As If


“I who am blind can give one hint to those who see: Use your eyes as if tomorrow you ~would be stricken blind. And the same method can be applied to the other senses. Hear the music of voices, the song of a bird, the mighty strains of an orchestra, as if you would be stricken deaf tomorrow. Touch each object as if tomorrow your tactile sense would fail. Smell the perfume of flowers, taste with relish each morsel, as if tomorrow you could never smell and taste again. Make the most of every sense; glory in the beauty which the world in all the facets of pleasure reveals to you through the several means of contact which Nature provides.”   .~ Helen Keller

The commonly believed myth regarding the loss of hearing or sight is false.  People who are blind or visually impaired are not endowed with a sharper sense of touch, hearing, taste, or smell. To compensate for their loss of vision, many learn to listen more carefully, or remember without taking notes, or increase directional acumen to compensate for their  lack of functional vision. In other words, they pay more attention, using their senses in a more mindful way.  They make choices.

If I am never silent, if I surround myself with the noise of machines and electronic entertainment constantly, I will most likely never hear birdsong or water trickling over rocks. I have the choice to “unplug,”  go outside for even a brief walk in the garden and make the most of my senses, to “relish”, as Helen Keller phrases.

What are some of the ways you practice this?




Do You See?


It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.”  ~ Helen Keller

Today is the birthday of Helen Keller, who could see nothing physically, but who had vision that has blessed many.  She might have held this shell without knowing its color and spots, but knowing in tender touch its roundness, spirals and ridges, the precious point where they ended,  the way it nestled in her palm and told silent stories of the sea.  If we are attentive and tuned to all our senses, we may find new dimensions of beauty in our surroundings.  One way of showing gratitude is by using all the senses I have been given to be aware of the world around me, to have vision beyond sight.