Of all my five senses, sight is the most precious to me. I’m a voracious reader, and I would miss seeing the words unfold on the page. I’ve listened to audio books before (Shout out to Kate Burton – she does a fabulous job on whatever book she’s reading aloud), but I love to go back and re-read certain passages. Especially if I’m involved in a mystery or suspense, I page back as I think I’ve remembered a vital clue – or when the big reveal occurs, I definitely look back and locate key paragraphs that were RIGHT THERE before my eyes, and I just didn’t have the insight to read them the right way at the time, knowing now what I’ve learned by the book’s end. Doing that with audio book would be next to impossible.
I also love watching sports. While I’ve listened to sports broadcasts while driving in the car, I prefer the real deal played out in front of me in real time. Same thing with movies or television. A large part of the experience is visual, so I want to see the action occur and view those reactions to events.
I can’t imagine trying to navigate through a grocery store sightless, much less try to come home and cook when blind. No, I’m no Christine from Master Chef’s last season! The food she produced with such limited sight amazed me. I’m a mediocre to average cook at best (although I do make a mean batch of tortilla soup), so trying to cook without being able to see what I’m doing would be almost impossible for me.
I also wouldn’t be able to put on make-up if I couldn’t see. I wouldn’t miss that too much except for lipstick. If I don’t have color on my lips, I’m just plain AND scary looking!
And then there are those events I’m looking forward to seeing down the road – my May debut book Music For My Soul and its lovely cover (and anticipating even more books and great covers); going to Greece; my daughter walking down the aisle at her wedding, love shining in her eyes for her groom; and hopefully those eventual grandbabies someday.
So I hope that I will be able to retain my precious eyesight throughout my life.
Yesterday, I did a little experiment, though. I’m visiting a friend at her lake house and while it’s been cool and crisp, the sun was beaming down brightly yesterday. We went down to the dock right by the lake to read and write. I booted up my current work-in-progress, and I literally could not see my screen. How was I going to write?
Well, as people who’ve lost their sight or been born blind know, you just…do it!
I propped my feet on the rail and placed my hands along the correct keys on my laptop’s keyboard. I leaned my head back, closed my eyes, and let my fingers fly. I run a movie in my head as I write anyway, picturing the color door a character walks through, if he crosses a room left to right or right to left, etc. So I let my imagination soar and wrote my little heart out. Blind to the page.
It was very liberating. Usually when I write, I get a paragraph down – maybe two – then re-read and make a change or two. Or I’ll get an entire page down and then go back and putz with it a bit. That was impossible in this situation, so I wrote a pure, true, literal first draft. Sometimes I’d start typing a word and change my mind on word choice – but I couldn’t backspace and lose something already there – so I’d just start in on a different word. I tabbed when I thought a new paragraph sounded great, and I let the characters truly take charge of the scene.
The sun warmed my face, the story just kept coming, and I cranked out quite a bit this way. It was pretty humorous reading over it hours later as I cleaned up the typos and tweaked it a bit. I usually write with a thesaurus by my side to help vary my word choice, but that didn’t fly in this situation. Surprisingly, my gut told me I’d written some good stuff. All without seeing the page as I wrote. Instead, I created in a brand-new way to me.
I was pleased with how much I got done in this manner – how good it really was, how fast it came, and how I enjoyed writing without a net, in a manner of speaking. I don’t know if this would work for me all the time, but if I ever get stuck again…hit a roadblock…need to freshen things up?
I think I’ll close my eyes again, trust my remaining senses and imagination, and blindly write.