Search

Stories From the Edge of Blindness

In 2002, Retinitis Pigmentosa changed my life. This is my story of a slow approach to darkness.

Category

exercise

Random Acts

So I wrote the post about my brother, which I needed to do, and afterward, I needed to get out and stretch my legs and my mind and my spirit.  I decided to return to our local hiking spot, thinking that there couldn’t possibly be an incident like the last one.   Continue reading “Random Acts”

Hiking, Hollywood Style

I have been blank lately, the poet who can’t seem to write any new poems. It is incredible how much weight fills up the blank space, how I feel it not only in my mind, but through my limbs and on my skin.  That said, I decided to stretch my legs, go to my usual hiking spot, hopefully leave my head behind.   Continue reading “Hiking, Hollywood Style”

Eating Barbequed Iguana

I fell a few weeks ago, on the sidewalk, while gawking at another new group of hideous town houses that are being built in our neighborhood.  When I fell, I cried, not because it hurt, but because I felt humiliated, broken, slapped in the face yet again by RP.  My depression and self loathing voices took center stage and told me I was useless and really shouldn’t even be outside if I can’t manage to walk a block without falling down and scraping my knees.  I wanted to hide, from the RP and the day and the world.  I wanted to hide from myself, pretend I was graceful, dream I could float.  My sadness turned to anger and I stumbled home, terrified that every step may be the one to send me back into the unwelcome embrace of the pavement. Until very recently, this had been my usual response to falling.
Continue reading “Eating Barbequed Iguana”

Hiking Blind

A friend recently asked me how I manage hiking with limited vision.  I have actually been thinking about writing a post about this since I started hiking again. I thought it might be something other people wondered about as well.  How the hell can a blind woman go hiking?  You have to remember, I am blind but I can see.  It is probably less confusing if I refer to myself as VI (visually impaired), but I am legally blind.
Continue reading “Hiking Blind”

By Your Side

I have been in a bleak place lately.  It is a familiar place, a place of introspection where I can try to figure out what is bringing on the sadness.  I thought it was because of the shit storm of rejections I have been getting, but they were just the cap on feelings that were already dragging me under.  I have been feeling overwhelmed for so long.

After coming to the conclusion that it isn’t the rejections that are pulling me into the clutches of sorrow, I had to stop and breathe and look behind my eyes to see what has been troubling me.  This can, at times, be a herculean task, as I seem to be troubled far too often, and it is never just one thing. But, I have become good at peeling away the layers, seeing what lurks beneath.
Continue reading “By Your Side”

Hiking With Dogs (A Rant)

There is a popular hiking spot near my apartment.  It is a walk up into the Hollywood Hills and then about 2 more miles up a path that has been carved into the mountain.  There are a lot of beautiful hiking spots in L.A.. This isn’t one of them.  But, it is a good work out and it’s free and it  doesn’t require a car to get there (which means I can go on my own), so yesterday I decided to hike instead of getting Pinkberry.  It was a hot day.  Really hot.

Runyon Canyon consists of a paved trail on one side, man-made step like things on the other, about 3 trees and no shade.  There is no respite from the heat when you are up there and the higher you climb the hotter it gets.  So, why the fuck do people bring their dogs?  Obviously, this is something that upsets me.
Continue reading “Hiking With Dogs (A Rant)”

Defeated

I have been feeling incredibly defeated since a recent family gathering. Defeated by my inadequacies, by my failing sight and my 40 extra pounds.  I have been abandoning myself, night after night, to the comforts of Cabernet and waiting to feel a sparkle again, or at least a bit of a shimmer. Today is not that day.

I was working out at home this afternoon, like I do most days of the week.  I have a dance DVD that I particularly like and after some kickboxing, I decided to get my groove on a bit with the dance workout.  During the first segment, I did a bit of a spastic leap, landed strangely, twisted my ankle and fell.  I just sat there on the floor, sobbing and dissolving into waves of self loathing.  I felt so broken.  I felt like a failure; an uncoordinated, over weight failure.

I was devastated to discover yet another thing that I would never be very good at or that I would have to take extra care doing because of the damn RP.  I know it sounds like I have a bit of a fatalistic attitude, but I arrived at this injury already feeling so broken and useless that it didn’t take much to send me over an emotional edge. Most of the time, I do maneuver through my disease with a certain amount of strength and a refusal to let it beat me, but sometimes the reminders of how RP makes me vulnerable feel like too much to bear.

For a fleeting moment, while I was dancing, I felt free from myself and from my blindness.  I let my guard down and felt a clarity of body and motion and then I stepped off into the abyss that is my deteriorating vision, slammed back into the reality of my disease and crashed to the ground.  I had forgotten for a moment that I can’t just dance without thinking of the constant threat presented by obstacles that seemingly pop up out of nowhere.  I can’t be free in my body because my motion is chained to my blindness.

I know that this is how I feel just in this moment and how I will probably feel the next time I fall.  But, I will also remember those fleeting seconds when I was dancing and I felt free.  It is that feeling of freedom that will lead me to brush the tears of defeat from my cheeks and to dance again.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑