Let’s hear it for Gray

 

            Swimming in the bay, just off the sandy shore near my apartment in Long Beach, California, I saw a tiny black line, caused by a retinal hemorrhage in my right eye.  During the many hospital stays and doctors’ appointments that followed, I tried to prepare myself for a life in permanent darkness.  Since I’d been afraid of the dark as a child, I worried that the old terror would grip me again.  So when the inevitable happened, and I lost all sight, all light perception, I was surprised and gratified to discover that blindness is not synonymous with blackness, will Shakespeare and other poets notwithstanding.  Instead, blindness is mist, possibly fog, although fog suggests something heavier and more substantial than what I see.

            So for the past forty years, I’ve been living in a grayish mist, day or night, eyes open or closed.  And I have to think it’s apt that as I “gray,” a secret shared only with my hair stylist and color expert, I live in gray.  And I think there’s something to be said for living in the gray, full of “on-the-one hands” and “On-the-other hands,” especially today.  Are more and more of us clinging harder to our positions, painting the important issues before us in blacks and whites?

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About Sally Hobart Alexander

Blinded at the age of twenty-six, I left California and elementary school teaching for life in Pittsburgh, Pa. There, I met my husband, got a Masters' degree in social work, had two kids, now 35 and 32, and became a writer. Surprisingly, the writing career led me full-circle to teaching, and I teach in Chatham University's M.F.A. program and lead two writing critique groups. Always, since the age of 26, I have traveled, not in the stereotypic darkness attributed to blindness, but a mist. My blog then, "traveling through the mist" will deal with issues in my culturally different life as a blind writer, teacher, speaker, and human being.
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