Dave: “If you could see for 1 minute, what would you look at?” This was a question posed to me late one evening by a friend when we were talking about my vision impairment. It took me a bit by surprise as I’ve never been asked this question before and I didn’t know how to answer it.
My answer at the time was “probably my family; seeing my wife again and also what my kids actually look like”. However, we then went on to discuss perhaps scenery; looking at the horizon again, etc.
I wanted to write an Insight about this question as it’s really got under my skin. I’ve thought about the question long and hard and I still can’t think of what exactly I would do or look at in that minute. I’ve also thought about what I would look at if I could choose how to use the minute; for example, what if I could have 6 x 10 seconds of clear vision or 12 x 5 second windows of clarity… and have these over a period of time.
Ultimately I would want to see my family; my wife, kids, parents and extended family. But would a minute be enough? Perhaps a few photos so that I could scan them quickly rather than seeing them in person as I’m sure this would cause delays or take up valuable time somehow. But what else? I would be interested to see what the graphics are like on new game consoles, what HD TV is like, try a virtual headset, see what cars actually look like and see my house in a way that I’ve not seen it before. To be able to see the leaves on trees again, blades of grass, ants on the pavement and birds in the sky… and what about watching a firework display, seeing the moon and stars in a dark sky or watching a sunrise or sunset over a horizon? What do my friends and work colleagues look like and how much has changed from what I remember from the past (road signs, new buildings, etc). There are so many things that, when I really think about it, I would want to see…
So I can think about the question and plan my minute of clarity but, unless there is some kind of breakthrough in medicine or technology that restores my vision, it’s never going to happen… and that’s a bit depressing! :-(
So, put yourself in my shoes (I’m a size 10) and think about the question. What would you do with that minute?
Vicky: Gosh, your shoes are way too big for me Dave (I’m only a size 4!). And, although my feet clearly fit inside them, its always hard to put yourself in anyone else’s shoes isn’t it. And I’m conscious that as a sighted person, do I have the right to answer this question? However, Dave and I have discussed this question and he’s asked me to comment.
So, what would I want to see if I hadn’t seen for a long time and only had a minute? I’ve thought long and hard about it. Funnily enough – seeing the latest tech (as Dave mentioned) never entered my head (it’s just not my thing) but I do love sunrises and sunsets, and also wondered if I would like to see the beach again at Polzeath in Cornwall – a place that I love and where we have spent many happy family holidays.
However, I have my visual memories of these (would I still if I hadn’t had sight for a long time?) so maybe I would rather not waste my minute on these. So then I wondered about things I hope to see at some point in the future and, if I lost my sight before I saw them, would I want to use my minute to see them? Things like the Grand Canyon, the pyramids, and Meteora – possibly not possible to see all these in one minute :-)
So back to the reality of just one minute, and I have to ask myself, is seeing these places really what is important to me?
So, I think what I would spend my minute doing is gazing at my loved ones and how they’d changed since I lost my sight – how my kids had grown up etc. and just drink that in for a full minute to try and capture it all in my memory.
My only concern about all of this is, would having just one minute be almost more painful when it was snatched away at the end?? And I don’t profess to know the answer to that one.
What about other people, what are your thoughts?
Please share these by commenting…
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Our VIDA Insights...
Following our experiences from delivering our Vision Impairment Awareness training days over the past couple of years, we know that there’s loads more that we could talk about and examples we could have shared. Whilst these won’t be a substitute for our training, they will give you an insight (hence the name!) into our thoughts, observations and experiences from each of our perspectives - Dave’s living with sight loss and Vicky’s from being a sighted person and working alongside and supporting people who have sight loss.