The thing about being visually impaired is that you can’t see very well. I mean not see very well in the ‘usual’ sense. Most visually impaired and blind people I have met are often a lot more insightful, focused and aware then others with their full 180 degrees of vision. They have to be. With a visual impairment it becomes more important to be able to suss voice, intent, energy and potential action of people around you to avoid ..well …potential death lets say, as i don’t want to be too dramatic. (i.e. if you can hear someone screaming and a noise behind them that sounds like a trumpeting insane runaway elephant it pays to have that heightened awareness and a glimmering idea of where to run for safety. )
For me there ar
e two annoying side effects of having no peripheral vision.
1. I have to stare intensely using my 10 degrees of central vision. Staring intently is not most people’s idea of blindness. I also seek and lock eye contact. This can be disturbing to people especially when I stomp over to them at railway stations, peering hard directly at them and then proclaim fearsomely ‘I need help. I can’t see the Signs.’.
Photo (c) T. Bush 2010
2. Things disappear. Usually my bloody magnifiers and magnification specs. Which is ironic. Also cell phones, black marker pens, keys, glasses of gin and tonic, £10 notes and sense of humour. Strangely I can always put my hand on the biros that don’t work that I was sure I flung out last time. Always. I must have a breeding colony of defective biros.
Anyway – I am in Radstock. Here for the week to try and wring out some more words of this bottom heavy thriller. It’s going slowly but at least it’s going. A lovely catch up with a couple of MA friends yesterday assured me that I am not as off kilter as I had thought cartoon from internet
On Skype, Dad now has a fuzz of white hair and is looking a little less translucent. ‘I’m sure it’s grown since yesterday,’ I say reassuringly peering into the screen. His blood counts need to grow faster too though. Those are harder to see from here.
In the evening I wander woozily into my sister’s veggie patches with the watering cans. I stub my toe, drop the can, soak my dress, refill and do it all over again. She has a good load of salad courgettes, tomatoes, herbs and sweet peas, rhubarb, roses, maize and at least one triffid that keeps whacking me from behind the poly tunnel. I am rigorous and steadfast and although have to pluck several bits of twig from my hair and wash off the ants stuck to my cocoa buttered legs I am proud that I have saved the garden from a parched withering.
That night it rains.
image from internet