Insights from a Blind Person

I’ve had a couple of insights today which is good, since occasionally people have entitled articles about me after school days suggesting insight, not sight, or vision, but cannot see. It puts the pressure on.
Well, my first insight today, as a growling dog lunged at Dave on a street crossing, was how extraordinary opposite curbs are. I wondered if sighted people had any idea as I wander blindly across a street how rewarding and magical it is to step onto the opposite curb. I have no guarantee, especially in all pedestrian crossings that my dog won’t veer into the parallel or perpendicular traffic. Especially a green dog like Dave.
My second insight was about how easily people without disability take proffered help. Several times today I realized that beloved friends, friends who return the affection, accept assistance graciously, gratefully. Deep inside me there’s a voice saying that if someone offers a favor, something that would definitely ease my struggle, I should say no. The reasoning is that people see someone with disability and assume need, exceptional, excessive need. This voice tells me that such people will withdraw from friendship because the expectation is that I’ll request more help than they can grant. I wonder if most with disabilities are tortured by taking and giving, as I am.

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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