The Blind Discovery

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is about a blind man who finds light out of his dark situation. This is for all those who are struggling and battling your odds out there...I hope you will be motivated. Initially titled "battling the odds", this was an essay writen for school :)
--Zephyr

P.S. I owe credit to "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens" for certain quotes and ideas.

Submitted: August 26, 2007

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Submitted: August 26, 2007

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  He tapped around aimlessly with the walking stick. He strained his ears. Perhaps about ten metres away, there was a person wearing rubber soled shoes approaching. His footsteps didn't sound too hurried.

  "Would you please tell me which way to go?" Dain called out to the passer-by. That fellow, whoever he was, would surely assist a blind man.

  "Where would you like to go, sir?" the passer-by answered, his voice sounding closer than Dain expected. To Hawk Street, the blind man had wanted to say. The library across the mall.

  "I don't really care," he muttered instead, his mouth speaking without consulting his brain in an impulsive, relentless wave of the self-pity that lingered around his thoughts ever since he arrived at this state. "I don't care...I don't care anymore! I'm blind and I'm helpless. I can't see where I'm going. I can't even see you! Why should I care where I'm going?" Dain unexpectedly sat flat down on the floor and hurled his walking stick as far as he could. He buried his face in his coarse palms and moaned. Hit somebody, he cursed, Hit somebody and it'll show them my pain. He heard it land distance away from him and heard the passer-by go and pick it up.

  "Then it doesn't matter which way you go." The voice wasn't empathic, it wasn't alarmed, and it wasn't even uncomfortable. The indifference in the passer-by's reaction made Dain annoyed. Somehow, without even seeing, he knew the passer-by had just grinned at him. He leaned down with a whisper.

  "The world doesn't owe you a living. It was here first. Remember that."

 

  A year ago, a house fire created by an open stove had consumed the entire of the young man's face. The doctors had managed to reinstate the skin after a series of intense plastic surgeries, but were powerless to restore his impaired eyesight. Dain would never forget the day he woke up and thought he was dead and in hell because it was so dark. He had mused over why he could feel blankets all around him, hear hushed conversations carried by the stale hospital air, but could not see a thing. The doctor tried to break it to him as mildly as he could when Dain requested him to switch on the lights. Dain now discerned why he wasn't devastated when he first found that out. He had been too numb with disbelief.

  He had also nurtured to the hope that it had all been a terrible dream, and he would soon wake to find that everything was what it had been. He waited and waited in the darkness all by himself, but it never came to pass. The reality slowly settled in, along with the commiseration and the long hours of brooding in the shadows. He abandoned relationships, not realizing that though he could not see others, they could still see him. He sat on the balcony each day, staring out at the city with blank eyes, allowing no one near him unless he needed their help. He picked on the food his wife brought him. He wrapped himself in a tight bundle away from the outside world, shutting out everything which ever inspired him or gave him joy. Wallowing deeply in self-induced desolation, he was no longer just blind-he was deaf and mute as well. 

  "Dear, we really have to talk about this," his wife tried to speak to him one day. "Seeing you so miserable...it makes my heart break."

  Dain continued staring out of the window.

  "Leave me alone," he growled. Everything...He thought. I had lost everything. Where was all the happiness? Where was all my former pride? Have I gone so blind that I can't even see what I was?

  "Honey, please. We all know it's not your fault this happened!"

  "Leave me! You've never tried to understand me in the first place. You're not the one who's blind!" His wife would run out of the room in tears, and eventually left him for another man.

  Without his wife, Dain had learnt to rely on his hearing and touch, and would sometimes wander the city directionless and alone. He would growl at the neighbours' kids who sometimes trespassed into his yard to play, when he himself had invited the kids to play there before he lost his sight. Eventually, the old Dain, the Dain who was obliging, handsome and excellent with people, faded away in everyone's memories. Everyone compromised with his wretched state, until Dain finally ran into the passer-by.

  He was the only person who treated Dain so differently that it made him think hard, perhaps for the first time in his life. His words were wedged in Dain's head, no matter what the young man did to remove them.

  The next day, Dain was just getting ready to holler irascibly at the children who ran in his yard again when he stopped dead in his tracks. A nagging sensation disturbed him.

  These kids don't owe you a living. They are part of the world.

  He was about to tell himself that that was utter nonsense. He was about to shove it aside when he heard the most miraculous sound. It sounded like smooth flute notes in the wind. It sounded like endless ripples on clear water. It sounded like the crisp chime of a polished bell. He knew his soulless heart hadn't heard the melody for a long time. It was laughter.

  He sat on the balcony all morning, entranced in the heavenly jingle. He listened to each individual note of the accidental masterpiece with marvel. When it would have once frothed jealously in him, it now filled him with nameless pleasure. Why hadn't he felt its magic before? He knew the answer. When he had his sight, he could only hear things passively. When he had lost it, he had learnt to truly listen with his soul. The children's laughter alone had released and fed his famished spirit.

  He had marked the beginning of a long and complicated battle with himself. The next day, he tried to smile to himself when a fly was buzzing around his nose. And the next day, he was feeding the sparrows which landed on his porch. Then he was singing a long forgotten song to himself. Baby step by baby step, he launched the quest to dig out the heart, the old heart of his, which he had buried in the bottomless pit of his melancholy. It wasn't easy-sometimes he managed to dig another scoop out. Sometimes he got so aggravated that he shoved all the sand back. But he was constantly using the shovel, moving the sands each day.

 

 Within weeks, it was all over town. The peevish blind man had befriended a tabby cat! No one knew what to make of it. They had all thought it was beyond him to show love and much less friendship. Dain again proved them wrong when he became familiar with the cat's owner and eventually the entire block of residents. He gradually started to attend housewarming parties, birthday bashes and community gatherings. His shovel had turned into a bulldozer, but the works were still in process.

  The entire street got a shock of their lives when Dain had signed up for guitar lessons. Some said he was completely mad. Most disagreed. Dain didn't look mad. Quite on the contrary, he appeared content and serene, solicitous and tolerant, something that not even Dain himself would have fathomed just two months ago. The sands were almost cleared at this point.

  What went on inside him, of course, only the blind man knew. The world doesn't owe you a living. It was here first. These simple sentences were a revolution. Dain never saw the point of brooding again. He wanted to live life in the world which he owes a living to. He finally realized that he had been born to make a difference, an impact. He was finally discovering strength within himself to face his past and envision his future. He was finally becoming the blind man who could see. He could see his purpose. He could see where he wanted to go. He could see his battle won. He had found his heart and set it beating.

  He could now see that he owed it all to the man he had met on the street. Who was he? An affluent businessman? A wise schoolteacher? A blessed father of a lovely family? He must have been joyful himself to make Dain joyful. He was so right. To get somewhere, one had to know where he was heading. To begin, one had to have the end in mind. Dain thought and thought but never thought of a way to repay him. Maybe his living, feeling heart would have been enough.

 

  As he was walking along an alley, Dain ran into somebody. He was about to apologize when the other spoke first.

  "I see you've found which way you'll go."

  Dain froze. It was the passer-by he had met more than half a year ago.

  "Before you were blinded, you could do 10 000 things. Now you can do 9000. I see you haven't dwelt much on the 1000 you had lost but saw the 9000 left and cherished it," he paused briefly, seemingly hesitating. Finally he said, "You know something, brother? Feel my eyes." There was a wistful smile in his words.

  Dain never did. He had none.

 

"The best and most beautiful things in the world are not seen or touched, but are felt in the heart."

-Helen Keller

 


© Copyright 2019 Zephyr. All rights reserved.

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