3 Jan 2013

The Art of being blind - Introduction

What is art?
The production or expression of what is beautiful,
skilled performance,  skilled workmanship,
a method of doing a thing especially if it is difficult.

Most people work towards achieving mastery in some aspect of their life, whether through their chosen vocation or their creative ventures. Yet it occurred to me recently that after thirty-two years of adapting to vision loss, my life has been a progressive training towards mastery in a particular trade, which has involved the gathering of knowledge, the persistent fine tuning of other sensory skills, and the courage to accept life with its limitations. 

So, it seems to me now that I have been crafting something very special all this time. I can stand back from the ‘special thing’, take a good look, examine my life and as a new year dawns, share what it means to me when I say, there is an art in being blind.

I find this thought very exciting – I always wanted to be an artist and thought this meant to paint, to draw, to immerse my life in creativity. But without realising it, I have become an artist, a writer who considers her vision-impaired life as a work of art (in progress), and tell through story, how living with a disability has given me the tools to craft a meaningful life. 

As the new year begins, I plan to post an 8-part  series of writings based on this concept ‘the art of being blind’ and expand on this by focussing on topics such as:

An Artist in residence:
Teaching the sighted what I require, the need for order and sensitive consideration.

The artist’s palate:
How I perceive colour and how colour feels when sensing it.

The many shades of sound:
Tone is everything: ‘If the eyes are the window to the soul, the voice is its true reflection.’

Touching the canvas of life:
Seeing the world through touch and my emotional attachment to shape and texture.

Tools of the trade:
Many tools live in my toolbox – the 4 most useful ones are trust, humour, memory & intuition.

Living with the label ‘disabled’:
What it means to live with the label of disabled and how the expectations of others can be more of an obstacle than blindness.

The temperamental artiste:
What really bugs me – my top 10 stresses.

Mastering the craft:
Using technology for the blind and stepping out with my white cane.

That’s the plan...so stay tuned to hear more from the blind artist in residence. Please feel free to leave a comment if you would like to ask a question because I am more than happy to answer it and shed light on what it means to craft the art of being blind.


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