9 Mar 2012

If I Could See For Just One Day....

Naturally, when this post appeared in my inbox from the blog ‘Vision Through Words’, I had to take a closer look at the article by Jeff Flodin. The title provoked deep thoughts, so deep that my thoughts could not think of anything…at first…

In fact, I would need a week, not one day: because I would want to fly to Paris and visit the Louvre Museum and that would take a day just to get there, another day to stand in the
monstrous queue before the giant glass pyramid to get in (as I would not have my magic white cane to get in for free this time!).

My eyes would want to devour all the famous painters’ works I have heard so much about: Cézanne, Monet, Van Gough, Matisse, Picasso and the outrageous works of Señor Dali,
just to name a few. I would visit other museums to view fashion through the ages…to see fine porcelain…to admire lush tapestries…

I would like to ride on the FRONT of the tandem bike through the Loire Valley, and visit an underground cave…to see glow worms and stalagmites. I would sit in a field of wildflowers and gaze at daisies in the grass. 

Then I would want to visit a zoo – and look at all the weird and wonderful creatures of the world. I’d like to take a joy flight over the Amazon – view waterfalls and brethtaking views. I’d walk the rocky steps unaided to the bottom of Wineglass Bay in Tasmania and take a cruise around Milford Sound in New Zealand’s South Island.

I’d sit in the middle row of a circus performance and the back row of a mime movie watching Marcel Marceau – or a Mr Bean film.

I’d read an Asterix book and I’d be a photographer for one day – to see at close range the faces of my family and friends (and see if they really are as handsome as they tell me they are). I’d even check out their shoes and tattoos!

I’d sit beside my grand-daughter in her Grade 1 classroom and help colour in pictures and watch the sun set and wait for the naughty possums to come into view.

But I’m cheating a little here – all this is well into my second week of wishes…

I wholeheartedly share Jeff’s sentiments at the end of his story: I love my life as it is, with all its frustrations and difficulties – because I can experience all the above things through the vision of my imagination and with a grateful heart! And because I am so supported by my fabulous family and kind friends who sometimes forget I can’t see….

Jeff writes…Here’s what I would do if I could see again.
For one glorious summer day, I’d be a bleacher bum. And play Frisbee at Oak Street Beach.  And get impressed by Impressionists hanging around the Art Institute.  I might paint my bedroom purple.
And ride a sleek red bicycle.  And watch my big, black dog romp in the cool blue surf.

I’d venture into the unfamiliar: down to scuba dive, up in a glider.  I’d find peace in the familiar: gaze upon the face of my beloved, catch the light in her laughing eyes and see the strength I hear in her voice. 

I like to think that I’d be grateful for one day of vision.  I don’t want to resent it as a miserly expression of someone’s sense of fairness.  I’d prefer to remain gracious.

I’d set aside time to spy on myself. Watch how I do things and figure out how to do things better.  I’ve never seen me as a blind person.  I’m really curious what it looks like to be me, how I put my problem-solving skills to practice. 

If I saw my blind self from a sighted perspective, how would I look?  Pathetic?  Persistent?  I live in a sighted world.  I’d like to know how other people see me.  Maybe I’d understand both sides better.

I want to think that wishing is not a waste of time, that it does not mean that I am doing a lousy job of accepting life as it is, that I seek only to escape.  I refute the suggestion that to wish for something not likely to occur will only make me sad or bitter or both. 

And when the clock strikes midnight, let me be grateful for what I have.  Let me not resent those who have what I lack.  Let me strive to make better that which I possess.  Let me find peace and bring that peace to others. 
Jeff Flodin’s bi-weekly blog:  Jalapenos in the Oatmeal: Digesting Vision Loss
The above story  is posted on The Guild for the Blind’s website:
What would YOU do, dear reader, if you had sight for just one day?
I’d be keen to know. Please post your thoughts…

“We all live with the objective of being happy,
our lives are all different - and yet the same"
Anne Frank

©  Maribel Steel 2012

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