Blindness and The Beautiful World It Opens Our Eyes To
Imagine for a moment we all experience blindness at 21.
Everything that we once knew and all that we saw are more distant than our childhoods. Like a memory, we are able to conjure up pieces and chunks of the life that was but we cannot place them in any sort of sequential order. Everything that we know and all that we understood…gone.
The brain cannot distinguish the difference between what actually happened and what is a reflection of our desire to have happened so we begin to question both.
Thoughts like, “Did I?” and “Is this the truth?” barrel into our minds and sadly, we cannot answer them.
The driving that we did to escape our cluttered worlds is but a dream. The sunrise and the sunset are suddenly a distant memory and we will never see those people closest to us again. And the sports that we play and the children we dreamed of watching grow are but a blip of our past.
Blindness. Pure, unfathomable blindness.
Imagine the heartbreak of realizing that our world, the one we hold so dearly, will never be the same. In a few short days, we become a fragment of all that we used to be…or at least we think we do.
Upon realization, we do what we are taught to do with adversity and hide from it. Days and weeks go by and no one hears a word from us. Not a phone call, text message, a shout out on social media or email. Silence.
And then what?
We can continue to hide and run down the path of loneliness or we can embrace the opportunity that has been presented in front of us. The choice is ours. Think about our reshaped lives and the way in which a world smothered by blindness could be interpreted. Imagine training our other senses so that they may compensate for what we lack. The possibilities are endless.
When asked about our partners, with certainty we conjure up images of how they look. From their perfect smiles to the fluidity of their movements, we picture it all. Smell never comes up.
Can we put aside all that we know about them and begin to inhale the intoxicating aroma that fills the room when they enter? Is it possible to recall the way they smell after a bath or how exhilarating it is when they wear our favorite perfume/cologne?
Most likely, no.
Think about how much different life would be if we could easily distinguish each ingredient in our favorite recipe. With ease, we could pick out the garlic, turmeric, and sage as though we prepared the meal.
As if a great connoisseurs of wine, we would have no trouble deciphering the exact amount of grapes, tannins, and everything else inside that makes wine what it is.
Once outside, the world is suddenly a place that we have never visited. The freshness of a spring shower and the crisp in the air normally reserved for touch might very well knock us off our feet.
Even with blindness, we’d love it.
Picture the warmth of a rising sun and the coolness of that same sun setting.
Imagine standing in the rain and for the first time actually experiencing it. We’d feel each drop as they drip down our cheeks and be tickled by the wind whistling by.
Unaware when we are about to be touched, the moments usually reserved for intimacy suddenly feel more sensual than ever. A simple kiss translates itself into beautiful ecstasy and a dance between two becomes all that it’s supposed to be…unrelenting and unrivaled euphoria. These experiences would take their rightful spot as sacred.
Even something as trivial as a barefoot walk down the beach steps into something highly coveted. As the sand, wet and dry, makes its way between our toes, we are left with no choice but to become completely in tune with the way it makes us feel.
No longer would we take for granted that someone sleeps beside us because we never truly know if they are there or not. In a world without sight, each touch turns into exactly what it is meant to be…an enlightened way to experience the world.
So much goes unnoticed in a world filled with sight. It permits under compensation of all that we know. Like smell, taste would invariably be something experienced for the first time.
Taste, as it’s defined, would lose all relevance and we would be left with a new comprehension of this over used and under appreciated sense. Without fail, it would become the favorite way to view the world around us. No longer would taste be a way to simply experience food but it would become the standard by which we calculate life.
As every clove of garlic, particle of pepper, and ounce of whiskey bristle over our tongues, an explosion of unrivaled power would unhinge everything that we know about this sense. We would become aware of the subtle intricacies of each ingredient that life has to offer. And we’d enjoy it.
The exhilaration as each molecule of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen makes their way through our mouths and into our abdomen would become impossible to ignore. We would begin to understand the world on a molecular level giving way to a new appreciation of all around us.
It would be easy to distinguish the refreshing benefit of water and the draining hindrance of sugar. A worldwide favorite, coffee would announce its arrival with an eruption of sensory overload.
No longer would we be stuck thinking we’ve tasted the food we eat but for the first time, we would actually taste it.
We would live in a world where the smallest of sound screams through our heads. Our minds would open up to each instrument that at one time we ignored. We would be able to pick apart the variances between guitars, drums, and all vocal combinations.
An “I love you” would carry more weight and more meaning than ever before because the way in which it’s represented tonally would be as clear as crystal. Never would the words “See you again” hold more weight than they would, for we could clearly decipher whether or not it was meant as truth.
For the first time in our lives, we would experience the deafening crash of the waves as the ocean tide rolled in. This moment would be placed on permanent repeat in our minds so that we may experience it again and again.
Shouting and yelling would yield itself to talking and communicating. We wouldn’t be required to talk over another to get our points across and neither would they. Arguments would become conversations and disagreements would never escalate because, for the first time, we’d hear what they are trying to say.
Never would the sound of an ambulance be so disheartening. We would feel the pain of those involved and quietly hope they pull through whatever misfortune they find themselves in.
This newfound appreciation that blindness brings is when life really begins.
How do we find appreciation? Without blindness, how do we find appreciation?
Our species is lucky in the sense that we can wake to the rising sun, the smell of breakfast, the touch of another’s skin, the taste of the air, or the sound of birds chirping. Unfortunately, we take this for granted.
It is only when we are without do we take the time to appreciate.
Each day presents us with a new opportunity for experience, yet each day, we allow it to pass us by. We tell ourselves that there will always be time but we don’t make any. We choose to ignore the things around us because we assume they will always be there, but they won’t. At a fundamental level, this is wrong.
You are unique. I am unique. We are unique.
We must undo all that we know so that we may finally be able to live life as it was intended. Unlike many other species, we are able to experience life with the perfect combination of senses.
But extreme measure cannot be the reason that we learn appreciation. What we notice and what we choose to notice are two very distinguishable things. And we must start choosing to notice and not simply noticing.
We must begin to slow down and pay attention to what is going on around us. Take a second to smell the spring shower, feel the rain, taste the whiskey, and, for the first time, hear the words “I love you”.
The mind is easily swayed to accept and believe anything that we tell it to. It is our job to show it what it needs to know. This doesn’t take permanent blindness. It takes an understanding that our senses allow us a full understanding of all that surrounds us. We must utilize them properly.
Above this, we must begin and continue to appreciate the things that we do have. Not everyone is as blessed as you and I are.
Cheers to your success,