Archive | April, 2015

When Spring Comes

20 Apr

by Valerie Moreno

I rejoice when Spring comes,

after so long a time

needing rebirth and light.


Sounds of singing birds,

sweet scent of lilac and rose

assure me life begins again.


Flashes of grief come

when I recall blue sky and greenery

I only know now in memory.


Still, in dreams, I see the vibrance

my brain hasn’t forgotten

like my silent eyes.

Valerie Moreno is 59 and a published writer. She writes poetry, memoir, fiction and articles. Her eye disease is ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity.  Some favorite hobbies include reading, raised line drawing, music and singing.


Saying Yes When Destiny Calls

12 Apr

by Maribel Steel

Once upon a time, in a land far away, I sometimes felt like a Cinderella, busy with home duties and leaving my hobbies to last. I scurried out the door once a week to sing in a choir and returned home quietly to resume motherly duties. Then one day, destiny called…

“I know this is very short notice,” said the choir director over the phone, “but do you think you could learn the lyrics of a song by tomorrow night? The lass who was supposed to sing a duet in our concert has succumbed to laryngitis.”

My brain buzzed with the thought – learn an entire song by tomorrow night?

The director persisted, “Do you think it’s possible? I don’t want to put you under pressure.”

I was delighted to have been asked, yet terrified to commit. It would be my first duet performance in public. The thought took me to the edge of my comfort zone, feeling a sudden mixture of exhilaration and fear.

“What’s the song?”

Perhaps Love by John Denver. Do you know it?

I had heard of it but didn’t know the lyrics. I silenced the voice of fear and replied, “Easy. I’ll do it.”

The choir director recited the verses over the phone while I scribbled frantically.

It was only after the call that my fearful voice returned: you idiot! What if you fail?

All the next day, while cleaning the house, hanging out washing and cooking for the family, I sang the verses over and over again. In the evening, Cinderella arrived for Opening night to prepare back stage and to be fitted out in a cobalt-blue ball-gown and long white gloves. Choristers fussed about, wishing me the strange good luck chant, “break a leg”.

I heard the sound of audience clapping. My palms sweated in the heat of excitement – what if I forget my lines? I tried to compose my thoughts and ignore the terrible dryness creeping into my throat. I’m going to stuff up, I never should have said ‘yes’…

My singing partner stepped closer and beamed at me. “We’re on”. He gestured for permission to hold my white gloved hand and accepting his lead, we strolled to the spotlight on centre stage. we played our part, calm and relaxed, even though the sound of my rapid heart-beat was thumping wildly in my ears.

He held my hand throughout our ballad, giving me a reassuring squeeze every now and then that triggered genuine smiles between us. As I let go of my fear, I relaxed into the experience and began to feel light and happy – I was enjoying the spotlight.

Alas, our ballad was over in a flash, just as I was beginning to get comfortable and felt I could stay to sing a second song. My partner bowed and I returned my gratitude with a demure curtsey and off stage we sauntered.

Flushed with success, praises and hugs were showered towards us by the other choristers.

I was trembling with happiness. I had triumphed over fear and I knew, if asked again to sing centre-stage, I would say ‘yes’.

The moral of this story is…when we face our fears to accept the hand of destiny, we allow the experience to place us centre stage of our gifts without having to ‘break a leg’ to get there.

Maribel Steel is the mother of four, an author, blogger, inspirational speakerand peer advisor for VisionAware (AFB). She lives in Melbourne, Australia and has Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). She has been published in several print journals in Australia and has contributed over forty guest posts for overseas blogs. To learn more about her philosophy in ‘The ART of Being Blind’ visit:



Someone to Love

6 Apr

by David Flament

I had an interesting thought on my commute to work this morning.  What is it that Freddie Mercury said, “Can anybody find me someone to love?”  As the lyrics to that Queen song ran through my head, I put some serious thought into it.  After all we all do need someone to love.  For some, love is as easy as breathing.  For others like me, it is a lifelong struggle.

Why is it that for some they can meet someone and just fall in love and for others it is so difficult?  I have reached middle age never having been married and only having been in a few serious relationships.  Of course, part of it may be that it has to be the right person.  I do not mean the perfect person, but at least someone that you have the right chemistry with.  You know, someone that moves you.  Perhaps for some there are plenty of people that make them feel that way.  For me, it does not seem to be that many.

For those with a disability, how much does that impact our search?  With vision loss we may not be able to just go to a singles bar and meet someone, and what are your chances of finding Mr. or Miss Right at a singles bar anyway?  Much of meeting someone seems to be done with non-verbal communication.  You know those signals people send showing their interest and availability.  Well, depending on your level of vision loss you may not be able to pick up those signals.

Finally, I do believe in the old saying there is someone out there for everyone.  I am just wondering if everyone manages to find that someone.   What do you think?

David Flament is the lead instructor for all training classes and workshops on adaptive technology at Second Sense blind service organization.  “I love technology and want to share my passion — working with our clients is the most rewarding part of my job.”  David’s teaching philosophy follows an old Chinese proverb: “Teachers open the door. You enter by yourself.” He will do his best to help students understand the materials and he expects them to do their best to learn.  David has a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master of Science in Computer Science from Northeastern Illinois University.

Easter 1961

3 Apr

by Nancy Scott

St. Anthony’s was too hot

with all those holiday bodies

breathing out secret sins–

the ones not atoned since Christmas.

Communion meant no

Easter candy or breakfast

till after.


The pew spun

and I sank into 8-year-old dreams

of chocolate peanut-butter.

I revived to my mother’s whisper,

“Don’t worry.

She does this often.”

But we left before dipped wafers.


Still pale, I worried the slow

walk home till

I had to ask,

“I can eat Easter candy

now, can’t I?”

Nancy Scott, Easton, PA, is a blind essayist and poet.  Her over 600 bylines have appeared in magazines, literary journals, anthologies and newspapers, and as audio commentaries. An essayist and poet, she has published three chapbooks. She won First Prize in the 2009 International Onkyo Braille Essay Contest. Recent work appears in Breath and Shadow, Contemporary Haibun Online, and Stone Voices.poetry