It is not true that your other senses take over as your sight diminishes, no matter what they show on tv and in the movies. Hearing does not become sharper. Smells do not become more intense. Taste is not increased. And fingertips, long roughened by dishes and laundry, are not suddenly hypersensitive to the things they touch.
I have been thinking about my senses for two reasons, both having to do with the sense of touch:
- They asked me at ABVI if I would like to learn Braille. This question filled me with anxiety. Hundreds of questions started shooting around my brain. Do I have the ability to learn a new “language” at this point in my life? Would I be able to identify the bumps with my fingertips? If I don’t learn Braille now, will I be sorry later, if and when my vision deteriorates more? I already have a lot of difficulty reading from a printed page, maybe I should learn Braille. But, isn’t Braille kind of dead, replaced by all the audio products available? What should I do? If only low vision DID bring out my sense of touch and my memory, I would definitely learn. Sadly, I do not think I can do it and so I said “no, thank you.”
- The second reason I have been thinking about touch is more positive. I have been drawn to a variety of textures. It’s not that my sense of touch is heightened. It’s more that I have come to appreciate the sensations of different textures. Smooth, rough, hard, soft, sharp, fluffy – I am really enjoying touch.
Since I have been thinking about textures, I thought I would share some photos that highlight texture.
Our wicker furniture is old and worn. I love to run my hand along the wicker braid. The paint is a bit tattered, but the years have left the wicker feeling smooth and comfortable.
The weave of this fabric is tight and even. It has a well-made, hand-woven feel that is a pleasure to touch. I love fabric anyway, and this one is extra special. As soon as I saw it, I wanted to touch it. It felt really marvelous when I held it in my hand.
The ultimate in softness is Bijou’s fur. Bichons are know for being soft and fluffy and Bijou exceeds this reputation with her silky smoothness. There is nothing in the world like a cuddle with her.
The rough texture of the boards on the fence in our backyard is a pleasure to touch. Worn and weathered, these boards are a testimony to standing the test of time. The rough feel under my fingers is rugged and solid and gives me a sense of security and stability.
I am really enjoying exploring textures. For too long, I took my sense of touch for granted and did not even notice textures. I am thankful that I have begun to appreciate and enjoy them now. Maybe, if I pay close attention, my fingertips will become a little bit more sensitive. I am excited to use my sense of touch to explore the beauty of the world in a new way. Today, when I come across a texture, I will close my eyes and explore it with my sense of touch.