Some Thoughts on Sight

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Being blind is a curious thing. Things constantly happen that are hard for me to understand. The world is a different place when your sense of sight is absent, but it’s not the kind of place that most imagine it to be. It’s a place where so many things are confusing.
Colors make no sense.
Blonde hair. Blue eyes. They’re all just words to me. I’ve known some people to associate feelings and objects to certain colors, but I don’t do that. Blue isn’t cold. Red isn’t hot. They’re just words, words used to describe things. I know that the grass is green, so I often think the word green when someone says grass, but when someone says green, I do not think of grass. Green is just a word, and to me it means nothing.
Even more confusing is the way people look.
There’s basic stuff like eye color that everyone with vision understands, but there’s more to what someone looks like. I really like movies, but I like books even more. In books, the author usually describes, in great detail, what characters look like. There’s nothing for the reader to look at, so the author must use words to form a picture in the readers mind. Everyone has different perspectives on what others and themselves look like, but I love reading those perspectives in books. Sometimes my friends ask me if I know what they look like, and oftentimes my answer is no. But I would never ask that same friend to tell me what they look like, because no one has a realistic opinion on themselves; they’re either too negative or too positive. Honestly though, how can I really understand what others look like when I don’t yet understand myself.
Pictures make no sense to me.
My mind is strictly 2-dimensional. I can’t even begin to comprehend how so much can be seen in just one picture. If if it is a decently taken photo, not only can you see people and objects, but you can see things above, below, behind, and next to them. In middle school, when we worked on 3D shapes, someone would make a tactile picture of the shapes so that I could feel them on paper. But they never felt three-dimensional; it just felt like there were extra lines inside of shapes, so pictures and drawings have never quite made sense to me.
Black does not exist in my world.
People often assume that, since I am seeing nothing, I am actually seeing black. I’ve even had people argue with me because they “know” that I am seeing black. Black is really not the absence of color, so I’m quite confused at whoever came up with this loosely worded definition. The absence of color is nothing, and nothing is what I am seeing. It’s really hard to comprehend, because being blind is not like closing your eyes and seeing black. Being completely blind is like nothing that you can truly experience on your own when you’re capability for site is still present. Once, someone presented the argument to me that, because I had never seen anything before, I’m probably seeing black and just don’t know it because I have no concept of color. But during my guide dog training program, I spoke to someone who lost their site around the age of 5. I asked her a question, for which I have never truly been confident in my own answer. I asked her if she had a concept of color, and if she was currently seeing black. She told me that she remembers colors and that she was not seeing black. She explained that it was an absence of all color, a complete nothingness. It was then that I became truly confident in my answer of, “No I do not now, nor did I ever, see black.”
Those are Just a few things I wanted to put out there for people to understand. All these things may not be true for all blind people, but they are all true for me. After all, this is my blog.


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