After my stage performances, speaking engagements or story telling sessions the memory of my deeds and the applause quickly fade. Two or three days later when all the props, costumes and sound systems are stowed I have nothing to hold on to. For a while the remembrance of the audience’s reaction to me during the performance and testimonials afterwards lives in my heart. There might have been an audio or video recording, photograph or a newspaper article which also will be put away in a drawer and as time goes by all these things will be forgotten. Nothing concrete to prove that I did the work but the notation on my website and on my resume.
As a totally blind person who experiences life through my senses my profession is real to me in the moment of doing it or when I can hold the results of it in my hand, against my skin at my nose or by ear or even lick on it. That is why, after a while my performances, speeches or storytelling sessions lose their validity. Though I know all we ever do as humans, have become part of our personal history and body\mind existence.
I know the material value isn’t as important as the intrinsic value we derive from our life and work but sometimes as a blind person I become as shallow as a puddle and enjoy the evidence of my labor. For instance, in my other life, as a writer, potter, knitter or rug weaver I have the results of my labor to touch, to pick up and show.
“Here, see, I wrote See the Ocean. See this pot, this scarf, this mat…I made it.” Those words give me satisfaction and validate me as a person. When I make contact with a tangible object of my past efforts my work becomes real and I manifest inside the borders of my skin.