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Black Or White? #HowISee #RNIB #SoCS

Oh that’s just great!

So, did I just spend more than two hours with the people at my Wednesday evening writing group with my left eye turned?

Did they notice, when I was reading my piece I’d written at this latest read-through and just couldn’t help staring at it and at me, for all the wrong reasons, as I was reading aloud to them?

Did they see that something was off about my left eye when I first arrived, but were too uncomfortable or polite to bring it up?

What would they even understand about artificial, prosthetic eyes or what would they say to me about it, even if they had the nerve to say anything at all?

That is the risk I take whenever I go out in public.

BLINK, YOU MAY MISS IT!- THE HISTORY OF PROSTHETIC EYES

I can wake up, rub my eyes like we all do, without even realizing it and the left one will turn. I can put my face underneath the shower and the motion of the water stream can turn it. I just never know. And then I feel something is off, but forget to ask someone I trust before going out into the world.

So, I only see out of one eye now (since 1996), obviously. The other is a definite conversation piece, when politeness and necessity cause myself or others to mention it at all.

***

How to explain this?

Hmm.

#HowISee

Over in the UK, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) have started a social media campaign which is quickly spreading around the world on Twitter and alike.

So many people with a diagnosed visual impairment face suspicion on whether they’re really even blind at all or else just faking it. I don’t get that often because it isn’t often that I hold a book to my face and look like I’m reading. Some people with low vision can read the screens of their phones or a large print book, newspaper, or magazine.

Can you imagine what it must feel like not to be believed on something so vital as sight or the lack thereof?

Well, I try to explain to people sometimes, myself, what exactly I do see. Believe it or not, that is not an easy question to answer, but I thought I would take part in the RNIB’s attempt to make it known what vision loss encompasses.

The lady in the promotional YouTube video at the beginning gets it right. For me, more and more, it’s like a fogged up window. No more clarity, the kind glasses once provided. No definition of my surroundings. I see more than simple light and dark, shadows or movement, but more vague shades of what was once there.

I can no longer tell you how many fingers you’re holding in front of my face, so don’t even bother asking.

***

“Is that a stop sign ahead of us, out there to the left?” I ask a boyfriend,, as we sit waiting to cross the border from Canada into the US.

“Yes. You could see that?” he asks in shock.

I don’t know how I saw it. I am baffled most of all. Nine times out of ten I never would have picked that detail out.

***

I can no longer pick out lit up street signs. The names of stores in a mall were, at one time readable to me as I sat with my grandfather on a bench, but now I most likely wouldn’t see any such thing.

***

Last week I chose not to take part in the weekly prompt for

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SoCS.

Actually, it was before I’d decided I would take part in #HowISee and yet it involved the fact that the stream of consciousness prompt was “art”.

I was feeling angry, as I sometimes get, that my vision has declined so much as to make seeing colour impossible. I yearned for the days of my childhood, those good old days when I was always creating visual art of one kind or another.

Of course, there are many forms of artistic expression. I write stories and essays and blog posts. I am learning the violin. I am writing song lyrics. I am creating art every single day still.

But I saw that there was colouring book day, an official day this past week, from what I read. I wanted to draw, to colour again, but I couldn’t and the prompt just reminded me of everything I can no longer do.

So, now I try to explain, keeping my anger and bitterness in line, how I see, what I see. The explanation isn’t so straightforward. My examples may be weak to anyone who is not seeing through the “eye” I’m seeing through.

😉

and here we have it.

The latest “Stream of Consciousness Saturday”.

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13 thoughts on “Black Or White? #HowISee #RNIB #SoCS

  1. Hi there, I think it is an important part of our life’s journey to mourn the things we have lost. Loosing your sight is a big thing so the mourning is a big part. Anger and bitterness are part of that mourning and it needs space to be expressed too, in my opinion. I wish I could give you the colouring back :-). Please take good care of yourself!

    • Oh, that is very nice of you to say. Thank you. I wish it were that simple.
      🙂
      Sometimes we think of mourning something as a process that takes time but of which ends eventually. I am learning that it might not, but that’s just how it is.
      Thanks for reading and commenting on all of this.

      • I don’t think all mourning ends. In my experience there is always a residue left that haunts us at times. But that’s part of life I suspect.

  2. It must be frustrating and yes, I can imagine your incredulity at being suspicious questioned over your vision impairment. I think I’m angry for you. Too many people judging without compassion or comprehension always gets to me on any subject.

    I have a friend who has a sorta bionic eye. I never could understand exactly what happened or how it works, but on a sunny day, I can see a sorta digital pixelation and it’s really neat that they could save her sight.

  3. I can imagine that not being able to see color is frustrating, especially since you remember seeing it when you were younger. I’m glad that you explained this a little bit more – that’s strange about the stop sign.

  4. Pingback: TToT: Blessings and Thankfuls – RIP, Pinky and Gerti #10Thankful #FTSF #1000Speak #AbbyOnTheMove #HowISee | Her Headache

    • Thank you Ivy. I miss it so much sometimes that it aches to think of it, as my memories of colours start to fade, no matter how hard I try to hold onto them.
      But nothing I can do about it at this time.. In the future, who knows…

  5. Pingback: Seeing From All Sides, #HowISee #HowISeeIt #SoCS | Her Headache

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