I went to Dialog in the Dark today at Atlantic Station. It was amazing. They take groups of 10 people and lead them around in the dark for one hour. All you have to assist you is a stick to feel around and the sound and direction of your guide’s voiceand the clapping of his hands. Oh, and the guide is actually blind, for real. Our guide’s name was George and at the age of 3 he had optical nerve damage due to a high fever and he lost his vision. He had really soft hands, (I know this because he led me out of more than a few dead end corners and set me back on the path that actually led somewhere.) He’s married and has children, he met his wife in a restaraunt and he has no recolection of ever being able to see. He led us on a tour of a park, with birds, grass and shrubs. Kroger, the grocery store with shelves of food and a cash register, a harbor where we boarded a boat, a busy city street where I would have been run over for sure had it actually been real and a restaraunt where I ordered a diet coke for $2 and pulled my $ out of my pocket to pay and had no idea what bill I had. Was it a $20? A $5? I have a greater appreciation today for my eyes. And ears and nose.
“In the darkness we are all the same. It is only our knowledge and experience that separates us.”
George’s voice sounded like an angel in a time of need and his knowledge of where I was and where I should be made me very grateful for him. There was a point near the end where light was coming in through the curtain near the exit and someone in our group said, “Walk towards the light” and George was near the back with me and I heard him say, “there’s a light?” It made me irritatd at the person who said it as if they had announced to everyone but George that there was a light at the end of the tunnel… hope for everyone but him. It made me feel very sad. When we all walked out into the foyer we were able to see him for the first time. He looked so sweet. Here we stood, staring at him and trying to say ‘thank you’ the best we could and he couldn’t see us at all. To him we were all still the same but to me he was now a hispanic, short, older man and somehow I envied his reality more than mine.
Now I am home and feel very humbled and ever so grateful that I can see my little darling in the tub with her big sister using this crazy foam/soap to create a wonderland in the tub. How blessed I am. How blessed we are.
“Oh eyes of mine,
do not take for granted, seeing what you can see
for tis the unseen, not the seen, that really makes us you and me.