Monday, March 21, 2011

One-Eyed, One-Horned....

I'm blind in one eye. A lot of people don't know this, or they find out the hard way by walking on my right side and having me accidentally knock into me, but the loss of vision was the reason for much disability-related epiphany when I was a teenager, as well as the roundabout cause of my broken knee in the tenth grade. I rarely notice it anymore, except when I do. Today I was walking across the quad on my way to the bus stop and I became very aware of the blackness on that side.

I only see half the world and my depth perception sucks. It's a hindrance, one of many disability-related hindrances in my life. I considered it today while I listened to a recording of Marianne Leone (author of Knowing Jesse--a memoir about raising a son with Cerebral Palsy)'s keynote from the conference the people at my volunteer job ran earlier in the month (I work Mondays at the Federation for Children for Special Needs). I thought about how for so many people the world of disabilities is something they don't see or fully understand.

My friend is currently stuck in the Salt Lake City airport, trying to fly out standby with her mother who is Deaf and has low vision. My friend is taking care of her, working hard to get them on a flight, being incredibly responsible. That sense of responsibility and adulthood is something I haven't experienced, so I can only sit on the sidelines and encourage her. Last time I got airport-stranded on standby I bought a ticket, but I was lucky.

Another friend is having (has had by now, I think) surgery today, and   she's on her own in a country completely other to her own to have it done. It's one step further than I've ever gone. I can see it, but don't have the depth to do much more than be awed at her courage.

But I try. I try because I want to be a good friend. And I try to understand others experiences fully and deeply when I write, too. it's hard, extremely hard. To take on a persona other than your own, be it to empathize or to write, is a bit like going through the world seeing out of one eye.

Trust me, I know.

You can only see half the things and your depth perception sucks. But you keep going. You must always keep going.

1 comment:

  1. Beethoven was disabled, so is Hawking. But then so am I because I can't create music from notes and the world of theoretical physics, while tantalizing, is beyond my ken.

    Thanks for joining yalitchat and thanks for your blog.