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:

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.


8 thoughts on “Touch

  1. Glad to hear you are keeping an open mind to braile.
    You know you are very bright and it will
    be possible for you to learn a new process……..
    but emotionally if I were facing this, by agreeing to start this learning process I would have to admit I might need to use it down the line……

    God is good….and you have options……
    keeping you in prayers with all the decisions you are facing and changes you are dealing with….
    I find new reasons to admire your abilites and reasoning processes each time I read your blog.
    I Peter 5:7

    • Thanks for the kind words. I know that everything will work out, but the decisions seem to need to be made so quickly. It helps me feel “in control” a little bit more if I slow things down, think things through and make informed decisions. If I could see into the future, I would know exactly the right choice to make, but I don’t so I just have to do the best I can. Whatever I choose, everything will work out. You are right, I can learn anything if I set my mind to it. Thanks for the verse, it is very helpful. Peace.

  2. I don’t know how braille will help as i am also in the same place as you are as of now….i concentrate on noise, smell and touch which play a key role in identifying and feeling the world. But I make use the best of my low vision in all activities.

    • Thank you for your comment. I am keeping an open mind about Braille. Like you, I am using my other senses to their fullest while my vision deteriorates. They help keep me fully present in the world.

  3. Hi Belinda:

    Remember what I said in my blog post about you last week? Andragogy: Adults will learn something when they are ready to learn, because of the need to know or so something to function better in daily life.

    Maybe you don’t need braille yet.

    But don’t give up on it yet, OK? I taught braille to adults in your situation (or similar to it) for many years. Many people were resistant for reasons similar to yours.

    But braille is the ultimate literacy tool and gives you immense freedom to read when and where and what you want, without depending on technology or a “voice” reading to you. It’s you and the page, reading your own way, at your own speed.

    OK. Pep talk over!

    • Thanks for the pep talk! I haven’t given up on the idea of braille, but I am putting it on hold while I get through other changes that are more urgent. I just don’t know. I do remember you writing about andragogy – it explains why I am so resistant to some things while other parts of my journey come more easily. I’m glad to have you on my side. Thank you.

    • Thank you, Larry. I have been thinking about textures a lot lately, after ignoring my sense of touch for a long time. Just writing that I was going to pay more attention to textures today really made me notice the “feel” of everything I encountered all day long. Awareness is a wonderful thing. Thanks for commenting.

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