It’s the warmest morning we’ve had in the past month and a half. Both Zoe and I really could use an early morning walk. As I come down the driveway one of my neighbors lets me know it’s very icy. I knew this as soon as I came out of the house, but was grateful to have the cautionary warning.
I’ve decided this morning to forego the standard listening fare of business reports/books in favor of commercial radio. I figure this will allow my mind to wander during the endless stream of commercials for things I don’t need or want. The classic rock station is playing some good music, so I think I’ve struck a good balance between time to ponder and time to just let the morning drift by.
My neighbor is right, it’s quite icy in places, but the warn air makes the occasional dance steps a welcome trade-off. The walk is a good opportunity to reflect on the week.
The song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas comes on the radio. It was popular at a time when I was quite troubled over losing my vision to retinitis pigmentosa (tunnel vision). Listening to the song reminds me of how fleeting things can be: having vision and loosing it, feeling sorry for myself and moving on with my life.
As I walk my mind goes to conversations I’ve had in the last two days. I’ve been working on a project to get blind people more involved in the pursuit of their own independence. In doing the grass-roots portion of this project I’ve talked to a wide variety of people and received a wide variety of responses. Two of these people have contacted me in the past two days just to talk.
On Friday I got a call from a microbiologist who has lost his vision over the past three years. This PhD has published two dozen articles and written a number of chapters for various textbooks. He seemed very interested in the fact I have my own consulting practice, http://www.AffinityByDesign.com/. Our discussion included some of the struggles involved in dealing with vision loss. It was an interesting discussion; as much as I have great respect for the accomplishments this man has achieved, he seems to be equally captivated by the fact I don’t let my blindness get in the way of my goals. There seems to be a great opportunity for mutual benefit here.
On Thursday I got a call from an older woman who wanted some advice on software which would allow her computer to both magnify the screen and talk out loud. From our previous discussions I’ve learned she has done some investing. I am hoping to get her involved in the program I’m developing so she can be a role model for others. As we talked I learned she really wants to do more things for herself. She wants to be able to read her own investment reports and to be able to stay in contact with people by email. This is exactly what I am hoping the program work I’m doing will cultivate.
Reflecting on these conversations brought me back to the start of my walk: sometimes all we need is a friendly voice to remind us to watch out for the slippery spots. I only hope I can be that friendly voice for those who reach out to me. What if the project I’m working on could create a place where hopes and fears, and sharing of gifts came together?