When I leave the comfort of home to the uncertainties of the outside, I take a few breaths. Yet I am learning to use my white cane. Every scrap of information is useful — the roughness of the sidewalk, the wind on the corner.
I see the world differently and it sees me differently. More people say hello. Are they friendly or are they alerting me to avoid them? Doors open. People truly are helpful.
I am learning gratitude.
Yet I am not fluent in blindness. I'm working to translate other senses into images that will never be. I am replacing facial recognition with voice ID.
I treasure images that will not be updated. I need to recall the brush strokes of Van Gogh, the love on my wife's face. I question — have I enough images? How many times did I not savor a sunset’s infinite colors? While I can still smell the flowers, will I miss their visual cheer?
Despite my acts of omission, I feel fortunate. I had 65 years to build a picture gallery.
I realize learning to be blind is learning to see in new ways.
With a Perspective, I am Max Perr.
Max Perr is a retired business executive living in San Francisco with the help of his wife and white cane.