It seems like ages since I have written about blindness. It feels so small, so insignificant compared to what the world is facing, but regardless of its weight in a moment or hour or day, blindness is always with me. Blindness won’t be ignored or cajoled away. It makes everything I do more challenging, and even in this time of global crisis, blindness refuses to sit quietly.
There was an incident recently, on the stairs, that I told Joe is a perfect physical manifestation of how my mind works. I hurt my knee and was walking up the stairs, very slowly, after helping walk the dogs for the first time in a while. I am trying to use my knee to get it back into working shape. I was close to the top of the stairs when it started to give out, so I grabbed the railing for support. My arm is also injured, so when I grabbed the railing, the pain shot through my shoulder and down to my wrist so intensely, I started crying and couldn’t hold on. I was wearing a mask, which is an impediment to my already impaired vision, and breathing heavy with tears, so my sun glasses fogged up and I couldn’t see anything, and then my aging body decided that it was the perfect time for a hot flash. And oh yeah, there is this virus thing that is killing people all over the planet, so I was trying desperately not to touch anything and get to the hand sanitizer so the virus couldn’t get in the house. If this is the physical manifestation of how my mind works, no wonder I am nuts. The truth is that it was painful and terrifying and I felt so incredibly helpless, but it also made me reflect on how lucky I am.
It has been a challenging time, but regardless of whatever challenges I face, I know that I am lucky. I am lucky to have a home to shelter in and an incredible husband to shelter with. I am lucky to be cared for and nursed through the injuries that come from being partially sighted, (and sometimes just clumsy and old). I am lucky to have neighbors who rally together during times of crisis. I am lucky to live in California where our Governor and mayors are doing the work to protect us and stop the spread of the virus. I am lucky to be able to read and write and feel the support of people around the world. I am lucky that people take the time to read what I write, that I have an actual book coming out into the world. I am lucky to have family and friends and so much love in my life. So, yes, I am blind and broken, I am the chaos on the stairs, but I am also incredibly fortunate and grateful.