21 May 2015

Treasure the Art of Being Blind

Do you sometimes get lost or frustrated hunting down articles of interest when visiting a blog? I sure do. I am aware my blog is not the easiest one to navigate around due to my lack of vision in setting it up with tabs and categories, social shares and friendly comment boxes.
So, to avoid any frustration you may experience at the Gateway, I have dug up some of the little treasures hidden within 200 pages on this blog and have placed links to each one in today’s post.
If you are new to the Gateway, or if you are a subscriber, here are my 15 most popular posts as a quick reference map to read more on ‘the ART of being blind’.

1: 8-threads to weave into the garment of change

When I began to lose my eyesight, it was natural to fear losing so many other aspects of my life that I treasured. The hardest hurdle to overcome was knowing how to weave positive threads into the garment with the label of disabled firmly secured to the fabric of my life.

2: Many Different Hats

My mother hat is swiftly replaced with a survival hat to help me cross the six-lane highway with its heavy traffic using my white cane as my trusted guide. I listen intently with complete focus and concentration – not one other thought crosses my mind except “Stay safe”.

3: 5 key ways blind people do it better

It’s true! Anything sighted people can do, visually-impaired or blind people can do it better. Be warned, we know our limitations and we’ve adapted to this blind-challenge. Being blind brings a new spin on life. When you accept the ride, you actually find many ways in which to excel.

4:  What colour is that?

For as long as there are some shades in the colour spectrum to discern, my brain will offer logical deductions to help make sense of the blurry world all around. But when the object is too far away or impossible to see because of faulty light- sensitive cells at the back of my scarred retinas, my brain asks: ‘Eyes, please be more specific, I have no idea what that is!’

5: Benefit #1 being blind: you are the rose among the thorns

There IS a better way to take hold of this thing they call blindness. When we choose to look for the symbolic rose among the thorns, life takes on a new perspective.

6: Insight through sound

Imagine a spider in her well spun web who becomes acutely aware with her sensitive receptors when an accidental intruder bounces onto the invisible threads guarding her territory. I too receive information from the ‘vibes’ bouncing towards me, partly through hearing and partly by trust and intuition.

7: It’s touching to see the world

As I stand at the gateway facing the ever-diminishing sense of sight, my view of the world would be dim indeed, if my hands were bound together, and never allowed to reach out and touch what my eyes fail to see. 

8: Tools of the blind-tradie

Among my collection of tools are four qualities that I recommend to any person embarking on the profession of blind artisan. No matter what the obstacle ahead, I can guarantee from personal experience four attributes that will help you meet any challenge – and come out smiling.

9: A license to laugh

Humour is a tool that has the capacity to open the heart and unlock the gift of laughter to any soul seeking the truth. Seeing the ‘funny’ side of life when it could also be seen as ‘tragic’ is a tool worth its weight in gold.

10: To braille or not to braille: that was my question

Sometimes, my mother sat by my side and coloured in parts of my school work that I was struggling to see. She added her artistic flair to brighten up the pages of my books as well as lighten our hearts. But then came the Question I had been dreading, to braille or not to braille.

11: Blind Sherlock and Dr Memory

As sight fades, I am aware of how much I am gathering clues from listening, touching, smelling, tasting, feeling and observing as best my eyes can but above all, there is one undeniable device working over time in helping me to adapt to change.

12: The scent lingers on International Women’s Day

True friendship grows out of a genuine desire to sweeten the life of your friend when they have a bitter pill to swallow. When sight began to fade during my teen years, I found such a true friend at school. Like two peas in a paranoid-pod, we soon became inseparable confidantes for one another.

13: Why be fashionable if you can’t see?

Choosing one’s clothing is a matter of FEELING first, then seeing how it all fits together. When you feel good in what you wear, you will look great. Feeling textures of clothing is not always because I want to buy it but is a curious desire on my part to see the choices at my fingertips.

14: Writing Blind: how blind people manage to write

As a visually-impaired writer I compose stories, store documents to folders, read and send emails, create posts for blogs and surf the internet – all without being able to see the screen on my laptop. Come and meet my verbose parot, and see how we work together…

15: Mastering Blindness: Radio Australia Interview

if you want a front row seat, sit back and listen to the conversation where I speak with the charming Phil Kafcaloudes, presenter of a popular morning breakfast show on Radio Australia. We talk candidly on ‘ Mastering the daily challenges of living with blindness and journey back in time to explain how it all began with the diagnosis in my teen years.

Got any of your favourite stories to share? Please leave your comment here…

You may also like to read travel stories from a blind perspective. 

Copyright © 2015 Maribel Steel
Photographs Copyright © 2015 Harry Williamson


Emma Major said...

I need to print this and read it (if only I could) or get my husband to record him reading it so I can listen to it over and over again. I'm finding it so hard coming to terms with losing my sight so suddenly. thanks for such a great list of positives.
Emma at http://mscalling.blogspot.com

Nguyễn Thắng said...