30 Mar

by Fred Nikkl

I was riding the elevator down from the Second Sense blind services organization where I volunteer and happened to hear two people discussing the new colors there office was being painted.  Now it has been over fifty years since I have been able to see colors so their interest in the color scheme of their office didn’t hold much interest for me.  Later, it occurred to me that not being interested in color could be considered to be a little strange.  We are surrounded by color wherever we go.  Everyone has an opinion about the colors around them.  Just because I can’t see the colors around me shouldn’t mean they are not of interest to me.  The problem for me is that my memories of color have faded over the years since I have been blind.  What is blue?  For that matter, what do all the colors look like?  My memory of green, for example, conjures up particular memories.  I picture the dress greens I wore in the army.  Of course, that is only one shade of green.  How many others are there?  How can I compare one shade to another when considering the color of my shirt or anything else for that matter?  My color identifier gives a name to everything I try it on but that doesn’t tell me enough about the particular shade the color is. Some blind people only wear certain colors just to be on the safe side but that seems kind of boring to me.  I have been lucky to always have someone to take shopping with me so I have some idea of the colors I am buying.  The problem with that is that everyone has a different idea of how different colors go together.  One person says I look good in a certain shade of blue and the next person says something different.  Maybe there isn’t a definitive answer to the color question.  

I think I will choose a particular shade of blue and use it as a basic color for my color choices. Being a man, this will be a lot easier than if I were a woman!

Fred Nikkl is 69 years old and has fun writing.  e lost his sight when he was a young adult but has never let that stop him from being a good dad, grandfather, friend, advocate for the blind and generally nice guy.  Blindness has also never stopped his love for adventure, including dabbling in writing.  His previously posted story on Vision Through Words called Hope will be appearing on the Magnets and Ladders website for writers with disabilities.


One Response to “Colors”

  1. Donna W. Hill March 31, 2013 at 10:43 AM #

    Fred, We were just having a discussion on this very topic on Stylist, the listserve for NFB’s Writers’ Division. For the first 40 years or so of my life, I had what was considered remarkable color perception for a blind person. I find that, though I don’t restrict myself to only a few colors, I do maintain a certain sensability about color that is somewhat dated. Congratulations on getting your story in Magnets & Ladders.

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