Me- What an amazing idea. At least now you can independently build a castle without needing help.
T- I know. Not sure how they work exactly as I havn’t opened them, but I will be able to feel my way around to figure out what goes where.
Me- Sounds great. When the castle is finished, it will be good to work out what a real life castle looks like by feeling your way around your completed lego set.
T- Yes, true. It’s only you that gets it as you can’t see either.
Me- To be honest, I have never seen a real life castle although I have been to many in my life. I can see a blurry big thing and feel the cold, ragged stones but if you asked me to describe a castle, it would be very basic.
T- Me too. Nobody else understands that though. They can all see details but I have to be told about these details but I still don’t know what they mean.
Me- Living in the sighted world can be pretty weird sometimes can’t it?
T- Oh yes. Sometimes I wish they could live in my world just to live a day in my life to see what it is like.
This was an extract from a conversation I had with a young person who had sight loss and had been given some Braille Lego and what it was like for him trying to figure out the world in an alternative way.
Using frames of reference in everyday life may come as second nature to the sighted but to those with sight loss, they are completely different and often irrelevant to us. Being guests in the sighted world can be both a blessing and a curse when we try to intergrate into a world we have no map to find our way around in. Even if we did have a map, it would have been produced by the sighted who can never truly understand what the sight loss world holds and what directions are needed in our own language.
The sighted and sight loss world, holds mysteries and awe in both which makes the question “how do they do it” be an omnipresent enigma that can never truly be answered by the visitor from the other side. To many with sight loss, this can be truly isolating as they feel apart from others in the sighted world who just seem worlds apart. The castle knowers amongst the sighted can seem like mighty superheros as they just seem to know how the world works without a second thought.
Fellow castle questioners in the sight loss world, can hold the space for others to show their vulnerability and ask the questions that may seem bizarre to the castle knowers in life. Life is so much better when we are surrounded by people who get what it is like to be ourselves with no judgement attached.
I truly wish that the young person gets to discover more than just what the sighted version of what castles are like as he moves through his own unique life. Creating peace in one’s world of unique experiences where beliefs of others are just one opinion, is where true answer can be found. These first hand experiential discovers are the ones that bring us the truth that has been longing for us to arrive.