Surviving

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

2017 06 28 Journal Excerpt Page 42 June 28, 2017

 

Taking on a new challenge is always difficult. There’s things that can make it a little easier, such as having family, friends, folks smarter than you to guide you, advise you and pull and nudge you along. Knowing that there’s people there to help you is a gift. Not being able to see them makes things a lot different, but it allows you to build a level of trust that is quite different than the visual trust. Seeing is believing, but believing without seeing is absolutely priceless.

 

A universal receipt with a lifetime warranty.

 

Deon

 

***

 

Page 42

 

As we started the journey into another long, cold winter, another journey, another adventure of mine was coming to an end. I can’t remember exactly what time of the year it was, but it seems that I remember perhaps late fall, early winter when Mike Adams announced that he had pretty much taught me what he could, and that I should be fine with setting out on my own with my digital adventures. I was rather shocked to hear these words coming from him, for you see, I was under the impression that I would be receiving tutoring from him for the rest of my life. Or at least a close facsimile. Grin

 

Had I fooled him that badly? Did I appear to have a clue? Should I have acted dumber than usual? Would I even remotely resemble an adequately prepared user of assistive technology? Should I have started stomping my feet and sucking my thumb as he handed me a box of Kleenex?Did I still have my warranty?

 

Hearing these words from him, once again, brought forth an upwelling of anxious lava from a semi-dormant volcano of doubt, anguish, confusion and frustration. He had to know how vulnerable I felt. He just had to.

 

But it appeared that he didn’t.

 

Several times, he assured me that he was just an email away, and that I had proven to him that I was fairly capable to problem solve on my own. I guess from his perspective he must have known what he was talking about, right? I mean, he was the instructor, and I was the student.

 

Through this time in my life, I had never felt like such a student. I never felt like I needed to learn as much as I could, as fast as I could. As I learned, I studied a little more, because I knew that I had one test after another coming at me, and this classroom was one of those that locked from the outside of the room, and I was on the inside looking for a chair. It felt like I was unable to sit down though, I guess for fear that something would pass me by without me knowing, or seeing, or noticing. Before 2010 I didn’t want change, but now, then, from 2010 on, the change was taking place whether I wanted it or not.

 

My digital life had taken a sharp left, and man how the scenery had changed. The light and shapes and contrast was still there, in all it’s dulled glory, but I had begun to see things from so many different angles. The sounds, the textures, the broken toes and jammed fingers and bruised shoulders spoke to me in a way that snapped me to an attention I had never known. I wanted to find a way to sleep it off, but each time I awoke, it seemed that I was more awake than ever before.

 

Metaphors, metaphors, metaphors. I got a million of them, and they all have a place.

 

Saying good bye to my assistive technology tutoring was a scary thought, but I didn’t really have time to think about it much. When I came across an obstacle, the hidden opportunity was there for me to dig out, inspect, develop a plan of attack and set out on a mission to conquer, to understand, to build another layer on a new foundation of survival.

 

I never realized what a blessing it was to learn how to type. I remembered back to those first few emails I wrote to Leona, and how frigging frightened I was that I would never figure out how to do it.

 

I, I, I. All that I did revolved around me. Self centered? Posessive? Selfish? How else would I have grabbed hold of so many things that kept appearing in my new dark world?

 

This new life had things in store for me, and going against everything I had lived through in the past, I met every one of these things head on, as though they were all meant to be, and I had no choice. I suppose that’s exactly how it was, and as correct as it ever gets, but damn did it scare the crap out of me from time to time.I wanted to face my fears, but was

it possible to face the fears when they remained hidden behind a wall of blind?

 

To be continued…

 

2016 04 13 Poetry: Fingertips April 13, 2016

If I didn’t know it, I’d say it looks like another April the 13th. Am I right? Let me see.

Hmm.

Yup! I knew it! Good old April 13! And how are ya doing my old friend?

I’ve seen a few of these, and the way it looks from here, I’ll probably get a chance to see a few more.

I’ve seen a few pages of text in my life too, with more than my share appearing under my fingertips these past few years. So many words, so many lines, so many different ways a piece of writing can move and flow. There’s no telling where my writings are gonna go half the time, and the other half, well, I couldn’t begin to tell you how they ended up where they did. Writing for me is an adventure. It’s probably more of an adventure than it is for those who read it. I’ve told you before that when I’m done with a piece of writing, and I go back and read it, it’s like I’m reading someone else’s writings, because it just sounds unfamiliar to me. Call me brain dead, and I’d tell you you may just be right, but it is what it is, and as I go back and read through the stuff I write, it’s like taking a journey down an unfamiliar, friendly road. Is that possible?

Anyway, this is poem number 13 that I am submitting for my poem a day challenge for the National Poetry Month of April.

I just thought of that Three Dog Night song, Pieces of April.

Man I love that song, and I thank you for stopping by my blog. Have a great rest of your day, and I’ll catch ya tomorrow.

Now, it’s on with the show, or the poem, or the submission, or is he ever gonna stop?

Grin

dp

***

Fingertips
A poem by DP Lyons

A monitor stays dark.
A screen reader comes alive.
The keys slowly begin their mystical chorus.
Letters quickly find their way, their place, their meaning.

Fingertips dance effortlessly across the sea.
One line of text forms quietly, complete.
A second line collects in the shadows, following close behind.
Margins begin to rise and fall with the rolling tide.

Merging with text, definition begins its methodic pace.
Punctuation falls into place with calculated precision.
Consonants carve through the trade winds, unfurling those ancient sails of script.
A story has begun.

 

2015 07 03 A Goat and His Computer July 3, 2015

A Goat and His Computer

Now then, let’s see. Did the Malware scan finish?
Yes, and detections have been successfully removed.

Is JAWS up to date?
Affirmative, and working amazingly well.

Is iTunes all set?
Yes. The latest update is installed, and synchronization has been acquired.

Are the Flash, Adobe Reader and Windows updates good to go?
I’m fairly certain they are adequate as well.

Well then, I guess that’s just about it, right?
I’m afraid the answer is no.

What do you mean, no?
Are you kidding me?

Do I look like I’m kidding?
You don’t look like anything. I’m a computer, and I can’t see.

What a coincidence! Me too! Really though, why did you say no?
Hello? Are you kidding? Did you just arrive from outer space or something?

No. Why?
Have you updated to JAWS 16 yet?

No, not yet, but I have the cd.
How about Windows 10?

No, that isn’t going to be available until the end of July.
You know you need JAWS 16 to be able to run Windows 10, right?

Yes, I’m fully aware of that.
What else are you aware of?

I’m aware that talking to a computer probably isn’t going to get me anywhere.
So why bother then?

Why bother? Why bother? I have to listen to your screen reader all the time, so why can’t I reply once in a while?
This isn’t Dragon Dictation you know.

Yes, ok, I know.
Don’t worry. I’m not gonna tell anyone, ok?

Ok. Thanks.
No problem. Now, go ahead and continue with your post.

Post? You think this is a post?
Well, it doesn’t look like a plank, a beam or a two by four.

Very funny. Were you a comedian in your past life?
My past life?

Yes, your past life.
In my past life, I was just a bunch of mixed up ones and zeroes.

Really?
Yup, ‘fraid so.

Man, talk about evolution.
Tell me about it.

You’re the computer. You tell me.
Hahahaha. That was so funny, I almost forgot to reboot.

I’m glad you have such a good sense of humor.
Thank you. I’m glad you learned how to touch type.

Ya, me too, but it was hard to learn.
I bet.

The wrist cramps, the sore fingers and elbows.
Poor thing.

You making fun of me?
Do you really think I’m going to say yes?

What’s the matter? You chicken?
No. I just don’t want you to shut me down.

Doesn’t matter. You’ll still be talking inside my head.
Really?

‘Fraid so.
Do you have one of those Bluetooth heads or something?

Now THAT was funny!
I wish I could smile, because I would be.

I’ll just imagine that you are.
Thanks. I appreciate that.

No problem.

What’s the matter now?

I gotta get going.
Do you have to do the dishes again?

Yup. Again.
Dish pan hands?

Ya. It’s pitiful.
Soft as a baby’s?

Watch it now!
Sorry. I got carried away.

Ya, I noticed.

I still have to get going.
Ok then. Take care.

I will. You too.
Affirmative.

 

2015 02 24 Constructiveness February 24, 2015

Constructiveness

Hello. My name is Deon, and I’m a writer. I haven’t always considered or called myself a writer, but these days, it’s fairly apparent that most of my constructiveness is done so using a keypad and a screen reader. Is constructiveness a word? If it isn’t, it should be.

I’m still not used to the sound of calling myself a writer, and I’m certainly not used to the feelings associated with it. Fact is, I’m a rather shy person, and whenever I receive praise for my writings, or for anything, I can sense my ears getting red. Yep. You heard it. My ears get beet red whenever I get embarrassed, brought on by my pathetically shy state. I suppose I’m not as shy as I used to be when I could see, but characteristic traits have a habit of sticking to us like glue, and stuck to me it has.

I am a writer, and before that, I was a regional salesman, which is a glorified name for a truck driver who sells stuff to people who need the stuff and have money to buy the stuff. I was pretty good at it, and was the top salesman for my last company a couple years in a row. The company had over thirty regional sales reps, so once again, I was pretty good at it.

I’ve always done well with things that I have taken part with. I suppose I owe that all to my folks and my siblings. My brothers and sisters all excelled in whatever they tackled, which provided me the inspirational drive that has stayed with me to this day. Always try to throw faster, run faster, swim faster, jump higher, and if you don’t, keep practicing until you do. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be done? No blue ribbons or trophies for just trying. At least not back where I came from.

Like I said, I’m a writer, and I love to write. I have written long stories, short stories, poems, essays, stuff I don’t know what to call, and I have enjoyed every second of it. It was a little slow in coming, that is after I lost my sight. You see, I had to learn how to touch type, which was something I used to cringe at whenever I heard my wife suggest I learn. Finger cramps, wrist cramps and hand cramps weren’t anything I looked forward to, and the four fingered, hunt and peck system I used up to then seemed to work for what I needed to do.

Boy did that mind set change.

With a rehab and independent living skills program opportunity dangling there in front of me, I had to learn how to touch type, and learn I did. Within a couple weeks I was banging away like a finger tapping, key punching fool. I was actually surprised how easy it was to learn. I suppose that my mental attitude had a huge part to play in the learnings, but either way, my life as a writer was born.

I have written a few miles of text in four plus years. Around corners, up hills, down across bridges, and it all ends up right in front of me on my pc screen, with JAWS hollering out the detailed adventure.

One other thing I’m not used to doing, and feel totally uncomfortable with is critiquing of others writings. Unless it’s a very familiar material matter that the writing is about, then I will add my advice with details that transpire with the writing. As far as writing styles, formats, and anything to do with the English language, count me out. Sorry to say it, but I have never liked the learning of English. Sentence structures, nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and the likes have twisted my mind up like a butter pretzel. I know the language fairly well, and I do ok with the writing of it, but to try and tell you that this should be over there, and that shouldn’t even be here, well, I’ll just quietly sit and listen, while I try to learn.

The first time I had one of my writing pieces critiqued in a constructive manner just about destroyed me inside. I felt like someone had broken into my home and robbed me blind. No pun intended. I felt as though everything I had ever written wasn’t up to standards, wasn’t appreciated, wasn’t, or shouldn’t ever be displayed in any public forum again for as long as I lived.

But then again, that’s just me.

It did take some time to be able to look past the criticism, the critique, the painful experiences, and find the lessons that were hidden inside the critique. Once I was able to step back from my emotions and approach the critique from other’s perspectives, I was able to grow and evolve. I like to use the phrase, absorb, adapt and advance. That’s what my writings, along with being blind, have taught me. Almost as a prize fighter does, we absorb the blows, learn how to better shuck and jive our way through the situations and take control of said situations when and if they should arise again.

As I said, I am no critiquing noble or anything, and I probably will never lay claim to such a thing, but I do know how hard it can be to receive at times. I do know how much we put ourselves out there when we write. I know how deep into spirit and soul our writings come from, and with such strong emotions wrapped around those amazing penned words, I know how cutting the critique can be at times.

I hope that with each incident, I will grow and become more aware of the lessons that are inside each well thought out comment made towards my writings, and I will always try to take advantage of each situation and make the best of it.

From a truck driver’s writing perspective, I hope that I’m able to keep on writing for the rest of my life, as it has brought me riches beyond belief.

No matter where you go, there you are, so please, please, take full advantage of it.

Thanks for stopping by, and God bless all of you. Take care.

dp