I flew from Atlanta to Raleigh yesterday across from a blind man and his seeing dog. It made me think a million thoughts a second. How does his dog help? What if he lost his dog? What if he fell in the airport and things fell from his bag and no one helped? Does he get scared by the plane suddenly landing if his wife doesn’t warn him?
He was using an iPhone by some audio feature and a tablet to listen to an audio book that scrolled visibly in front of him. He could pause and scan through it by stroking the screen in learned patterns.
Talking to my friend Minnie later, we decided that being blind isn’t necessarily a curse. In some ways, isn’t it a blessing? I mean, what is a blessing? Is it not a lesson learned from a challenge overcome? Isn’t blindness a challenge?
And yet being born blind is just being born without a sense you don’t know. Behind others in one capacity, but surely more aware in hearing and more alive in feeling. Less over-stimulated and more conscious perhaps?
Then I thought, do the stories and descriptions in a book make sense to someone who has always been blind? Have blind people written books? How do they describe their stories?
And now I want to read such a book, to really absorb the thoughts of a “challenged” person and decide for myself what blindness and other misfortunes/blessings really do to/for us.