February 2, 2005

seeing isn't everything

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Mike May regains his sight after 43 years of blindness was very inspiring for me. I have a new found appreciation for the gift of sight. I now realize just how much one can take for granted in a single day. Personally, I do not walk around campus admiring the distant hills, the trees, and check out the color of people's eyes. I know they are there, have always known what they look like, and do not give these things a second thought. I have been humbled by the simplicity of May's words. It's not everyday that a blind man regains his sight, if only partial. In essence he is a miracle and I think that his experience with blindness and with that of sight is one that should be taken into consideration. Do we, all 'seeing' people, fully grasp how blessed we are? Probably not.
Robert's experience with blindness in Cathedral was also a touching story. I enjoyed the experience that the main character had with Robert of drawing a cathedral together. Even more so, when Robert told the main character to close his eyes so that Robert could show him how to draw and feel the cathedral and experience Robert would have. This story explores the widely known stereotype of a blind person wearing dark sunglasses and carrying a cane, as if a handicapped person. Robert shows this man that they can dine together, drink together, hold a conversation like old buddies, and even draw together. Robert brings this standoffish man into his world and allows him to experience it. Coincidentally, Robert's world wasn't all that bad.
Both stories shed new light for me on the competency and abilities of blind people. I also had my doubts and notions as to the mannerisms of a blind person...however I have come to appreciate those who are blind. As to what I have gathered from my readings; people who are blind bring to the table feelings and emotions, true heartedness...for them, seeing isn't everything...and sometimes, it means nothing. Robert could not see the beauty of the cathedral that he and his new friend drew, but he knew it was there.
'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.'
Or did he?

Amanda, I don't think that the story was necessarily a case study, however, I do feel that there is a certain beauty in having the gift of sight and what we experience from it. Also, there is an intangible beauty that comes with being blind. It is amazing what the seeing and the unseeing can learn from one another.

Posted by MelissaTrecaso at February 2, 2005 11:31 PM

Nice post Melissa. For some reason I think that Robert had actually encountered a Cathedral before and was playing naive with the husband in order to help him. I know that's a stretch just wanted to share my thoughts.

Posted by: Denishia Salter at February 3, 2005 10:32 AM

I'm not sure, Denishia. He seemed to not understand. I took that literally.

I also noticed the prejudiced viewpoint of the narrator. The story, to me, was a case study on society's perception of blindness and beauty and how important sight is in the view of both.

Posted by: Amanda at February 3, 2005 3:22 PM