Once I met a man who couldn't see. I looked at him, but he did not look at me. I curiously wondered what was on his mind, while my silence slithered between us like a monster ready to pounce. He looked about and then towards me.
I ask him boldly. "How are you today?" I felt a bit nervous. Why? I don't know. But I felt that he sinced it.
He smiled and said. "Oh is it day? I hadn't noticed. He laughed a joyful laugh, and with those words it was the beginning, a new friend we'd both made.
"You son, are a bit like I used to be, the difference is that now I can't see. You wonder about, a bit unprepared. And go through life hoping every day will bring about a new kind of thrill in your life. When all in all you just have to tune in to the amazing life you already have."
For a minute I was uneasy, and thought 'what a bore he must to so many around him.' But something made me look deeper at him. As I no recall, it might have been his rich raspy voice.
"Son, you look for new things in life to grab your fancy, am I right? Such as new games, and new toys? Games and toys are fine, but they take from you sometimes (to much) of your precious time." He said, as he swished his cane near his feet. I looked at him, as his smile faded and a seriousness came over him. As if he recalled something in his past that a memory grasped his reality and he faded for a moment away.
I waited patiently for his next few words even though he was a bit sad I thought. And part of me wanted to avoid his next words.
"You see son life is not something that will just happen one day when you obtain what ever it is your looking for. It is here, and it is now." He said as he motioned his hands and dropped his cane. He reached for his cane. I expected for him to get up to walk away, but he just sit there in front of me that day. I could not fathem what he was getting at. Was he miniser I thought. "Do what?" I relplied. I shruged my shoulders slightly, even knowing he could not hear my shoulders move. He could hear only my down trod tone of voice. He began tapping his came upon the ground and looked my way. So loudy it sounded, and so sudden. I jumped. Tap.....tap......tap....tap..tap..tap, faster and faster he tapped it. His face solumn. It echoed in my ears.
"Do you hear the music coming from my cane?" He asked plainly.
I replied swiftly. "I hear sir the tapping of your cane
upon the cold cement. There is no music."
"But boy, don't you hear the music all around, like it has captured me." He began to giggle. I watched as he snapped his fingers, and tapped his cane.
At first I thought the had went insane. Then he pointed into the direction of the rickety old building in the distance. Plainly I heard the winds tossing the loose upstairs door and on occasion it would slam. Bam--bam--de--bam, bam--bam de--bam--d--bam. Then he pointed to the trees above, as the wind whistled slowly through the leaves.
"Russssh, russssh! Ba--d--bam--russssh russssh--bam--de-- bam.... was the sound.
Slower he began to tap his cane. 'Tap......tap......tap went his cane. Bam--de--bam bang went the door, Russssh, went the leaves.
Then he looked my way again and pointed to the his chest and went...Clunk...cla...clunk...cla...clunk as if he could so loudly hear his own heart beating. Then again he pointed his cane...and said and hit the bench he sat in.... tik a tack..tik..a..tack. Then as the bent rimmed bicycle in the distance made a famliar noise.
Soon I cold see what this old man ment. He could not see but he know what was all around by the sounds. And to him it formed a new kind of song.
"You see son, what you hear is the sound of the soul, as this minute you live life for what ever you can pull from it. To grasp each minute, as if it were your last and saver all that is around you, and just have a blast."
This man was older than I, maybe twenty three. But suddenly I realized since he had lost his sight in the war, well he had lifed a life much fuller than mine. That was years ago, and now I think of him often when I hear the wind through the trees, or a rickety bicyble, and I rejoyce and take a deep breath and realize just how precious moment to moment is. It may seem insaned, but that day I learn to see life through the eyes of a blind man.
Linda Bates Terrell
March 12, 2011
September 9, 2011