The realities of blindness

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This week I’m starting a project which I hope will help bring more awareness about the realities of living with blindness. A few months ago I was approached by a group of filmmakers who after seeing one of my social media posts came to me with the idea of producing a short film on what it’s like transitioning from being able to see the faces of those we love to those faces being blurred by the effects of blindness. Recently I’ve noticed that my sight has declined further and I am no longer able to see those faces clearly. This is the stage so many of us living with low vision fear but there aren’t many examples out there documenting what this experience is really like. After speaking with my with Amy we both agreed that capturing this time in our lives would be something so powerful that would not only help others in similar situations but create more understanding for the seeing world. This week we started pre production for the film which will start shooting next week. Yesterday and today I’ve spent time with Tim who is the director talking about my story at our home and going to places in my local area which mean a lot to me and my family. I wanted to be clear that in agreeing to be a part of this project that we captured the true spectrum of blindness and not just simplified it or dumbed down blindness in order to appeal to a wider audience. Quite often the way blindness is represented in media it plays to the many misconceptions out there surrounding vision loss. Even major charities or sightloss organisations have quite often fallen in to the trap of using fear or pity as a way to sell the story and although that is part of the story we all know that it’s not all of it. Life is good days and bad, it’s feeling weak and then feeling strong, it’s happy and sad. These are the moments we are determined to capture in this film.

A part of my weekly blogs for you all I want to take you on this journey with me. My place within this community is so important to me and you all have been such an integral part of my story into becoming The Blind Poet.

If you have been affected by my poetry, if you have seen me speak or heard me read I’m asking for you to create a short video of you talking about what my poetry means to you and how it’s helped. If you are interested in helping and your video being used in this project as an example of my impact you can upload your video to this social media post in the comments section. Here’s the link https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=pfbid088WAnqLLJRYiQ3WwXSaytfaJcDPMJdHMUyqxv5frgeg2HU5Kpi1JspKYAtX7WcgBl&id=100063820295548

Thanks in advance. I’ll leave you with this poem and more updates on this project will follow.

THE JOURNEY

If you think that being blind means that I cannot see your face

Or that once where perfect vision was now suddenly no trace

Then maybe you will be surprised to learn of fading sight

Of sunshine’s glare as strangers stare

It’s not all black and white

The eyes are complicated things and so’s the way we see

Just because there’s little left it doesn’t mean that I’m not me

But it’s hard to see my struggles when there’s just no outward sign

For this blindness is invisible by it’s hereditary design

The effects are more internal it’s a drain on mental health

My head is full of anxious thoughts

My pride is on the shelf

The simple things I used to do these days a tougher test but I see some things much clearer since my vision headed west

For blindness taught me things I wished I’d known for many years

It’s given me the strength to tell the world about my fears

Will I become a burden

How in future will I cope

When little left has disappeared will I still see there’s hope

Will my children be affected

Destined to pick up this cane

Will they face these misconceptions

Will their struggles be the same

It’s these questions that inspire me to change how we’re perceived

For now I’m thriving blind and this blind poet will succeed

But without you reading this my story’s lost inside of me

It’s why I chose to write it down in verse and poetry

In the hope this message resonates and stirs within your soul

To be a voice for others that has always been my goal

So if my two cents has made some sense and left you knowing more

Of what someone like me can face to step outside their door

Please share this with your friends in hope this poem will erase

the challenges that those like me each day now have to face

#TheBlindPoet