February 1, 2005

A Site of Sight

From Sendero Group: Mike's Journal

On the one hand it felt odd that I was crying over the Cal Aggie marching band while on the other hand it was wonderful that it didn't make sense, just like having sight or not having sight doesn't make sense, it's just the way it is. Of course, it was the combination of feelings which contributed to this "goose bump" moment; happy to be with my boys, friends and to be in a cohesive energetic community. What a moment, what a day!

With Mike being blind since age three, I can hardly fathom the depth of his descriptions. I really don't want to say, "Look at all the things people with vision do not appreciate", but it seems that is the message.

Mike's descriptions put into words the beauty that many writers do not even approach. Consider his first sight experience of fireworks:

There can't be any better contrast than flashing lights against a black sky. The bursting patterns were challenging at first to understand but with some explanation from my friends, I began to see the star patterns, the changing colors, the raining lights, the columns and the bursts overlaying each other. It looked like the circles of color were coming to embrace us.

This scene is common in our lives--going to the fireworks at the fair, but with his sensitized, at times, poetic view of the event, the reader also appreciates the beauty of the scene and the circumstances which accompany the telling.

Throughout the journal, I read in awe. The normal occurrences that I and everyone take for granted, were precious, lovely, and exciting. He is, as Anne says, "still astonished by what he sees...[having] new experiences everyday."

The fact that he could even cope with the alterations in his environment are amazing. I attribute some of that okay-ness to his previous vision. However, there are people that have never seen or heard or spoken before. How would they react to the change in their surroundings? Would they attribute pleasure or pain to the newfound environment?

Discuss... :-)

Posted by Amanda Cochran at February 1, 2005 6:23 PM

What makes you so lucky that your blog wasn't hacked at by SpyKids....

Posted by: Tiffany at February 2, 2005 10:40 AM

I eat Lucky Blog Charms every morning.

Posted by: Amanda at February 2, 2005 11:28 AM

Anyway... That was a beautiful entry--something we tend not to think about: the miracle of sight. People in general take for granted all the wonderful opportunities we have.

Seeing for the first time must be as scary as losing sight, or at least as overwhelming.

Posted by: Evan at February 2, 2005 8:02 PM

I would never have thought of it quite that way, Evan... good point.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 2, 2005 11:46 PM

Glad you were also enlightened by Mike May's journals. I also was fascinated with the description of the fireworks and I quoted him and commented on this in my blog. Being that I live across the street from Kennywood and I never really saw the fireworks the way Mike did, I couldn't help but feel like I took advantage of the beauty of it.

Posted by: Denishia Salter at February 3, 2005 10:36 AM

True, sight is so valuable. I overlooked this (no pun intended) until I had the opportunity to get to know a blind man. His name is Dan, and when I went to PA Governor's School for Teaching in Millersville, PA, he was a mentor. It was great talking to Dan--he and his brother have books of poetry and a memoir published, I think. When we went to Hershey Park for the day, I rode rollercoasters with Dan. How amazing to hear him describe what the ride was for him. (When I close my eyes on a fast ride, I get nauseous; I suppose that I wouldn't ride things if I was blind.)

Fascinating blog, Amanda. I enjoyed the quotes that you pulled out, although I did go read some more for myself!

Posted by: Karissa at February 3, 2005 11:48 AM

That's the whole idea, Karissa. I love it when people read more than what I have posted; it makes the conversation in my comments boxes much more interesting.

Posted by: Amanda at February 3, 2005 5:50 PM
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