When I started writing my blog, it was going to be a story solely about blindness, but as the years have progressed, I have discovered that the story of my blindness is the part that weaves itself into the whole, but isn’t the only thread that gives meaning. With this realization my blog has become about a life with blindness, rather than a life of blindness. Blindness makes my life more challenging, but it isn’t all of me; it often decides my fate, but it doesn’t define me. It leads me to places I never imagined and to the rediscovery of places I had thought forever lost. Blindness has brought friendships and community into my life in such fulfilling and sustaining ways, and it has allowed me to work through things I believed insurmountable. But there is one battle I just can’t seem to win, the battle of Zelda.
If you are acquainted with my blog, then you may remember Zelda, the thorn in my eye who I tried to see as a savior, but let’s just say it was a struggle to get clarity, and continues to be a struggle. For those of you who don’t know or remember her, Zelda is my white cane. I wrote a whole series of posts about my early days with Zelda during my O&M lessons, if you are interested in reading a bit about her background.
So, forward almost three years, and the truth is that Zelda has rarely seen the light of day. It’s sad really, given that she was supposed to bring some light into my hands and help guide my way over the precarious streets in this city of questionable angels, but I just can’t make peace with her, no matter how many times I trip or fall, no matter how clear it is that I need her.
I stashed her at the bottom of a bag, which I put in another bag, which I put at the back of a high shelf in my closet, in an attempt to forget about her, but the bruises seem to fade much more slowly as I get older, sitting on my skin as a reminder that I am not safe. My husband will periodically mention Zelda, ask where she is and if I might try her out again. I know he worries about me. I tell him I don’t want to be the blind wife. I don’t want him to feel ashamed or embarrassed. I tell him I wish I could be less broken, feel more like a partner and less like a burden.
I do recognize that I need Zelda, so I started to think about what it is that bothers me about her. The reasons are many and complicated, but one tangible thing is that I find her to be way too tall. So, I decided to try out some shorter canes. I am just over five feet tall, and although my O&M teacher was a fan of a taller cane, I never felt comfortable with Zelda’s height. So, enter into the picture, Persephone of medium height, and Maud who is short and round, just like me. I don’t know if the shorter canes will help me feel more comfortable, but I do know that I have to try something. The thing is, the virus took over just when they arrived, and now we are all at home together for the foreseeable future. When the stay at home order is lifted, I just might go outside and give them a whirl.