Thursday, August 9, 2012

From LHA's Prompt: What do we fear most?

Amazing author and extraordinary speaker Laurie Halse Anderson has challenged her readers to write 15 minutes a day for the entirety of August. Not sure if I'll actually accomplish it, but I intend to try, and post the results here.

A lot of people have themes that repeat in their dreams and mine is always the inability to see. Whatever strange scenario is being played out as I sleep, there is almost always an issue with my sight: I’m straining to see something in the distance but it’s blurry or I’m trying to focus on one thing and it keeps evading my eyes. It’s both frustrating and frightening in that dream state, but the real scare is when I wake up into my normal world of terrible, awful, no good sight. My biggest fear is getting to a state where my sight can no longer be corrected by contact or glasses. In short, I fear blindness.

Some might stop here and ruminate on the beauty of the world and how it would be missed, or reflect on their loved ones faces and how not seeing them again would be a tragedy. Sure, sure, that’s all terrible, but that’s not why I fear what I do. It’s the complete and total loss of independence that terrifies me, the vulnerable position I’d be in that I desperately want to avoid. Without sight we are without our true free will. Were I not able to see, I could not live completely on my own or travel at will or escape other people and have any kind of isolated experience. There is an immediate dependence that comes with the loss of a sense, a knowledge that you are at the mercy of others that just terrifies me.

Women (and maybe men?) have a habit of discussing things they’d like to change about themselves, mostly to do with their physical beauty -- lose some weight, be taller, have nicer hair, etc. And that’s all well and good, but in all honesty I can lose some weight if I tried. I can dye my hair and buy some fancy shampoo. I can put on heels or break out my trusty step stool. The one thing I cannot change, that is not in my power to change, is my eyesight. So my one wish? 20/20 vision.

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