Monthly Archives: July 2015

Blind spots

I love the saying, “no one is as blind as those who won’t see”

Blind spots are areas of damage that affect specific portions of our vision. They prevent us seeing the full picture clearly. When I sprinkle cheese on top of the lasagne, I can see the general orange colour of the cheddar and I think the task is complete until my foodie husband comes along and says, “Hey Jen, this looks delicious but you missed out the whole middle section” and he completes the culinary coverage (if he is lucky enough to catch it prior to cooking). Due to blind spots, I often see little things out of the corner of my eye, but miss the larger object right in front of me.

Blind spots can affect us all. For some it may be physical, for others it may be emotional and for still others it can be both.

In terms of the physical,   having eye problems affects every waking moment of one’s life even though you get used to it. There are many people working long hours seeking cures for blindness and many others raising funds for such research. It will, in time, bring breakthrough and healing for future generations, but in the meantime we just hope and get on with life. We have little control over cures for physical sight problems.

We do, however, have full control over our emotional blind spots. These are the things in our lives that we cannot see about ourselves that others can see about us. They, like real blind spots on the retina, can lead to confusion and distorted perception of oneself or situations and cause one to feel unsure or insecure in certain environments. They can also cause an inability to see the feelings of others. It does not, however, involve research and fund raising to deal with these, but just humility and courage. It is in having open and honest relationships that we can learn about our blind spots and then decide if we would like to change them for the sake of others or not.

The problem with having both physical and emotional blind spots is that often others would not be brutally honest with a visually impaired person because “they have enough to deal with as it is”, but if we want to be ‘normal’ then we need to face up to our emotional blind spots just like everyone else.

It takes guts to ditch the selfishness (which often leeches onto a disability) and ask loved ones to be a mirror to reflect what they see in us. The bonus is that although we cannot see clearly in actual mirrors, we can still be sounding boards to sighted folk who often just need a listening ear. The imagery works both ways! Our very struggles can make us valuable contributors to the society in which we live.

I believe that we were created to live in loving relationships, in the family and local community, so that all our blind spots would be covered!


Bring on Technology

I just thought I would share this link with those who follow my blog via email.

This is so cool and I am so grateful for all the creative and technically brained people who thought this up!

Snapshots and sound clips

Langebaan boats

Recently, while we were away on holiday on the edge of Langebaan lagoon, I was awakened by the unusual and fascinating sounds of the early morning. I dressed warmly, armed myself with coffee and crept outside to embrace the new-born day. I listened to seagulls squawking belligerently as they squabbled over seafood specials. I heard the lap and swash of the shoreline, the clinking of fishermen’s bait cans and the distant drone of a fog horn from the harbour. On that white, foggy morning there was low visibility, and coupled with my own poor ‘visibility’ I decided to appreciate the sounds with my eyes closed.  The experience made me realise how much there is to hear when I take the time to notice it ….or whatever the equivalent of noticing is in sound terms.

I set my voice recorder on my phone, placed it on the gate post and saved the cacophony of sound which accompanied the waking world. It has recorded a moment that I can relive every time I listen to the audio clip. It even ignites the memory of the cold air stinging my cheeks and the salty smell of seaweed and wet sand .Sound memories for the vision impaired are as photo memories for the sighted.

I have started recording ordinary circumstances as keepsakes – like the sound of the family pottering around on Sunday afternoons and the sound of a bird call while I hang the washing.  What do I call the sound version of a ‘selfie’? Maybe an ‘audie!?

Now I just need to work out how to save a sound album instead of a photo album.