If I Could See For Just One Day

5 Mar

by Jeff Flodin

Here’s what I would do if I could see again. For one glorious summer day, I’d be a bleacher bum. And play Frisbee at Oak Street Beach.  And get impressed by Impressionists hanging around the Art Institute.  I might paint my bedroom purple.  And ride a sleek red bicycle.  And watch my big, black dog romp in the cool blue surf.

I’d venture into the unfamiliar: down to scuba dive, up in a glider.  I’d find peace in the familiar:  gaze upon the face of my beloved, catch the light in her laughing eyes and see the strength I hear in her voice. 

I like to think that I’d be grateful for one day of vision.  I don’t want to resent it as a miserly expression of someone’s sense of fairness.  I’d prefer to remain gracious.

I’d set aside time to spy on myself. Watch how I do things and figure out how to do things better.  I’ve never seen me as a blind person.  I’m really curious what it looks like to be me, how I put my problem-solving skills to practice. 

If I saw my blind self from a sighted perspective, how would I look?  Pathetic?  Persistent?  I live in a sighted world.  I’d like to know how other people see me.  Maybe I’d understand both sides better.

 I want to think that wishing is not a waste of time, that it does not mean that I am doing a lousy job of accepting life as it is, that I seek only to escape.  I refute the suggestion that to wish for something not likely to occur will only make me sad or bitter or both. 

And when the clock strikes midnight, let me be grateful for what I have.  Let me not resent those who have what I lack.  Let me strive to make better that which I possess.  Let me find peace and bring that peace to others.


Jeff Flodin’s bi-weekly blog, “Jalapenos in the Oatmeal: Digesting Vision Loss,” is posted at The Guild for the Blind’s website (www.guildfortheblind.org, where this essay first appeared.


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