Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Blind Eyes

Blind Eyes

A person or animal born without eyes cannot see.


A person who cannot see, who never has seen, can’t imagine what sight is; or what is a scene; or how he looks; or what, “looks,” refers to; or how somebody, “looks,” different, or similar, or uncannily alike; or, how a snow-capped mountain looks when compared to a breezeless bay; or a busy garden on a bright summer morning with a hummingbird doing his business looks so vastly different from the exact same scene in the same place at the exact same angle on the exact same day, but after the sun disappears, and before the crickets tune their instruments.

(More complicated.).

The unseeing miss out on all that, we think, at least I think. I don’t know what you think. You maybe think that the unseeing don’t miss anything, because they can’t imagine what you’re talking about. I’ve tried thinking that, but my brain keeps snapping back to, “The unseeing miss out on…”

I fail to, “see,” that the unseeing aren’t missing out on anything. I can say it. I just did. But I can’t, “see,” it.

“Helped,” by the sighted, who try desperately to make sense where no sense can be had, literally because there isn’t any, the unseeing try to placate the sighted by making the sounds of thunder look foreboding, or trickling water appear gentle, or a garbage truck look useful; or the texture of a tree trunk, or the crackling of a campfire, or the playing of a flute, “look like,” what the sighted say it looks like.
The unseeing frustrate the sighted, because they want to know, first, what the word, “look,” means.

“Look,” is never going to be in their vocabulary. It is not of any use to them, and belongs in a tin box alongside panorama, vista and throng, as in, “a throng of people as far as eye can see.”

Let us tell you what it looks like, we say.

What is this, “look?” says the blind man. First, what does, “look,” look like. Then we’ll address what, “that,” “looks,” like.

Take another sense. Hearing.

A person or animal (or, who knows, a fish) with hearing equipment of some kind, “hears,” within, or, given the right equipment, even without, its tolerance level, from the vibrations things make in the air around us—or the water—some of it loud and abrasive, some of it sweet and melodious, some of it longing for company, some surprised by the seemingly awful and sudden arbitrary nature of…nature.
“Pfoof,” goes the anteater, catching lunch.

Without that sound, plus whatever chewing the victim hears before his insect heart stops, he scarcely would know he’d been eaten.

A person born with no, “sense,” of sound has no…well…sense of sound. As far as we know, he/she has four senses: sight, touch, smell, and taste. “Sound,” is as strange to her as time travel. In fact, time travel is imaginable to the unhearing. Sound is not.

I remember trying to jot down some of these notions years ago, in fact all the way back to high school, but I don’t recall what I did with them—except in high school—or whether I tried to legitimize them by casting some out of my head and into…well, forgive me…yours.

In high school, I was pretending to be a newspaper columnist, so I wrote them in a paragraph or two and put them in a high school newspaper.

I thought it probably was a hare-brained idea, although some people took it seriously, so I excused myself by thinking that they were hair-brained. I thereafter thought about these nagging questions whenever I thought nobody would catch me at it, or when the rest of my thoughts were too painful to think about anymore.

Now, I don’t know what I’m pretending to be.

My perspective has been pretty handsomely altered.

But the combination of the imaginary world of the movie, “Avatar,” which likely will be my first visit to a movie theater in two years, and the little back-of-the-newspaper photograph published last week captioned: “This picture from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, released yesterday [So, Tuesday, Jan. 05, 2010] shows the deepest image of the universe taken in near-infrared light. The faintest and reddest objects, seen in insets, are galaxies corresponding to about 12.9 billion years to 13.1 billion years ago.”

Given that—that there may be more to life than currently I can handle (I mean, I can handle 12.9 billion years, for instance, but I don’t think 13.1 billion is going to fly in my head)—I decided to revert to my old, high school theory; that since you can be born without sight, and live pretty happily with four senses, just as if you had five, there may be—even must be—more senses than five.

I don’t mean, “a sixth sense,” I mean 27 senses, or 53, or, I don’t know, an infinite number. What the hell, we don’t know, because…because we don’t know. If you’re born without vision, you can’t even imagine what it is.

Maybe we’ll find a use for that 90 per cent of our brain we haven’t tapped yet. Maybe there is a, “Force.” Maybe you can look at, “The Road Not Traveled,” and go back to the fork, like, “Well, that was interesting, but, God, if you don’t mind, I’m going to start over, and travel this road.”

Maybe time bends, maybe the world is upside down, maybe you can translate thought; maybe you can be in Paris by clicking your shoes together.

Maybe anything is possible.

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