My Guides

Recently I read a poem by Hilda Doolittle, a contemporary of Pound and Eliot, about the North Star. As a blind person with a Seeing Eye dog, I’m so grateful for guiding, grateful also to my friends and family who willingly guide me when situations are too challenging for Flossie–ice, for instance.
But I began thinking of the guides I’ve treasured over my ample life. This week I’ll do school appearances in northern New Jersey and have my annual visit with my college best friend, Carol. SimplY put, Carol waS A saint, though she’d rail against the abel. She visited me every day in a New York hospital–an hour’s drive away–even though I spent three weeks at a time there, going blind. But islr the blindness, Carol supported me in defining how to be a friend, how to sort through conflicting values.
Two women in one of the writing groups that I lead founded a prgram called “Beginning with Books.” It provided books and literacy training and one on one attention to poor children and adults and affected immeasurable change in them.
I think of writers like Kathryn Paterson as a guide, other friends who have retired and work tirelessly to save the planet, and yes, Bob, my husband, who fulfills that cliche of matching to his own drummer, but it’s one of firm integrity.


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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