Saturday, October 20, 2012

Blindness and Deafness

I have found what Helen Keller said long ago to be true.  She said, "Blindness separates you from things."  I may not share her position on what a "thing" is.  For instance, blindness separates me from knowing what anything looks like to a sighted person.  The view of a Whole face, a Whole tree, a Whole animal, these are quite different from touching something or someone, and then assembling component parts together in my mind to try and for a coherent idea of What it is like.  The sense of touch tells me completely different things than the sense of sight.  For example, most sighted people like the look of porcelain dolls, because their skin Looks more real.  I do Not like the Feel of porcelain dolls at all, to me they feel rougher than skin and ugly.  I have never been able to construct a whole human face in my mind, (never having seen one) which probably accounts for the fascination I have with the human face on dolls, except that I really have to Search for any variety.  Paint jobs don't do it.

Helen Keller also said, "but deafness separates you from people."  If I were sighted and deaf this might not be so true.  But for me, as for Helen Keller, it Is true.  If I were Latina there would be a large group of people with whom I had a common language.  But the number of deaf or seriously hearing impaired people in any rural area or small city is limited.  And the number of deaf people willing to allow me to follow their hands (slowing down their ability to express themselves quickly) is also limited.  I am not Christian, so "Deaf Church" isn't truly an option.  And like LBGT people, deaf people often meet in bars.  As a blind person I do not drink with people I don't know, meaning I will not become intoxicated around them, it isn't safe.  This applies to All people.  So isolation is a painful reality.  Without Ann here, their is at present only one persom I see reggularly to whom I can talk about nearly anything.  It's a sadness, a lonliness, I must live with.

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