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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

LEARNING TO SEE: POST OP MUSINGS

I've just come back after having undergone major eye surgery to my right eye (my only remaining 'good' eye) which was a complete success. Now I can see again and read for a few minutes. However, I feel that relearning to see after three years of being legally blind is not an easy task. I will have to deal with more and more visual information that I had forgotten existed.

However, I will not be talking about these things today. I will be talking about the importance of value and difference. It would be the act of a coward to put my past as a blind person under the carpet. I mean the frustration of not being able to exert my freedom and choices. True, I still remain physically impaired, and blind in one eye. But then what?

As a disability activist, I feel that I cannot truly say that my blindness or lack of mobility was ever the problem. But in a society that sees us through the lenses of hospital visitors, we may come across as pathetic and sad. And although there may be times when we had a bad day, it's not the whole story.

Yet, for people our reality remains unnatural and asocial. I don't like it when they say that the life of a person who cannot hear, cannot see, cannot walk or takes longer to understand is a sad one. Or even a waste of life or as the Nazis put 'lives not worth living'.

That said, my life will surely change now. But I want the blind friends I made to remain there. To remind me how society negates their existence by not accounting for them. And by both being very compassionate and yet denying their and our value as people.

There's a lot that is passing through my mind right now. But I think that we should start discovering that our life is not something that can be modeled on a fancy idea called perfection. Our life is of value and has value in society. But unless the structures change, it's doubtful people will change. For where will they see us most often? In hospital, for example, when we're at our worst form.

On that note, I close and rest a bit as tomorrow should be another long day. No, I'm not going off to sleep just yet but I need a rest for sure.

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