Archive | November, 2012

Use Your Love to See

27 Nov

by Stella De Genova

Love makes the world go ‘round . . .

Love is all you need . . .

I believe in love . . .

Love is blind.

Wait a minute, that’s not right.  Love is not blind.  Sometimes we want something so badly that we delude ourselves and that is what blinds us.  But just breathe and there is love to be felt and seen everywhere.  Love is vision – true, unconditional love is vision.  Actually, love is all of our senses. Love can’t be searched for, acquired or captured because we already possess it.  I no longer look for love with my eyes.  There is joy.  There is pain.  There is reward and there is loss.  All of these experiences are shared with those we love and those who love us.  None of these things can be seen with my failing eyes but with my heart:

I can see clearly now.

(This was inspired by Carmela Di Nardo – De Genova: 1/9/26 – 11/25/12.  She was a living lesson of love.)

The Hurricane

24 Nov

by Andrea Kelton

Andrea woke up at the regular time.  But her room was dark.  The house was dark.  She looked out the window at an equally dark world.  Sleepily, she made her way to the kitchen and crawled on her mommy’s lap.  “Good morning, baby” her mommy whispered, nuzzling her close.  “The power is out.  There’s going to be a storm.”

Putting Andrea in her chair, her mommy made breakfast.  No power meant no “Howdy Doody.”No”Romper Room.”  Andrea could only sit in the kitchen and eat her breakfast.  Mommy lit candles and warned Andrea not to touch them.  Mommy put candles around the house.  When Andrea finished eating, she skipped to her mommy’s bedroom.  Where mommy was making the bed.  Andrea climbed in.  She loved it when her mommy made the bed with her in it.  Her mommy was a nurse.  She would pull the corners really tight-like she did in the hospital.  Bed made, mommy told Andrea “now you’re snug as a bug in a rug.”  Andrea lay wrapped in love until her four year old self grew restless.

She squeezed out of bed.  Brushed her teeth and dressed.  Loud, banging outside the front of the house drew her back to mommy’s bedroom.  She dragged mommy’s vanity bench over to the window.  Garbage cans crashed and flew down the street.  Strong winds bullied the old, tall trees. The branches shook violently.  Then they were forced to bend over and touch the ground.

Big rain blobs joined the wind.  Water danced to the left.  Shifted to the right. Suddenly smashed against the house. Beating the window like a drum. Fireworks lit the sky.  Lightning turned the world ghostly white.  Thunder exploded.  The house and windows groaned.

 

Mommy scooped Andrea up and moved her to the safer interior.  Andrea played.  Mommy read stories. The hurricane lasted FOREVER.  Mommy couldn’t use the electric stove.  She couldn’t call daddy at the Coast Guard base.  Andrea turned cranky, hungry and cold.

Finally, the rain stopped.  Mommy said they were going to “venture out” and “try to find a hot meal.”  They didn’t get far.  The New London, Connecticut, streets were littered with fallen trees.  Andrea saw heaps of lumber where buildings once stood.  No stores were open.  Mommy turned for home.

As mommy snaked the car down their dead end road, a neighbor came out.  Andrea liked theelderly woman.  The grandmother often invitedher over for cookies and milk.  Sometimes, she even entertained her by taking out her teeth.  “Do you have power?” she asked.  When mommy answered “No” the invitation was extended once again.  Grandma had a gas stove.

She heated up a can of Campbell’s Cream of Tomato soup.  Yummy soup warmed Andrea’s tummy and toes.  A satisfied child thanked her neighbor.  It was “Mmm Mmm GOOD!”

Andrea Kelton was diagnosed with uveitis in 1974.  She teaches Adult Basic Education at Literacy Chicago.  Andrea has attended a memoir writing class “Me, Myself and I” taught by author, Beth Finke.

The Braille Lesson

16 Nov

by Paul Hostovsky

The letters were all locked up in the Braille cell
calling to her in one voice as she passed her index
over them. It was her first day, her first lesson.
How could they possibly fit in there, she asked him,
and how would she ever learn to tell them apart
without a pencil sharpener for her finger? She laughed
as she said this, and her laughter touched something in him
that needed to be touched. He suggested she try
touching the letters to her lips, because her lips
knew better, and could feel what her fingers could not,
not yet, being a beginner. Then he took a deep breath
as she held the white page up to her face, so it looked
like she was reading with her eyes, but really she was
reading with her lips. And yes, she could feel the dots
better that way, she said, and continued grazing them
with her imperceptibly pursed lips—not kissing them
exactly, just grazing them with her mouth, the way lovers
do between kisses. And although his lips would never
find her lips, her finger did eventually learn all the letters
and contractions by heart. And to this day it still
sometimes returns to her lips, to tap there abstractedly,
as though thinking of him. Or so he likes to think.

 

Paul Hostovsky is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Hurt Into Beauty (2012, FutureCycle Press). His poems have won a Pushcart Prize and two Best of the Net Awards. He makes his living in Boston as a Braille Instructor and Sign Language Interpreter. To read more of his work, visit him at http://www.paulhostovsky.com

The Copper Bowl

8 Nov

by Mani G. Iyer

If it weren’t for the stumps
of his hands,
occasionally swatting those
irritable flies, and
the copper bowl
in the center
of his squatted presence,
you could easily mistake him, for
a heap of dead human flesh. 
The creased bowl was always filled
with the grace of
human beings, and
he acknowledged them
with a twitch of a smile,
perhaps painful,
due to unrelenting nerves, and
his hands, that failed to meet,
raised in gratitude. 
You could never see his legs
beyond the cracked bowl, for
he had none, and
you wondered how
he conducted life’s daily rituals
on a roller board, and
appear like clockwork
for years, at the same
latitude and longitude. 
Nobody knows what became of him
when his abode of the street corner
near a temple,
was disinfected, and
there was no sign
of his defiance, nor
his  life-sustaining bowl, and
the once stubborn flies
left, no tombstone. 

Mani G. Iyer was born and raised in Bombay, India and has lived in the United States since 1985.  He is deaf-blind due to Usher Syndrome Type 2.  He became deaf by the age of 4, night-blind by the age of 12, and now has very little usable vision.  Writing poetry has been a creative outlet for him since the age of 18.

(Every so often, I like to re-post one of my favorite pieces submitted to Vision Through Words.  We have been lucky to have so many talented writers contribute t the blog.  Thank you!)

Article to Share

3 Nov

by Stella De Genova

ThI was interviewed for Columbia College of Chicago’s news publication.  The article talks about a lot of cool things that artists with disabilities are doing.  Take a look at: http://columbiachronicle.com/artist-disabilities/  There is inspiration to be found everywhere.