Thursday, October 13, 2011

scanning with her white

scanning with her white
cane, touching walls with finger
tips, the blind lady
finds her way through the darkness
surrounded by light

She can feel the warmth of the autumn sun on her face but her eyes cannot see what the light illuminates. The blind lady inches her way along, guided by feedback from the tip of her long, white cane and the tips of her fingers. Sometimes a friendly arm helps her cross a street before the light changes. As she gropes her way along the buildings, a man who rides around town with an American flag on his bike pulls up behind her and leans his bike against the brick wall. While she navigates the open space of the entrance to the Bargain Box, he stops to warn her that there is another bike parked ahead of her. Even though she can't see him, she turns to face him, focusing on his voice. 
          Perhaps she is like Jacques Lusseyran, the blind World War II French resistance leader. In his autobiography, And There Was Light, he says, "Blindness heightens certain sensations, giving sudden and often disturbing sharpness to the senses of hearing and touch. But, most of all, like a drug, it develops inner as against outer experience, and sometimes to excess." Lusseyran had an uncanny ability to sense a person's character and even to perceive the outer world in great detail. Most remarkably, Lusseyran reports that his inner experience is not one of darkness but light, all light.

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