Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Seeing the World

"What's all the beeping, godmommy?" I explain to Alex that my car makes a beeping sound, for parking-impaired people like me, whenever it is getting close to another vehicle or the curb.  "But why are there so many?" I tell her that different sounding beeps come from various parts of the car where contact is about to be made. I explain further that I am very talented to be on the verge of hitting something on three sides of my car at once.  Nonplussed, she scans the car, trying to pinpoint the origins of the various beeps.  I say, "it's okay, it took me awhile, too, after I got the car, to figure out where any particular beep was coming from."  I said it must be like someone who loses their sight and must learn how to navigate by the sounds of cars, people, dogs and crosswalk signals.

I suddenly think of my blind friend, Liz.  Liz was a customer of my store, The Blissful Soul.  Although she liked to explore the store, what she loved buying most was jewelry. Yes, that's right, jewelry.  I love that she felt such a passion for self-decoration, even if she could not see the pieces, visually.  As she ran her fingers over the stones and the fasteners, I knew that she was seeing them in her own way.  I was always impressed with her ability to find the perfect piece was just right for herself; something that would bring out the light in her eyes or pick up a color from her sweater.  I watched her in awe.

Liz was born with sight and then lost it as a young girl.  She once told me that she had been to all the doctors and all the specialists, and that there really was no means currently available to restore her sight.  I sensed no bitterness in her words.  Recalling that conversation while driving today, it occurs to me to wonder, "but what if a miracle happened?"  I ask myself, "How grateful would I be for my sight if I suddenly woke up, able to see for the first time in twenty years?"  I look at the world around me, the same sights I see at least twice a week, driving to and from the Y.  The tree leaves are more vividly emerald green than I had ever noticed, and the blue of the sky more deeply azure  than I had ever realized.  "The world is so much more beautiful," I thought, "now that I'm seeing it through Liz's eyes."