Friday, September 11, 2009

Dialogue in the Dark.

Ben and I got free tickets to go to Dialogue in the Dark in Atlanta, and discovered what it felt like to be totally blind for one hour of our lives. We went through a series of rooms, each portraying a common venue: one was a grocery store.Dependent only on our hearing, sense of balance, touch,smell, and our white canes, which we had been taught how to use...and our beloved guide who we came to trust more than any of us had probably trusted any stranger in our lives.

A group of 8 of us were led through a series of what seemed like winding paths, but I'll never know because my sense of direction was gone except for left and right. Walls were comforting! We tried to listen for others voices so that we didn't run into them, was like "Keep talking so I know where you are!" Ben and I kept grabbing on to each other, we hoped! Once, the little poop says "Excuse me, ma'am!" in a deep voice as I grabbed an elbow and said "Is that you?" I could have died as other's laughed. It was kind of funny.

In the "store" our guide asked if we could tell where we were, as he did in each room. Shuffling with our canes and feeling out with our hands to try to grab on to something familiar, hopefully not another person, we picked up apples, onions, lemons, cans of food, and what one man described as what he "hoped was a carrot"! And each time the guide led us through the next door.

At this point, I was getting tired of not being able to see. I wanted to say, "Somebody turn on the lights!", but knew we weren't done. The end was the most surprising. Our guide was totally blind, and answered any questions we had about blindness. We, who take for granted our sight, were dependent upon a man who had none.

I've been through little "empathy" sessions before. We put vasoline on our glasses and got around in wheelchairs in a nursing home to sympathize with the plight of the old. But we weren't dependent on them. We didn't "look" to them for help.

Way too cool.


mommy~dearest said...

Wow. That sounds like such an awesome experience.

Mrs. C said...

Very cool.

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