This has been a monumentally good week for me in regard to my vision. Finding out that I will likely maintain enough sight to be able to read and write and see the faces of those I love, has altered my path and left me feeling immense gratitude. I have allowed myself to feel genuinely happy about this, which isn’t something I always do. However, I am also left reflecting on how RP has and will always impact my life.
I have spent so many years on the edge of blindness, agonizing about living in this confusing place between being sighted and being blind. I have held my breath in anticipation of being pulled from the precipice by inevitable darkness. I have been on a wire, balancing precariously, waiting. Now, knowing that I may never go completely blind, I am elated, but still on the wire, still faced with the confusions that come with being partially sighted. I had resigned myself to the future I thought RP had in store for me, but now I have to figure out how to settle onto this weird middle ground, how to resign myself to the fact that I may always reside on the edge of blindness.
I am, of course, grateful for the vision I maintain, but living in what I have called the “purgatory of sight”, comes with its own set of challenges. I am not a religious person by any means, but from what I have read, purgatory seems like a pretty fucked up place to be. It is neither here nor there. It is nowhere and nothing. It is a place of invisibility, which does not hold the cool factor of a cloak of invisibility, because you can’t take it off when you feel like being part of the clear and whole picture. There is a picture and I can see it, but it will never be clear and it will never be whole. I feel stuck, trapped, truncated. But, this isn’t new. This has been my reality for years. What’s different is that I have been given a choice I didn’t know I had a week ago. I can choose to focus on the good fortune of the sight I still have and may have for the rest of my life.
The landscape in front of me has at once changed and stayed the same. I still have RP. I am still blind and the reality of my brand of blindness is incredibly confusing. I am still on the edge, but perhaps it is where I have always been, long before RP came into my life. It is a crazy view from where I stand, but it is the view that gives me the words that I write and see on the page. I can see the words on the page. I will be able to see the words on the page tomorrow and maybe for the rest of my life. I don’t take this lightly. I am so incredibly lucky.