June 23, 2011
There are generations of us blind people, educated at state schools for the blind from the 1940's through the 1970's (and in some cases later) who have our own way or Style of doing things.
Examples: 1. We don't put pictures on the walls. Of what use is a flat glass or flat plastic in a frame? I have heard, but do not know if it is true, that many sighted deaf people mostly brought up in state schools for the deaf don't put up pictures either. Why not? Because there were Never any pictures in their rooms at School. Institutions housing a large number of children don't go in much for encouraging personal style in room decorating.
2. As a blind weaver of tapestries I made a vow Never to create Anything which wasn't as interesting to Feel as to look at. I have sold a couple of tapestries, and I make centers for flowers with tactile objects which are also eye pleasing. I weave Tapestries, (more like making a quilt in some ways than beautiful but Flat weaving) because the combination of stitches is endless. I can work in a crochet chain stitch, make spirals, French knots, and more. I remember colors and my partner used to say that there wasn't an explanation for where I got a sense of balance within a piece of work.
3. When I set up my living room the way I wanted it, a sighted friend didn't like it. There are two comfortable chairs facing the TV, each with a surface to set food or a drink on at hand, but the long couch is on another wall.
For me this makes Perfect sense. I rarely watch a movie with more than 1 or 2 people at a time. So I can either sit in a comfortable chair next to 1 friend, or sit at the end of the couch next to the TV and hear it better that way anyhow.
But sighted people seem to like to drape themselves on the couch or lie on it and watch TV together or alone. I can hear the TV just as well lying down as sitting up, if I'm sitting on the couch closest to it.
But it feels all wrong to every Other sighted person I've asked. Even if it is less comfortable, the largest seating area Should face the Tube.
But they Do like my wall decorations, a "burden basket ) with rolled tin cones at the bottom which sound like rain when rattled, , an embroidered tapestry I bought with my partner at a "fair trade" store once, a tapestry I made for my partner and now have back, and a piece of blue leather my partner put on the wall with billows in it (wrinkles?) so it looked like a cloud, with and embroidered and fringed "Buddhist auspicious symbols" banner coming down from it.
I do have a very Few flat pictures, but they are Buddhist ones and I know what each one is by its placement, or I Will know this, when I get them set up.
So what do I do about the Living Room? Some people say, "If you want sighted friends in your place you'd Better make them feel at home." By I have Adapted and Adjusted to the needs of sighted people all of my Life. I don't usually Like TV, it is Stupid! And if we watch a movie I'll get More comfortable chairs for those afflicted with sight to sit in and Face the tube.
I am the only one living here now. If at some later time I choose to allow another person to live here, of course, I'll have to compromise. But for now I think I'll try it my way and see if my friends can't adjust.
I like playing cards, having intelligent discussions, listening to audio books, (like most sighted people, I prefer to do something else while I listen, like weave or sew. Most of them like to drive, not my thing, unfortunately.)
4. I have two pieces of jewelry I think Should go together. One has a turquoise and coral eagle on it. The other is silver (like the silver surrounding the eagle) and has a turquoise spiral swirling through it. Why do I think they should look good together? It's an Idea combination. To me that Swirl of turquoise (green of growing, blue of nourishing water) is a symbol for life. And the eagle, turquoise and red coral, (red for success, red coral for healing, and Eagle for vision, the wisdom to look Far) these things make a sort of blessing prayer in jewelry. Life being healed, nourished, and cooled (influence of silver) to succeed by the wisdom to look or see far.
But to a sighted person the issues would be: are the colors of turquoise the same? The second piece of jewelry Has no coral, no red. They may be similar in style, but do they Look good together?
My question: if they are both beautiful and meaningful to me, and they both have turquoise and silver, Who Cares? So we have a different perspective.
Nobody's right or wrong, just Different. And compared to the world's big problems, the differences mean nothing. But in a small life they have effects. I hope this has been interesting for someone to read.