Copyright 2016 Ian Hochberg
While I was volunteering at a theatre recently, I noticed a married couple. Two women. Both are blind.
I was intently observing how they read their Braille programs,
and realized how uniformly I, as a sighted person, read a book, a magazine, a letter or an email. All these journals remain stationary before me as my eyes scan symbols that create messages.
Meanwhile, these women held their programs in ever changing postures that were easiest for them while they read the raised words through their fingertips. The bound pages laid across a torso like an accordion, on a leg or supported in any other manner that was most comfortable. They had no image of ink on paper to interpret. What mattered was to decipher the tactile blind alphabet.
So now I ask:
If blind from birth with no visual reference, how does a blind person attend a film or theatre and imagine the experience presented, aside from a visual interpreter?
What is the nature of attraction between two people who can’t see each other, when so much of love is based on visual stimulation in the sighted world?
What is it that the blind can sense in another’s presence, voice and touch that creates a safe home for love, as with these two women?
What can I, engaged in all my senses, learn from the blind, that I may be missing?