In my wildest imagination, I never could fathom the loss of sight. The last thing anyone would think of, or ever imagine is becoming blind. I never wondered about it. It never crossed my mind, until of course the day I woke up blind. I will always remember that day. Blindness forever seared into my soul. That day I was so terrified. I thought I would vomit. I screamed. I hit the wall. I cried, and I could not swallow the lump stuck somewhere between my heart and my brain. I almost lost my mind.

As a young boy, and as an adult I was always afraid of the dark, and now I groped in darkness. Why? Why me? What has happened? Give me a hand! I lost my vision. I lost my sight. God! Whoever you are, man or woman, help me! What time is it? Where are my clothes? I can’t see color. I could feel the sun, I could feel the heat, but I can’t see the light. What time is it? What will become of me? What kind of life will I have now?

I have suffered from multiple sclerosis for over eighteen years. I have had exacerbations many times over the years and came out of them. I thought at the time I was in the best of health. I was working out. I was weightlifting. I even won a weightlifting contest. My body was in top shape. I was buff, cut with a 27” waist – lean and good-looking, but in the summer of ’98 I woke up blind.

I lost my sight from another exacerbation of multiple sclerosis in which I experienced marked paralysis and an acute attack of MS optic neuritis which rendered me blind. I never realized MS could affect my eyes.
My rage was so overwhelming I could not function. I had to receive psychological therapy, poetry therapy for the blind. In treatment, I was taught to confront my fits of anger by recording my feelings, and seeing with my heart and my mind so in the darkness on the floor I turned my burning rage inside out.

I set my recording machine with my sense of touch as my fingers were my sight. Words spoke to me, day in and day out, in a one-man play, with no lights. Deep as words could be, were able to come out of me. Surprised by what I said. As the thoughts flowed and feelings grew in the darkness on the floor, a discovery came to light.

Thoughts from a dream stepped out of my head, captured forever, now in print. Strange sometimes this is how poetry is born. Feelings and words were flying from heart to mind and to print.

Blindness taught me actually how to see. Blindness and revolutions are the other sides of poetry. In the darkness, I became a poet. I had sight, lost it, regained it, and now I have a full view. I see things differently. I know more. I know better. I see colors everywhere! I know what I see. I see in a new way.

Now, I see with my heart and my soul. I look everywhere and anywhere, and I savor all that I see.

I am so euphoric, to be healthy with color vision and full sight.

I have learned to sleep with one eye open. I enjoy all that I see for, “The heart is an eye.” – Octavio Paz.

After reading this essay, please close your eyes and hear the light sing. Celebrate all that you see.