really different than most people. Not any more difficult, or hard, or more full of obstacles. I am just the owner of another ordinary life.
I have had a few obstacles put in my path, but haven’t we all? Aren’t we all handed a boat load of life bending turns and hills and twists and hairpin corners? Don’t we all seemingly go through similar hardships and rough times? I hear every day of tragic events from all around the world. My life seems rather good when compared to what other people are going through on this hectic blue marble we call earth. In just one revolution we are transformed, propelled, enabled, held back, stepped over, left out, included in, forgotten about, lied to, sung about, hugged, punched, kicked, pulled, stepped on, stepped over, walked around, helped through, sent back, pushed aside, and on, and on, and on. It never stops. Life just keeps coming at you whether you are ready or not.

I have felt on many occasions that I was not prepared for life, and have seemed, on many occasions, that I was winging it, we must all feel that way quite a lot, I would imagine. Life sure has a way of throwing a bag full of wrenches at you.

I suppose that situations in my life have kept me from really concentrating when I should have been. I always seemed to be preoccupied with some things other than whatever it was that I should have been paying attention to.

I have recently become blind as of this past summer. It has been a rather trying 6 months for me. I should tell you that I lost my left eye to retinal cancer as an infant.

The recent problem with my right eye started last June when I lost my sight for roughly 45 minutes. It did return that day, and I was left with a blind spot almost directly in my line of sight. The doctors told me that an artery inside the eyeball had collapsed and the loss of blood flow had caused the temporary blindness, and the blind spot. It also was the cause of the glow that surrounded everything I saw. My hazy blurry condition lasted a month, and had actually gotten a little bit better. It had gotten better to the point that I was going to try to go back to work on the day after the 4th of July. I was sort of actually enjoying my month off. I was able to get outside and do quite a lot after a couple weeks because my sight had gotten that much better. I had my garden all in, the Japanese Willow bush behind the garage had been dug up and moved. The trees and shrubs out beside the barn had been pruned and cleaned up nicely. I was rather happy with the amount of yard word that I had been able to do. The last week of what was adequate vision was a good working week also. I had managed to weed the entire garden except for about 2 rows. I was feeling good. Tired, but well. That afternoon after Lynne finished work, she came out back to ask me if I would like to go get something to eat and run a few errands up to Skowhegan. I said sure, as I was bushed and could use a break. It had been warm and sunny all week out in the garden. I was hot, sunburned and hungry as hell. We were off.
The trip to Skowhegan was like any other of the 4,231 trips we had taken there in the past. We got some food from Mickey D’s and I went in to Hannaford’s to get a few items we needed. I did see my friend Artie’s wife at the checkout. We exchanged conversation and I asked her how the hell Artie was doing. He has been through his own hell these past few years.
I exited the store, got into the van, and we drove out of the plaza. As soon as we got out onto Rt. 201 I started to have another episode with my right eye. This time it was more sudden than the one on the 2nd of June. It was the 2nd of July, and the geometric prisms that were dancing in front of me were Pink Floyd’ish psychedelic shapes that I had only dreamed of before this day. All I could say to Lynne was, “OK, here we go again,” At the time I was not concerned about the vision loss, as I was sure that it would return, just as it had the first time. Little did I know that I was in for quite a ride the next 24 hours.
My vision did return just as we were getting back home. I noticed that things seemed a lot more blurry and cloudy and all bright and hazy. More so than after the first episode in early June. I managed to walk the dogs and a few other normal things that I usually did as the day was winding down. My wife Lynne and I watched Ice Road Truckers, but I couldn’t see what was going on on the screen. It was quite uneasy for me, but I still believed that it would get better. Later that night I noticed that the blind spot had crept right in front of my line of sight. It was noticeably worse than before and it made it quite impossible to watch and comprehend anything that I was seeing on TV. As was the case in early June, when items were in the blind spot area, they were intensified in a color schemed rainbow sort of distorted prism. Hello Pink /Floyd was all I could picture. It was weird indeed.

I fell asleep that night still comfortable with the feeling that everything would get better. Little did I know what was in store for me that next morning.

To be continued…

 

2017 05 17 Essay, Poetry: Old Habits May 17, 2017

Hey there.

I just finished another semester at college last Friday, and as the dust settled down, a thought occurred to me. As much as it feels like I just finished something, there’s something else that’s just about to start. It’s as if I needed to finish one thing, so I could get started on another. Ain’t life funny like that sometimes?

I guess it’s all about the task at hand, like life is one “thing” after another. Don’t you dare loosen your grip, because there’s another one coming around the corner with your name written all over it. No time for self adulations or being able to take a break. Nope. None of that, well, that is if you’re not one to grab a seat and take it easy for the rest of your life.

Granted I don’t take on things like I used to, but on the same note, it seems that things didn’t slow down much when it comes to me. I guess my memo didn’t get out on time or something.

I think we are who we are because of what we do. Perhaps you can spin that around to look at it as though what we do is because of who we are? Maybe it’s a little of both?

The way I do things totally changed these past few years. My abilities changed, my perceptions changed, my reactions to certain things, how I move through my day, how I interact with folks, it’s so different today, and to think that with each day I see, feel and react to new things, or are they really new?

A year ago I lost the rest of my sight, and the changing happened all over again, or did it just continue? The light from the window, the shine of the chrome, the sun in the sky, the contrast of white on black, it all came to a screeching halt, and as I changed again, the way I think about things, realize things, perceive things, absorb things and search for things changed, again. I don’t see my vision changing any more. I don’t see myself trying to find the light, the shine, the morning haze, the evening stars, the full moon, because even though they’re still there, and I can see them in my mind, I’ll never actually see them again.

It’s funny though how I catch myself turning to try and see something going on around me, still. Standing in the bathroom a few days ago, I heard a strange bird call outside. I leaned over to the window and looked at the spruce tree outside, or where I thought the spruce tree should be. I didn’t realize I couldn’t see it until I had looked out through the window and up at the tree. As soon as I realized what I had done, I smiled, chuckled, shook my head and turned away from the window. For those few moments, the picture in my mind turned itself into reality, and boy did it feel good, if only for a moment.

I do these same sorts of things a lot while I do up the dishes in the kitchen. When I am wiping them dry, I turn to put the dish away in the cupboards, and sometimes I reach out to grab the cupboard door handle, and I can see it. I reach out for it, and there it is, exactly where I reach, exactly where it should be. Man oh man how the mind can help to fill in the blanks.

Old habits have a hard time dying sometimes, or is it that I’m still trying to live?

The ability of the mind to see is a habit that I hope will never die.
So far, so good.

The following poem was written a few years ago, but it seems to fit in with this essay. I guess I’m continuing with the theme of April. An essay, a poem, a mark in time.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day.

dp

***

Mindful Sight

Darkness to the left and to the right
The vision, unseen, lies just ahead
Trudging on through muddled footsteps of the mind
The glimpse of light stolen from sight

With staff in hand the journey begins
Step lightly over unseen paths
The mind wraps around it all
Announcing the unseen visions

Walk through the fear and anxious days
With eyes not seeing, the stories still unfold
The pages turn one by one
And endless chapter of a new journey begins

Helpful hints arise amidst the countless curves
The paths walked before call out with familiar phrase
Twisting there and here against the grain
Rolling on towards sunlight’s invisible touch

With memories of sighted mind
I reach for the light within
Cascading down through the limbs of life
Refreshing the heart, mind and soul

Falling forward, life tumbles on
Unknown roads and unseen faces
Call out a familiar name
Reaching out a familiar hand

Oh humbled soul, take the steps
Walk the mile of frozen fear
The book is open and lesson learned
True visions lie from deep within the pages

Sighted past, forget me not
Remind me of the colors I still see
Explain what I’ve been able to feel
Build shape from the things that I touch
Give voice to the faces dancing in my mind