Fiction Friday, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights

Acrophobia

Welcome to the second-last episode of Frightful Fiction Friday.

Last week was a common one, fear of spiders:

Arachnophobia.

This week’s is another of mankind’s biggest fears of all time: the fear of heights.

***

4.
Heights. With heights comes trust. We have to trust that we won’t fall, we won’t lose our step and trip, we won’t fall victim to a push. the idea of our fate being out of our control is unacceptable. The idea of making a mistake or a misstep that ends in more than a scraped knee is overwhelming. One of our greatest comforts in life is knowing there’s a way to get back up after a fall.

***

He grew up in England’s capital. His parents had taken him up for rides in the big ferris wheel, The London Eye, as a child and from that first ride up and overlooking all of London he had been afraid. He was afraid of falling, of somehow being dropped from an insane height and splattering on the ground far below.

This never happened of course, but once he was old enough to make his own decisions he decided not to put himself through the torture. He hated the feeling of his heart racing and his palms growing slick with sweat. Why in the world would he do that to himself?

So then what was he doing up here? He was visiting the city of Toronto for the first time and when some friends heard he was going they dared him to try the CN Tower’s Edge Walk Experience they had seen on the BBC. They were very much familiar with his fear of heights and they predicted he would never have the guts to try something so crazy. After all, they themselves weren’t sure they could do it when it came down to it.

“Now then,” said the tour guide. “I want you to know you are all safe up here, in my hands.”

He looked around at the guide who was speaking and the others in the group, all looking some modicum of nervous, but they seemed to be working through it. He, on the other hand, had grown steadily more terrified as they had gone up in the gliding elevator and stepped out into the little room before making their way outside and out on the edge.

“You can take a few steps toward the edge,” said the guide. “You are perfectly safe.”

HE stared out and into a white, empty, blankness. The day was foggy and there was no grand view of the city below. This made the experience both better and worse. There was no expanse of buildings and streets that he knew were out there, stories and stories down, but the unknown of the foggy air was disconcerting. He hugged the wall of the tower and vowed not to yield to the pressure from guide or from the brave actions of the other group members.

Brave or stupid?

“I think I will just stay right here,” he said, trembling.

“Well if you change your mind,” the guide said reassuringly. “To the rest of you…feel free to take a few more steps toward the edge. That’s right. Now turn around and take a few steps and you’re at the edge. Now, I have been doing this for a year. I have taken many groups up here and haven’t lost anyone yet.”

The group all looked at one another and laughed nervously in response to this.

“Have you ever stood at the edge of a subway platform with someone and wondered, what if I pushed them?”

The tour guide did not just say that. He couldn’t believe she had just spoken those words. Was this a part of the experience, to push people’s thoughts to the brink? This was definitely not making him want to come away from the relative safety of the building.

“No,” a few of them said in reply.

“Well, I think it’s really only human to think such thoughts,” the guide added. As she said this the others had all done what she had recommended. They were each in separate stages of approaching the drop off the side of the tower with their feet, spread apart and their backs to the fall.

He saw it in his mind even before it happened and he saw it play out in slow motion, in a strange sequence of events.

The guide reached up above the heads of the harnessed tourists and pressed a button, releasing the seatbelt-like apparatus holding everyone safely together.

He saw the looks on the faces of each of them as their straps holding them secure loosened and they fell backward, over the edge.

For what seemed like only seconds they dangled precariously in the open air, their faces frozen in horror, until they disappeared from his sight and into the white nothingness.

***

In the final week I will end this series and the month on Halloween. Young and Twenty’s list of common fears,

5 Fears and What They Say About Us,

has been a wonderful exercise for me in writing spooky stories.

I shall end on a dark note next Friday with a story of fear in facing the darkness.

Acrophobia seems to be the most common of the phobias. I think it is probably less so in the visually impaired community, but I can only speak for myself.

For further reading in exploration of this, check out this post on my ultimate test of this hypothesis:

Walking On The Edge.

How about you? Are you one of the many who are terrified of heights or have you had any interesting experiences of conquering this fear?

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Uncategorized

A Day in the Life

Last Monday I wrote about:

The Horse and the Bird.

To answer this week’s question for the:

Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge,

I will run through a typical day in my own life and you can judge for yourself what the answer to the following question is.

***

Q: Are your activities of daily living affected by disability? If you are comfortable, share a little bit of your daily routine.

A: I am not uncomfortable, but I just wouldn’t want to bore any of my kind readers, that’s all.

:-)

If you know me or how I do the little things, that fill up my day, then please feel free to read on with another of my many blog posts, such as this one:

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.

If you are at all curious how I cook, shop, or clean then please stay and read on …

To me my day is often full of repetitive tasks and common activities, all such as though I wouldn’t imagine anyone would be interested. However, in recent weeks I have spoke to people who have said that for people who can see, it’s the everyday tasks and how they are performed without sight, that are the most wondered about.

How do I brush my teeth? How do I do my laundry? How do I get dressed?

These are the things someone with sight, who can not imagine how they themselves would undertake such things. These are the questions I have received and that are often asked of someone with none.

To me they are simply the things we all must do to be presentable and to function in the world, but I am able to admit when I need help doing them or when having sight would make it easier to be able to perform them.

I wake up and I can not look out the window to check the weather for the day. I have a cat who needs the litter box changed and a dog who must be let out first thing. This gives me another reason to step out my door to check for air temperature, sun or lack-there-of, or if the deck is wet from a night’s rain.

I keep my shampoo and soap in a certain place in my shower and recognize the feel of the bottles by touch. It is, perhaps more necessary, to come up with systems for remembering which bottles are which and where I will be able to find them again the next day.

I use my fingers to squeeze out the toothpaste. I don’t spend hours on my hair or putting on makeup, but who knows how much time I would spend on these things like many girls do, if I could see my face in the mirror.

Mirror Image, a post about how I see myself without actually being able to see myself.

There are App’s for announcing the colours of my clothes, but I have a good memory and know my own outfits by heart by the shape of the neck line or the material the shirt is made of. I have collected tips on fashion from my sister and hope I go out into the world with at least my own acceptable style. I don’t walk out my door with my shirt on inside out or two different colour socks, not much more than anyone else anyway.

I pour my juice with a finger placed on the rim of my glass, stopping when the liquid hits it. With hot coffee this is done with extreme care. I cook my breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the utmost caution and diligence. I am extra nervous of burning myself on the stove, perhaps holding me back from cooking as many foods as some do, but I do not starve. Perhaps cooking is just not my thing. It is not everyone’s thing.

Shopping requires getting to the store, unless ordering from one of those grocery store sites online, often more expensive and somewhat lacking in available choices. This means I utilize my family’s help in getting there. Often families do their grocery shopping together, but when I do it I often feel like I am failing at going for my own independence.

There are customer service employees to be found in every grocery store who are there to help anyone who requests it. They would help me pick up anything I wanted, but I prefer to shop with someone who knows me and the food I enjoy. It makes trying to explain what I am looking for much much easier.

I have labels on my stove and microwave, allowing me to find each button and press the right one. These days burners are flat and difficult to feel, but luckily I still have one of the older stoves. Modern day progress isn’t always for the better.

Sometimes I play “guess what’s in the mystery can/jar” and I may lose. It’s a good thing I enjoy surprises from time to time.

:-)

I am extremely comfortable in my own house, where I know where everything is. When in my own house I can forget the uncertainty and unpredictability too often found in the rest of the world.

Of course even I move my own things and forget where I put them. Not having someone else in the house makes it inconveniently difficult to have anyone else to blame when I am at a loss for a particular shirt I wanted to wear or the last can of Diet Coke.

:-)

Who moved my…oh wait…yeah, that was me.

I use my tiny bit of remaining vision to sort the darks and lights. Again, my washer is marked with braille or tactile stickers. I have had a surprising lack of laundry disasters, except for one involving bleach and a pile of my sister’s favourite red clothes. Again, I ask her for her pardon on that.

I like to keep my things in the same place and to keep clutter out of my path. This is common sense and safety is important. Anytime I can prevent possible tripping, bruising, or other accidents I do.

Dusting, mopping, sweeping, and vacuuming are easy to put off when I could be reading or writing instead. Washing windows and cleaning bathrooms are not my idea of a good time. I don’t see the dust oftentimes and I already established I do not need a clear window to see what the weather is doing. I am not living in a spotless home and I am sure I have room for improvement. It can be easy to avoid these less than enjoyable chores when you don’t see each speck of dirt and every smudge.

I do love the smell of cleaner and laundry detergent. I like the spray mops and I use my hands in place of my eyes. This allows things to slip by me and a helpful eye never hurts. I like visitors and this keeps me constantly working at working at it, on the off chance that a visitor could come by by surprise.

:-)

I make my own bed and I wash my dishes after I eat. I even discover a spot on a plate or pan that an eye may have missed. In that case my sensitive sense of touch works to my advantage.

I don’t need the light on to find the bathroom or to get a drink of water at some ungodly hour of the night. I have survived through the day and I fall asleep knowing I did my best. We all must learn to adapt to new situations and to live in a way that works for us. I am no different.

Of course I am affected, but although I can never quite escape living a life without the benefit of sight, I make it work as best I can for me. When you realize that you can not run from something, you learn to embrace it. It even makes life more interesting at times.

***

Okay, so you asked for it and this post has ended up being longer than the previous ones. I am happy to answer any other question like it that you might have in the comments.

Next Monday:

Is your work or school life affected by disability? Describe some of these challenges.

Until then … Ask away.

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Spotlight Saturday, Writing

Spotlight On Saltz

This week’s Spotlight Saturday I am lucky to have on my blog an interview with Writer, of memoirs, and musician Alana Saltz.

You can find her on her website:

AlanaSaltz.com

as we discuss such things as creativity and mental illness, whether it’s worth getting an MFA, and how to handle rejection.

And now I hope you learn as much about writing as I did from Alana.

***

KK: First, where are you located and what is your background with writing?

AS: I’m located in Los Angeles, CA. I’ve had an interest in words since my parents started reading me bedtime stories. I loved trips to the library and bookstore as a child. At my elementary school, there were some opportunities for students to explore creative writing, like our parent-run Paw Print Press. I got to write and illustrate a couple of stories, and then they were produced into little picture books with covers made out of cardboard.

I eventually majored in English as an undergraduate, took lots of writing classes, and was an active participant in my school’s literary magazine and writing workshop. After graduating, I decided to take the next step and pursue my MFA. I’ll be graduating from Antioch University, Los Angeles this December.

KK: What skills do you think are required to be an artist, either to be a writer, musician, or both?

AS: Passion and determination are the biggest ones. I also think it helps a lot to be naturally empathetic and sensitive if you want to create art that resonates with others. You have to be willing to look inside and look at others in a deep, meaningful way to be able to capture the world and reflect it back through words, art, or music.

KK: Do you believe in the connection between artistic talent and mental illness? What do you think that connection is and how does it manifest itself for you?

AS: I don’t really believe there’s a connection between talent and mental illness. If anything, mental illness can make you more internal and sensitive, which might in turn bring new levels of perception and power to your creative work. But you can be a thoughtful, insightful person without any diagnosable mental illnesses. While mental illness has given me something to write about, it hasn’t helped me actually write. It usually prefers to get in the way through discouraged, depressed outlooks and anxious, stressed thoughts that I have to fight in order to get back to work.

KK: Do you think writing talent can be taught or learned or do you think either someone has it or they don’t?

AS: This is an interesting question; I got into a debate with my boyfriend about it just the other day. I think everyone is born with certain inherent strengths and talents. Words and language have always come naturally to me, so I embraced that side of myself, and luckily felt a passion for developing it. I think it’s possible to be good at something you don’t want to do and be bad at something you wish you could do. Writing can certainly be taught, even if a person doesn’t have a natural strength with it. But it sure helps to have that. It’s much less of an uphill battle. 

I also think that empathy and insight play a role here as well. Not everyone is naturally good at looking inside themselves or seeing the world around them with clarity and understanding. You need that to create work that resonates, and I’m not sure that can be taught.

KK: What advice do you have for a writer just starting out?

AS: Every professional writer will give the same advice: Read. Read a lot, and read widely. But everyone who will ultimately make it as a writer doesn’t need that advice because they already do. You have to love reading and stories to become and be a writer. 

Besides reading, I would recommend finding a local writing workshop/critique group, maybe taking some classes, and writing whatever interests you without worrying too much about what it is or where it will ultimately take you.

KK: What does the term memoir mean to you?

AS: Memoir is a work of autobiography that has a theme, focus, or covers a select period of a person’s life. It’s creative nonfiction, meaning that it’s based in fact and experience, but some creative liberties can and will be taken in bringing it to life.

KK: What is the difference between a writer and an author? Do you think the words are interchangeable?

AS: I define “author” as someone who has published a book. A “writer” is someone who writes. I don’t think the words are interchangeable, although an “author” is certainly a “writer.”

KK: What is your writing or creative process? Do you have a routine or do you let the inspiration strike when it will?

AS: A lot of people would probably judge my creative process. There’s a lot of emphasis on the “butt in chair” routine: sit down every day, or a least several days a week, for a specified amount of time or amount of words, and make yourself write. Eventually, something will come out. They say this is how professionals work. It’s not how I work. 

I always have ideas floating around, incubating. I often write down notes and brainstorm. I typically set out to write in the mornings, but not every morning. Sometimes the writing is just thinking or note-taking. If I’m in the middle of a project, I work on that. I’ll go several days, even a week, without writing a word, then spend 10 days straight writing thousands of words a day. I let my interests, project, and ideas guide me. Deadlines will dictate it as well. 

I don’t wait for inspiration, exactly. I have to keep my mind open and searching so I have something to say whenever I do sit down. But I tend to sit down when I feel compelled to, although I do have a nagging sense of obligation that makes me force myself now and then.

KK: What is your experience with writing programs? Do you believe it is important to be trained or can there be other ways of gaining the same wisdom and experience?

AS: I have mixed feelings about writing programs. If you just want to write for fun, take some classes here and there, maybe join a local writing workshop. If you want to teach, get an MFA or PhD. That’s necessary. If you want to write professionally, it depends. Classes and workshops are a must, but I don’t think a degree is necessary. I wanted the option to teach, and I love writing classes and workshops and being part of a community, so that’s why I pursued an MFA.

KK: What do you think is harder to write: fiction or non-fiction/memoir? Why?

AS: For me, it’s probably memoir. In fiction, you have to create a whole world from scratch, but you can dictate and structure what happens in it. In memoir, you already have the materials, the enormous, misshapen pile of clay that is your life and memories. From that, and only that, you must sculpt a beautiful statue. You have to take a million little moments and turn them into a structured, cohesive, engaging narrative that makes sense and will connect with others. And if you don’t have an amazing memory, it’s even harder. I’m glad I kept journals as a teenager, or I’m not sure I could have written mine. But both genres are tough.

KK: How do you handle rejection and what tips can you offer for dealing with it for other writers?

AS: I don’t handle it as well as I’d like, but it depends on the rejection. Individually, they aren’t so bad. One after another can be discouraging and make me question everything. I’m one of those people who can’t not write, no matter how much I get rejected, no matter how low I sink in confidence. It’s part of me. If it’s part of you too, just remember that it takes rejection to get to acceptance, and becoming a successful writer will take time and perseverance. Try not to let it get you too down in the meantime. Editors, agents, and teachers are all subjective in their tastes and feedback. Take their advice seriously, but know each one does not represent the entire world of opinion.

KK: What is your feeling about traditional publishing vs self-publishing? What do you see for the future of both?

AS: This is a tricky question. I’ll start by saying that I’m an advocate of whatever path works for you and your project. I think self/indie-publishing has an interesting and promising future ahead of it. I like the idea of writers taking our work into our own hands, maintaining creative control, and publishing on our own terms. 

That said, traditional publishing still has its place. It’s very hard to get teaching or lecturing positions as a self-published author, if that’s your goal. Publishing houses also have more resources and money for promotion than you’ll most likely have on your own, unless you’ve developed a huge following already. People say publishers make you do all your own promotion, but that isn’t true. From what I can see, you’ll spend way more time promoting as a self-publisher than a traditionally published author. If you self publish, it’s all up to you. No one is helping. And that can be really, really tough.

KK: What do you have planned for the future for your own writing?

AS: Right now, I’m querying a memoir about my struggle to overcome anxiety disorder and depression as a young adult. I also have some essays in the works to submit to blogs and magazines. I’m planning to do NaNoWriMo in November to get a new novel going. I have a couple novel drafts in my virtual drawer that I occasionally look at and revisit. So, I have a lot of different projects in the works. I’m not sure which one will take off first.

***

Thank you Alana, for your candid answers to my questions. I wish you lots of luck with NaNoWriMo next month.

For more on Alana, visit her on:

Facebook,

https://twitter.com/alanasaltz

http://instagram.com/alanasaltz”>Instagram.

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Fiction Friday

Trypanophobia

Last Friday I wrote about those creepy, crawly critters that so many find so frightening:

Arachnophobia.

In this week’s post I tackle a fear that is so real for so many: the fear of needles.

I used to be afraid of these sharp little things myself, until I received so many that my arms, (baring witness to hundreds upon hundreds of medical tests and required blood work) gave me little choice in the matter. I had to face my fear and accept that the anticipation is usually the worst part. Not in the spooky tale below however.

***

3.
Needles. We hate sitting in the doctor’s office. Tapping our foot and waiting for a nurse to register our flu shot. Just before the needle goes in, we grow anxious. We wait for the sting, knowing it’s coming and knowing it’s not worth the stress. We torture ourselves in the final seconds as anticipation has become one of our most agonizing experiences.

***

The room is dim and shadowy. These shadows play tricks, dancing shapes on the wall in the early morning light.

Suddenly I jump when I realize there is someone else in the room with me. What room is this? I don’t even remember where I am or how I got here.

“Who are you?” I see the shape, this time of a nurse in a cap and white uniform. She looks like she does not belong in this decade, or even this century. “What year is this?”

“Please just give me your arm,” this stranger, this supposed nurse demands. “You will feel much better, very soon.” Something in her voice makes me doubt her promise.

“Where am I?”

“You are in the best place for you. That’s all you need know.” She doesn’t say it, but she seems to be hiding some piece of information I should have been given. Why would this woman keep something from me?

I want to rise from this…bed, was it? This room smells of disinfectant. I hear a low murmur just outside the door. I have the urge, then, to scream. Maybe someone out there could answer my questions.

“Just relax. Stay still. I need to give you your medicine.”

“Medicine? What medicine?” I feel like this situation calls for some questioning, some resistance, but before I can find it in me for either of these, I feel that sharp sting and the damage is done.

“It’s just something to make you feel better,” was all this mysterious elderly lady will say. She appears, even in this fading light, to be more frail than I am, as if she’s barely even there at all. Maybe she isn’t.

If only I could find the strength to sit up. I am sure I could take her on. If only I could get past her and out into the hall. Now it’s too late. The fog that rolled away just moments ago, to reveal my surroundings, comes roaring back with such ferocity that I can not push it off of me.

The woman remains, staring at me, but soon her shape becomes fuzzy to me and a blur with the shadows returning to their dance routines on the walls of my prison.

All that remains of reality: the stinging, burning sensation in the spot where I was stuck and now I am stuck for good, in a land of shapes and shadows. Each time I feel my control and consciousness begin to return she appears with that sharp tool in her hand and I feel the familiar stabbing pain once more.

***

check out the post responsible for the Fiction Friday Halloween-themed posts here on KKHerHeadache this month:

5 Fears And What They Say About Us.

Thank you Young and Twenty, for this. For your Halloween writing prompts and I shall be back next week with the second-last instalment in this series: fear of heights.

Do you have some level of Trypanophobia or do you find needles, like me, to be no big deal?

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Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections, Special Occasions

“He For She” and EQUALITY

An article on TheAtlantic.com (The Unsafety Net: How Social Media Turned Against Women) says:

“A 2013 report from the World Health Organization called violence against women “a global health problem of epidemic proportion,” from domestic abuse, stocking, and street harassment to sex trafficking, rape, and murder.

Last Saturday, October 11th, was The International Day of the Girl. The United Nations declared it thus back in 2011 and this year this day just so happened to follow the announcement that was years in the making.

After all she went through at such a young age, all for the basic right to get an education, Malala Yousafzai was awarded as the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. with her advocacy and bravery when speaking up for girls and their right, everywhere around the world, to receive the same educational opportunities as boys, this equality is key for a bright future for both sexes and I have found it a hopeful sign.

I recently found myself growing more and more interested in speaking on gender equality. I often feel like I have a double burden placed upon my back, being both a woman and with a disability.

I guess I used to feel like I couldn’t say anything about my thoughts and feelings on the subject, for fear of sounding like a whining, complaining victim. Oh poor me! Poor her…the poor blind woman!

I feel I am not that far off from being born in a time or a part of the world where I would be less lucky than I currently am and this thought gives me chills. Where would that leave me then? What would my life be like if I had not been alive and brought up at this time in history, in Canada? A blind girl wouldn’t historically or culturally be given all that many opportunities or rights.

I guess it’s only been a coming together of very recent events, first the speech Emma Watson gave at the UN with her “He For She” campaign. And then with Malala’s award. These two aren’t keeping quiet and neither am I for that matter.

Check out the Atlantic article,

Here.

***

I found myself in a fast-food restaurant today with my two-year-old nephew and sister. As my sister got up to dispose of our tray, I remained by the table with my nephew. I held my white cane and he examined it with great interest. He needed to be reminded not to pick it up and let it fly in the air, risking bodily harm to other customers, but then he grabbed my hand and led me carefully out of the restaurant.

Any aggressive little boy behaviours such as playing with a long white stick indoors were instantly switched up for a more intuitive, thoughtful, and sensitive act like helping me out of the restaurant. Just these very gender specific behaviours are valid ones and we can teach both young boys and young girls to be whatever they want to be. That is what we should truly be fighting for, both men and women of the world.

It was the second time he has done this and as I cautiously walked with him to the door, through the entrance, and out and safely crossing the street to the car I felt again a growing awareness in him. Perhaps I am imagining this because I know how smart he is, but he seems to be developing an understanding beyond his years, a thoughtfulness he shows in wanting to help his auntie. This is what I hope, that he receives something many other children don’t, that I can give him an outlook on life through my relationship with him. I will always just have been his aunt first, but his blind aunt with the white cane too.

It’s not about him having to drag me along with him, relieving me of any responsibility for myself as the adult, but that he knows what a white cane is and what it means to hold out a hand and help someone. I see, in him, a growing empathy and kindness that more of the world could stand to learn for themselves, boys and girls from a young age and into adulthood.

I am a big fan of symmetry, more it seems, as I get older. I found this mid-week, Wednesday, Mid-month, October 15th to be highly satisfying. Speaking of equality, for disability, October 15th is International White Cane Safety Day. I want to be taken seriously as a woman with something to offer and as a person, who just so happens to carry a white cane. I hope that campaigns such as Ammas’ and awards such as the one given to Malala and the occasions such as todays’ will make our world a more tolerant place, full of opportunities for us all equally.

***

And finally…

For Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities. Today I remember my memories staying as a patient with my family and, years later, giving back as a volunteer. I celebrate the house that welcomes sick children and their families with open arms, during some of the more difficult moments in life.

I continue to hope for a “Day of Change” all around.

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Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir Monday

The Horse and the Bird

Last week I answered a question on the subject of:

National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

This time I share some pivotal moments and events in my journey.

***

Q: What are some significant moments/events in your life that connect to disability?

A: When I would sit down at my school desk the first thing I would do was put on my glasses and the world would come into a sharp focused clarity. I was ready for the day to start. I was ready to learn with my peers.

I loved art and I loved to draw. We were learning shading in our seventh grade art class. I used my dark, thick pencil, like I used to write my spelling tests and my French assignments, and I started to draw a picture of a horse. I needed this darker, thicker pencil, but I was then abel to complete the art assignment like all the other kids. I had been born blind and did not remember what it was like to be anything other than what I was. I had come this far and I had done okay.

On my last day in art class before that all changed I had the large piece of white paper on my desk in front of me and my pencil ready. I had been so proud of my horse and my teacher had been pleased. Now he told me to try drawing a picture of a bird. It was the end of class and I had barely started, only the first outline, of the bird’s head, when the bell rang and I put my barely begun picture away until next class.

A few days later I was admitted into the hospital, after a bad night of the worst pain I had ever experienced, a hard pain that felt like it came from somewhere deep behind my left eye. Now it was necessary to admit me to find out the cause. I would stay in hospital for a week, receiving continuous IV’s and diagnostic tests, trying to stop the mysterious disease that was taking over my already limited eyesight.

By the end of the year I had my left eye removed and an artificial eye made. The pain was gone and the highly potent medicine had been the only thing to stop me losing all the precious vision I still had.

I see this as a turning point in my life. No longer could I place a pair of glasses on my face and find the kind of clarity and focus that I once knew. I had been blind all my life, but this was the first time I truly understood what that meant.

From then on I learned to live without the colour and clarity and bright sharp focus that even I had taken for granted. I miss those things every single day and there was no hiding in the world of the sighted like I had been able to pull off, even a little bit before, but I will never forget that shaded horse and those first few lines that would have been a bird.

***

Next week, for the:

Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge,

I will answer this question:

Are your activities of daily living effected by disability? If you’re comfortable, share a little of your daily routine.

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Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Shows and Events, Spotlight Sunday

Nuit Blanche

My brother’s only real glimpse of Toronto’s all-night art festival, Nuit Blanche, a big inflatable octopus in the subway station.

This did not help me understand this event and in fact it made me even more confused. He is an artist/photographer and even he couldn’t seem to explain it to any real satisfaction. Sometimes there are no words.

I drove away from the city as night fell and imagined all those people wandering through the streets of Toronto, all night, in the cold and the damp October chill.

Check out my friend’s experience with,

Some Untimely Thoughts: Nuit Blanche

She has studied art for several years and could sum it up better than most people.

I found her descriptions intriguing and curious and I think you will too.

All art is subjective. There is beauty in it all, whatever you make of it.

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