Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Beautiful Blind Women"

Every week, I check the stats on my blog. I'm always amazed with what queries lead people to my very unique blog. Here's what comes up the most.

"What is it like to be blind?"
"To be blind"
"I hate being blind."

But the one that always catches my attention is this... "beautiful blind woman"

And that query is entered pretty often. Folks from all over the world are using that phrase to search on Google and Yahoo. And most of the time, Google and Yahoo lead those people straight to my blog.

I know why Google and Yahoo grab my blog to appear in the search string. In the description of my blog, I mention blind and beautiful in the same sentence. Yes, I think I'm beautiful! **healthy self esteem**

But here's what I wonder... Who's looking for beautiful, blind women? And why are they looking for them? And the better question is... When they find my blog, do they think they have found a beautiful blind woman? LOL

Just wonddering out loud on my blog... I need to go to bed! It's 4:20 AM.

Please Introduce Yourself

I've noticed that traffic has slowed down here on my blog. It is quite likely that my readers have stopped coming here because I've been so slow to post. I'm sorry about that!!!

I have so much I need to say. So much I want to say... And interestingly enough, most of what I need and want to say, I don't feel I should say it here. That's why the posts have slowed down.

Also, I would like to hear from you more! I hoped that NuVision would be a platform for discussion. But my voice is usually the only one that's heard here.

Of course, I have my regulars that stop in from time to time. Ensayn, Sacredly Breathing, Chi-Chi, Lovebabz, MackDiva, and a few others. I even have a new visitor, who has been so kind to my blog. Thanks Becky!!!

And then there are those that cruise through my spot, but never leave a comment. Please tell me who you are!!! I would love to know what do you think of the blog. Heck, what do you think of me?

So, Montgomery, Vegas, Chicago... Let me hear from you. Introduce yourself!!!

I don't bite. Well, not unless you're a piece of bread or a fine man. LOLOL Carbs and fine men just have that affect on me!

Monday, May 18, 2009

"You can see shapes and colors, right?"

People are often shocked that I cannot see anything at all. Even after I confess to being completely blind, there are some that still cannot wrap their minds around the fact that means I can't see anything.

They ask me:
"You can't see shadows?"
"Can you see colors?"
"You can see a little bit, huh?"
"You're TOTOALLY blind?"
"You can't see anything?!"

Even though I know I will have to continue to answer those questions, sometimes multiple times to the same person, allow me to provide some clarity to anyone that stumbles upon my blog.

I can't see colors, shapes, shadows, figures, artificial light, or sunlight.

I'm as blind as they come!

I guess it's just hard for some people to imagine "seeing nothing". Shucks, it's hard for me to imagine it too.

But it's no imaginary moment for me. This darkness that I've been sentenced to is real, inescapable, and constant. No matter how hard I concentrate, I don't see any flashes of color. No matter how close I hold a flashlight in front of my eye, I only feel the heat. I see nothing. No matter how tight I grip my eyes shut, and then open them again, the scenery doesn't change.

I cannot see. And for me, that means I cannot see anything. I wish I could see something...anything... But so far, wishing hasn't changed what I can see.

So, I don't focus on the darkness that extends from my sick eyes. I focus on the light that is within. And because of that light, I can see something! I see more than the eyes can handle. I see what perfectly functioning eyes cannot see.

I see God!

Angela Braden

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Tunnel

The average person has a 180 degree field of vision that they can access to perceive the world. When I contracted the thievish Glaucoma, my field of vision was the first dimension of my sight to be draped by the black cloth of blindness. The walls began to close in as my peripheral vision departed. If I wanted to see something that was on the side of my face, I would have to turn my head to see it. So, If there was something that I needed to see, but didn’t know it was there, I wouldn’t see it at all.

The loss of my peripheral vision proved to be significant when it was time to play with my neighborhood buddies. Being the average, American, ten-year-old girl, I loved to play outside with my friends. We would play kickball, freeze-tag, dodgeball, and would even have a daily foot or bike race down the middle of our young, suburban street.

When my eye sight began to fade, my play time started losing its zeal and carefree participation. I started avoiding the frequent games of dodgeball that was starting to leave my once quick legs splattered with red and purple splashes of pain. I started getting kicked out of kickball because of my inability to follow the flying blue and red ball when a skilled kicker would catapult it into the sky above our heads. I was always getting tagged in our games of freeze-tag, just because I wouldn’t always be able to detect when the “it” person was running on the side of me.

Although most of my play activities had been impacted by my narrowing vision, there was still one activity I could do well. I could still run or spin the pedals in a good race! When it was time to race, the only thing that mattered to the kid that was racing was the finish line. And the finish line was always in front. Not to the side… But straight ahead… This was not a problem for a girl with tunnel vision. So, when it was time to run or ride in a race, I would quickly volunteer to participate.

One day, the kids and I had agreed to race two bike riders down to the green house, which was about eight houses down from the starting spot. Once we got down to the green house, we were to turn around and head back to the finish line, the original starting spot.

I was ready! I jumped on my 10-speed bike and locked my eyes on the green house. The kids screamed go, and my legs started rapidly drawing invisible circles all the way to the green house.

I could hear the kids screaming behind me as I reached the green house. I was the first to make it. I quickly turned my bike around and started heading back to the finish line.

All of the sudden a car turned on our street and was headed right for me. Being the responsible bike rider that I was always trained to be, I quickly shifted my handle bars to drive my speeding bicycle out of the path of the slow driving car. I thought I was in the safety zone until I realized that my speed machine was about to careen into a large industrial van that was parked on the side of the road.

I abruptly squeezed the metal brakes on my shiny handlebar. But it was too late. As the slow driving vehicle passed me, my bike smashed into the back of the van that sat quietly and invisibly on the side of the road.

My small body was knocked off the saddle of the bike; and the wind was knocked out of my body. I lied on the warm cement, staring at the bright red blood that spilled from my right elbow, the dirty van, my damaged bike, and the approaching band of laughing children. By the time the kids made it to me, I was barely breathing. None of them asked if I was okay. “You lost!”, they screamed.

I knew then that life, more specifically, my life had changed. I suddenly realized that this tunnel vision that I heard the doctor say dozens of times really was as dangerous as they described it to be.

I lifted my limp body from the ground, grabbed my bike, and silently walked my bike and unveiled reality back to my sanctuary. I said nothing to the teasing children. I said nothing to myself. I just looked up at the clear sky, and back down to the clean gray street, that now had drippings of my fresh blood.

I left my bike, as well as my visual confidence on the porch and went inside of my house, declaring that would be my last time on my bike. It was…

Angela L. Braden
**Narrative of a Blinding Girl**