Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Three Days to See

Helen Keller was an American author, lecturer and political activist in the late 19th century and early 20th century.  She was also both deaf and blind due to an illness she had at the age of 19 months.  I find her story remarkable.  Helen could not have blossomed without the help of Anne Sullivan, her teacher, who painstakingly brought the deafblind child out of a lonely world of silent darkness.  Thinking about these two inspirational women and the struggles they had to go through motivates me when I'm facing an obstacle.  They really put things into perspective.

Helen wrote a beautiful article describing just what she would do if she was granted sight for three days.  These are the last two paragraphs, the ones that really stick out in my mind:

Perhaps this short outline of how I should spend three days of sight does not agree with the programme you would set for yourself if you knew that you were about to be stricken blind. I am, however, sure that if you actually faced that fate your eyes would open to things you had never seen before, storing up memories for the long night ahead. You would use your eyes as never before. Everything you saw would become dear to you. Your eyes would touch and embrace every object that came within your range of vision. Then, at last, you would really see, and a new world of beauty would open itself before you. 
I who am blind can give one hint to those who see -- one admonition to those who would make full use of the gift of sight: Use your eyes as if tomorrow you would be stricken blind. And the same method can be applied to the other senses. Hear the music of voices, the song of a bird, the mighty strains of an orchestra, as if you would be stricken deaf tomorrow. Touch each object you want to touch as if tomorrow your tactile sense would fail. Smell the perfume of flowers, taste with relish each morsel, as if tomorrow you could never smell and taste again. Make the most of every sense; glory in all the facets of pleasure and beauty which the world reveals to you through the several means of contact which Nature provides. But of all the senses, I am sure that sight must be the most delightful.


Read the rest of 'Three Days to See' here.

Beginning of summer by bellathecat12 on deviantART


On a slightly different note, I found a little something I scribbled at some point:


If I had but a day to live I'd walk barefoot on the beach, reveling in the contrast of course grains of sand pressed up against my feet and the cool licks of salty water at my toes.  I would wrap myself in smooth satin and drink in the scent of strings of jasmine in my hair.  I would turn my face to the warm sun, close my eyes and imagine myself flying, as the sound of the ocean fills my ears. I would hug a kitten, rock a child, and kiss a man.  If I had but a day to live, I'd drive faster than I ever have before, windows down and wind in my hair.  I'd laugh with my family, sip an exquisite cup of coffee, and listen to a conversation among the flute, the shehnai, and the tabla.  If I had but a day to live, I would suck on a strong mint so hard that sharp shocks reach my happy brain, I'd sing at the top of my lungs, and I'd write and write and write.  If I had but a day to live, I'd whisper into the wind, "I'm sorry. And I forgive you."




What would you do if you had only a day left to live, or knew that tomorrow you'd become permanently blind?

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