DRINKING ALCOHOL TAUGHT ME HOW TO FLY
THEN IT TOOK AWAY THE SKY

Friday, March 5, 2010

BLIND LEADING THE BLIND




BE AWARE OF OTHERS' PROBLEMS

The following is not true:  I am in the hospital one leg chained up to the ceiling, both arms in slings, wrists broken, neck strapped for immovability, and in piss-poor condition overall.  I had stepped backwards, and this BIG dog "Lucky" had been laying right behind me. That was a dream.

OK, we do have a loving creature "Lucky", who is always, ALWAYS lurking right under or behind me.  It reminds me somewhat of life on the farm.


BACK TO 1935-1950

Animals--and we enjoyed the company of LOTS of them-- followed my father as if they were attached.  Wherever he walked went his entourage; dogs, cats, chickens, sometime one of the horses, and often in the mix was a favorite Guernsey heifer.  And he was never knocked down by any of those, He never tripped nor WAS tripped in that scenario.  

When my father fell down or was injured, it was usually a human mistake which preceded.  A door had been left ajar, a chair had been moved, a bucket (full of milk?) sat in the middle of an aisle in the barn, a wheelbarrel left sitting in an open doorway, a ladder had been moved or removed, a pitchfork had been left on the floor, prongs-up. You DO understand, right?  

Everything was measured in his brain, distances (how many steps) between the half-dozen barns, from one room to another, or to the door from a couch.  So if measurements were changed suddenly, chaos reigned in my father's life...like when the snows drifted.  He was utterly lost in a snowstorm.  Had not a clue which direction to go.  

He was, of course, blind. Blind meant "Blind" then.  (Years later the politically accepted word was "sightless", which included also those who could see, but not well.)

In his blindness he "saw" more then most of us.  But in his later deafness, he "heard" nothing except the incessant "cricket-like" sounds which affect the afflicted.  He accepted blindness, but deafness cut him off completely from society.  
 

We children learned early to be aware of others' problems, and have a healthy empathy for handicapped (challenged?) people.  I recall when some unthinking friends would take him by the arm and head for a door, where the Friend-Peep would walk through the door, letting blind Pop walk smack into a brick wall.

If you read this far, thank you for letting me share a glimpse of the early life of a drunk who finally left home at age 17 with a blurry vision of a perfect life with Early Times, Smirnoff, uppers and downers.  A drunk who walked with the swagger of an attitude of hatefulness, deathly fear, and whose only words were lies.

PEACE, today.
SOBER, today.

 

17 comments:

Steve E said...

Mooooo--

Fireblossom said...

^^ LOL @ mooo

Thanks for the glimpse, Steve. What a remarkable man he must have been. It seems so cruel that he should have lost his hearing as well.

Shadow said...

Steve I can remember your dad giving change for a $5.00 bill when they were paying for a gallon of milk. I asked you how he could tell and you said he just knows.
He would walk 100 feet to get water for the turkeys and he stopped right at the spigot. When I pulled into the farm on my motorbike he would say hi Larry.

Secretia said...

It's like I am there seeing you guys. Thanks for writing about it.

Secretia

Dulce said...

Cannot imagine myself without being able to see and then not being able to hear... What a life your Dad must have had... although you tell us about him as if he was really happy.

You are so sweet, so special, so sober, so so etc

Love Steve

Susan said...

Really powerful story. But not a story. Real life...powerfully written and shared. Thanks for coming by my blog. Nice to meet you. I'll be back!

Shadow said...

some blind people can see better than those with 20/20 vision, some deaf people can hear better than the most delicate of ears. all depends...

Prayer Girl said...

In keeping with my six word Saturday - it is clear to me that your life also failed, was saved, you changed, and were reborn.
These facts allowed us to meet, fall in love, and marry. God is good.

PG

Ily said...

Your father's vision is impressive; he really could "see" more than most people, as he knew more about the things that really mattered and taught you to accept what you can't change (in yourself AND others).

Cool post to return to. Happy to know you're still here blogging, sober and in peace.

Angeles said...

You have made me remember my infancy up to 7 years I lived in the field, then we went away to a city where I discovered that my father was alcoholic, They were hard times, but I developed the empathy and as your father I start seeing without seeing.
There are many types of blindnesses not only of the eyes.

I understand you Steve, you can comment in English in my blog. I hope that you understand me.
The translator helps me, great translator!!

Paz y amor.

Besos:)

Enchanted Oak said...

Oh, Steve. Your father must have been an amazing man. And I'm glad you became an amazing man in sobriety.

Just Playin' said...

Thanks for sharing your heart! Sober reigns!

Kim A. said...

There is alot of gratitude going on today. Your post helps me to remember that I can take the best from my past and leave the rest. Your dad had a strong soul.

Namaste

Scott said...

thanks for sharing, my friend :-)

linda said...

steve, it was good to get a feel of what life was like for you in the beginning and you had a rough start, to say the least...i would say you have learned many lessons in your long life and now are the teacher not the student...one would hope anyway ;)

thank you for your support, your words...they mean lots to me xoxo

Chitowngreg said...

Many thanks for sharing the story about your Dad. Those are pretty powerful memories. My Dad's been gone 25 years and I still think about him all the time. Hoope you're having a great weekend!

Nevine said...

Steve, this sentence really got to me: "He accepted blindness, but deafness cut him off completely from society." I don't know if you've ever seen the movie "Immortal Beloved", which is based on the life of Beethoven. This sentence of yours brought back images from that movie... images of Ludwig living as a social recluse... living as a person cut off from life. Blindness is an affliction that many can adjust to, but deafness, especially when coupled with blindness, makes for quite a tragic existence.

Nevine