blind fear

I write a lot about Love, about Justice, about Intuition– about all the essential things that see without seeing.

I think a lot about blind spots, about the way relationships of all sizes fog the windows and leave smudges that hide all manner of warning lights.  

I think about how life doesn’t believe in speed limits, and how that causes collision after collision, and how all those little knicks and scrapes give you the confidence to swerve past your old monsters because you can’t even see them through the smashes in your rose-colored glasses.  

Blindness is a running theme through my life, and I didn’t think I was afraid of it,  but I just realized I am. 

My niece was born blind.  

I think of Love and Justice and Intuition, and how she was born into good company.  I think about my baby sister and her husband, and how she was born into strong arms.   

But I also think about the way the light makes my little sister shine like there’s gold in her blood.  I think about how the sky is a different kind of blue everywhere you go, and how my late husband used to say that when you die, you get to see your sky again, just for a minute, no matter how far away you are.  I think about how eyes fill with silent tears, how they glow with unspoken love, how they jiggle with secret laughter.  I think about these things and I am afraid that my niece will never really understand what I mean by any of it.  That she’ll never really know how painfully forever blue homesickness is, how overwhelmingly loud stillness and silence can be.

I worry that she’ll spend a lifetime being told that diamonds glitter, and stars glow, and she’ll never see how people walk past those things every day,  but no one ever walks past her mother’s smile without admiring the treasure of it. 

I’m afraid.  Even though it’s ridiculous to be afraid.  Even though blindness has been a running theme in my life for so long that you’d think I’d be comfortable sitting alongside it.  Even though fear helps no one, and doesn’t tell me where to start, or what to do to help. 

I’m afraid.

I seem to write a lot about fear.

24 Comments

  1. Yes, you write a lot about a lot of things. But the thing I find that you write the most about, with or without realizing it, is love. What I hear you telling me in what you’re writing about today is, you just began writing about how you found still another way to love. And your niece will know how to love that same way, particularly because she has you. #RawrLove

    Liked by 9 people

  2. And your niece will probably give you descriptions of color and light like you’ve never imagined: how they taste, smell, and feel to the touch. My dissertation chairperson was blind and had more sight than I will ever have on this side of the Rainbow Bridge.

    Many of us ‘see’ every day but see nothing. I remember the first time I told a coworker that I’d almost driven off the road during a commute because of the beauty of the mountains and how they looked so different than they had just the day before; this coworker drove by them every day as well and never … noticed … them. I got that ‘you must be daft’ look in return for my amazement, joy, and wonder at those mountains. I get it still from people who see only the screen on their smartphone when they drive, not the way the sun and clouds make shadows on the hillside down the street or the smiles on the faces of the children who are holding hands with their pregnant mom as she rushes them across the street, the look of concern for their safety on her face because she wears a burka and has probably had more slurs tossed at her than she’d ever want them to bear.

    The fear keeps us with our eyes wide open. Your post proves that you see. ❤

    Liked by 7 people

  3. She will grow and thrive and “see” through her other senses because she has y’all on her side. You will continuously see the beauty she brings to the world and no doubt you will make her feel that every day

    My mother’s middle sister was born under similar circumstances, 60 years ago. Very different then. Imagine the changes in the world for your niece now, she will be able to experience so much more in her own amazing way.

    And, whenever you have doubts, hugs and touch will help you see EGTBO. Not always easy, but Ok or even greater. ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Even your blue words are beautiful.

    I held up my phone so my friend B could see a picture and he had to remind me that he couldn’t see it. That was after he cooked a dinner for 25 people (refusing help), walked around and talked with all of his guests, and then put a bunch of teenagers to work cleaning up. He often uses the word “see.” He sees a lot – sometimes more than the rest of us.

    You’ll see the world with your niece. She’ll know the blue sky. She’ll know that she will always be safe with you. xoxox

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I won’t lie, it’s scary to me too. I often think about the bravery of choosing to even have a child imagining the struggles the child will have to face and not knowing which particular struggle your child will get. But, I have a feeling that in your family disadvantages are turned into magical powers.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Fear is physiologically similar to stress in many of its other forms. In fact, the way I remember learning it, the term “stress” used to mean anything that caused the body to react: be it good, bad, or otherwise. Only recently has the negative interpretation of stress gained favor. I mention this because I happened to have come across some very helpful resources about dealing with stress by interpreting it as ‘good’ rather than ‘bad’. I have found much success with these methods, and since I have found your posts both inspiring and worthwhile, I thought I’d mention the info here.

    As a longtime fan of TED.com I was perusing the various video “talks” I couldn’t help but notice a smiling Kelly McGonigal, resplendent in red, offering to explain how to
    “Make Stress Your Friend”. This stunning person and her terrific talk changed the way I thought about stress forever.

    TEDTalks video—> https://goo.gl/t8bLrB

    While I’m on the subject of life-changing methods of interpretation, Kelly McGonigal happens to have a twin sister. Her name is Jane McGonigal and she taught me what it means to fall head over heels in love—and stay that way:

    Seductive seredipity—> https://goo.gl/8xZivt

    That’s how using empathy to understand how the thinking of another (even with readily available media) can bring about the very same benefits of socialization. I really like this person and her great ideas. I think she deserves the Nobel Prize.

    [excerpt from a very informative paper about stress]

    “Importantly, physiological ‘stress’ responses also occur following rewarding, “positive” and appetitive stimuli (e.g., winning a competition, sexual activity). Although they are often not considered to be stressors in classic, generally “negative”, terms, the physiological responses elicited by them can be as large as those seen after more aversive stimuli…”

    Lucassen, P. J., Pruessner, J., Sousa, N., Almeida, O. F. X., Dam, A. M. V., Rajkowska, G., … Czéh, B. (2014). Neuropathology of stress. Acta Neuropathologica, 127(1), 109–135. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00401-013-1223-5

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I don’t know if it will help, but when I was in grad school in 2006 I befriended a young woman who had been blind since birth. OK, I admit that at first I befriended her because she had the most beautiful yellow lab with the longest eyelashes I’d ever seen. But soon Jenny and I were friends regardless of her dog. Sometimes I got to offer an elbow for her to go to her next class. Sometimes we sat next to each other in the few classes we had together. Once I described something as being yellow and she reminded me she didn’t really know what yellow was. I was sad for a moment. But I also knew she was as full of life…or more full…than I or most people I knew. She had her own way of ‘seeing’ the world around her and she shared it with us. It was magic.

    Here’s to magic for your niece as well. You will be part of the magic of her world, It will be OK.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I have read recently some wonderful thoughts on fear… and I wish I could find them to share with you. I’ll hunt for them, because the message they convey is comforting and an interesting way to view fear in general. Of course you’re afraid..understandably so.

    I read a beautiful post that said sometimes it’s not your job to try and make things better, to lift a person out of their sadness, anger or fear. Sometimes you just need to sit with them in the dark and be a quiet witness to their harder emotions, holding their hand. So I’ll do that over the internet webs since I can’t in person. I’m sitting with you.

    I am so very sorry this has happened to your family. You’ll win your fight against fear each time it presents itself. Because you are strong, you’re brave, you don’t give up. Love to you.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. You can see without eyes, even, m’ love. Who knows this better than two friends that communicate without saying a word.

    I get the fear. I often fear it myself. But we are amazing creatures. We always find a way. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Maybe … maybe your niece’s blindness will be a gift of sorts. We lament because we have sight, but for her, to be sightless will be normal and we will be the odd ones. And I bet she will be able to see things, magical things, that we can barely dream of, and she will share those things with you because she will know your heart has special eyes kind of like hers.

    Keeping your niece, her parents, and you, in prayer. *hugs* ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Fear, probably the most debilitating of all the emotions. Yet, sitting with it, embracing it, letting it be a part of us is what helps us relinquish it more fully. Somehow facing it reminds us of hope and strength, and our ability to conquer it. Embracing fear diminishes its power over us. Keep writing about fear, Ra, and watch it blow away in the wind. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s inspiring how you own your fear. How you own what you’re afraid of. How unafraid you appear to be to share those fears. That’s what gets me. It’s as if I’m that silly little child, afraid to put words to her fears, for fear it will make them stronger, bigger, harder to kill. But fears aren’t dragons to be slain. They’re stepping stones to help us keep moving forward with enough caution that we won’t end up in the water.

    Like

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