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September 8, 2007

disABILITY: Perception, not sight, important in life


Enough about technical stuff, though, what about seeing the pleasurable things in life?

I do miss some things, such as seeing the fireworks and the colorful sunsets.

I find, though, that on the Fourth of July, I don’t sit around pining away about the fact I can’t see the fireworks. I really enjoyed them when I could see them, but now that I can’t see them, they’ve sort of slipped off to take a back seat to things that interest me even more nowadays.

Things such as the outdoors and nature still do interest me, but I don’t get my kicks out of watching a sunrise or a sunset. Instead, I find my interests have moved on to learning more about the birds I hear, as well as digging around in the dirt. You’d think I was a little kid again or something!

So, whether you’re sighted or blind, it doesn’t much matter, life is still a rich thing to experience either way. I might add, also, that experiences have nothing to do with 20/20 vision. They aren’t seen, they are perceived. And, thankfully, perception is a universal kind of "vision." It requires nothing more than your ability to be living, breathing and have neural messages capable of running from body to brain and back.

Kate Pavlacka, a graduate of the State University College at Oneonta, has been totally blind for 11 years.

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