Blind for one day (1 of 2)



In my field, if one has to get hurt, then I guess one of the best ways is to suffer from book-related injuries. The other night I accidentally poked my left eye with a book (The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards). All 405 pages of content hit me by way of a corner of the book, causing a large scratch on my cornea.

I covered my right eye so it could keep my left eye company, to minimise the pain the latter felt, both physically and emotionally. Therefore I was blind for one day. Just one day, but it was a curious experience. It reminds me of the song Love Changes Everything: “Days are longer, words mean more; pain is deeper than before; and suddenly all our wisdom disappears.”

Being blind reduced my data output via paper and keyboard. It also kept me from absorbing information visually, so I had to rely on sound. In this way, it is amazing how words stand out in news reports and TV shows, gaining more substance and weight, becoming solid and independent against music and other sound effects in the background. The dramatic impact of words is acute, particularly when they are conveyed by voices that are keenly aware of their power. Professional voices are calm, decisive and emphatic, winning your trust and giving you hope. You know the story is in good hands.

It reminds me of the silver-haired lady sitting next ti me on the train a week ago, who audibly read through pages of her bible while those around her faithfully worshipped their mobile phones. This experience is unique because at that moment I was reading a disturbing book (Deadly Australian Women by Kay Saunders) and this lady’s voice, low but clear against people’s rambling and the train’s rumbling, was surprisingly peaceful and soothing. It created its own world, an internal dimension full of sunlight, and some of that light had seeped out and kept me warm on that train. Words, as sound, have that power.

Indeed, although I was only blind for one day, it convinces me that listening to words can be truly wonderful if you abandon the use of all other senses. Just listen to the words in complete darkness, with your eyes closed, doing absolutely nothing else and letting yourself sink into the sound. Then you will feel that power.

Image thanks to: “I tried being blind for one day and this is what it felt like“, Youth Connect.


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