Mike's Journal

“[E]excuse me, I just got my sight back last week after being totally blind for 43 years. Could you help me figure out what I am seeing?” — Mike MayMike’s Journal (Sendero Group)

A fascinating excerpt:

I found it very distracting to look at people’s faces when I was having a conversation. I can see their lips moving, eye lashes flickering, head nodding and hands gesturing. First, I tried looking down and if it was a woman, a low cut top would be even more distracting. It was easiest to close my eyes or tune out the visual input. This was necessary often in order to pay attention to what they were saying. I am sure there will come a time when all this visual communication will mean more to me but for now it is just distracting.

May’s description of the visual component of music (via a marching band), his musings on a game of catch, and his new reaction to the previously meaningless pleasantry “Nice to see you” are all quite interesting. Another fascinating passage:

When I noticed dark patches behind me, it didn’t register right away that these were my footprints. I never thought of footprints as images other than when reading about them in an old west novel. To me, they were the thump; pivot push and the texture of the sand on my foot not dark splotches following me around like a shadow.

The reflections on the site are organized the old-fashioned way — chronologically, not reverse-chron like a weblog. I’m so used to coming into online stories in media res that I felt a bit… insulted? by the clinical introduction that tells me what I’m about to read. It’s not a criticism of the site (though it is too long to read online in one sitting — I jumped to the end after I was about a quarter through); rather, it’s an observation about my own perception of the world (or at least, of online texts).