If I talk to you about reading you would probably assume that I am talking about reading words and letters in a recognised language - However, in this case nothing could be further from the truth. I am talking about reading situations and people in ways which we usually take for granted - until we attempt to explain them to other people.
You could say that I had a rather unexpected and unique experience last Friday. Someone proved to me that I am not as crazy as I am sometimes led to believe I am.
I suppose I had better start at the beginning?
A few months ago I was talking to a lady I went to school with and I told her that I wanted someone to take some photographs which would show the rest of the population the world as I see it without my glasses on.
She told her one of her sons, who in turn told his photography lecturer. Photography lecturer got in touch with me. We met up and had a chat and decided to embark on what is probably the craziest project he (the lecturer) has ever done.
Have you ever tried explaining something you live with every day - to someone with zero experience of it - in such a way that they can translate your experiences into something people can understand???
In my case it is not as easy as finding things which other people can easily relate to - mainly because there are very few equivalents.
I suppose that is why I do not consider myself to be disabled - instead I consider every new person who enters my orbit to be the disabled one. After all, I have had a lifetime's experience of things like flesh-coloured clouds merging into a variety of colours, looking with my feet to decide where the edges of steps are, hearing descriptions of people which make identifying them quickly nearly impossible, etc. They don't.
I have been let loose with my own camera so I can give the other person in this project a bit of a taster of what I can and cannot see with and without my glasses on.
I have been fascinated by the ease with which they seem to have submerged themself into my "world" and learned some of my tricks (almost without being told what they are).
I must admit to having been a little apprehensive when I initially found out that I was dealing with another Brainiac - I thought I was going to get steamrollered over every time I made a suggestion or attempted to explain something.
Instead the person I am working with has not only listened with their ears - they have listened with their eyes and their brain - coming up with ideas I had never even thought of.
We are only near the beginning still but - as this project goes on I hope to share some of the ideas we come up with with you.
I want to leave you with one thought.
There are many versions of reality - just like there are many people in the world. Don't get so absorbed in your version of reality that you miss the chance to help those people who are struggling with their version. By helping them through theirs you may find an easier way through yours.
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