Blinded or sighted, it’s not the senses which distinguish us one from the other, it’s the use we make of them, the imagination and the courage that push us to go beyond the signs.
Are we sure we can actually see?
In his book The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, Oliver Sacks describes the clinical case of a man affected by prognopagnosia (the inability to recognise whole images), who can see the details of faces and objects, but does not recognise them unless he uses the other senses.
In the animal world, the human being is the only one who becomes his own disease when he’s sick. It might be the reason why we are astonished when we see a deaf person listening to music or a visual impaired going through everyday tasks. We think about the limit, the defect, and not about how the wonderful human machine is able to “fix itself”, to hear and see in other ways.
The limit has entered our lives, to the point that we are no longer able to see: we emotionlessly stare, without really understanding anything, silenced before big or small screens, we have become “dysfunctional” people.
Who’s blind now?
10 suggested readings
THE MAN WHO MISTOOK HIS WIFE FOR A HAT
Oliver Sacks, Summit Books 1985
Oliver Sacks, Random House 2013
THE STORY OF MY LIFE
Helen Keller, Doubleday, Page & Co. 1903
José Saramago, Harvest Books 1995
Lidia Beduschi, Negretto editore 2009
Jorge Luis Borges, New Directions Publishing Corporation 2009
SI PREGA DI CHIUDERE GLI OCCHI. ESERCIZI DI CECITÀ VOLONTARIA
Sergio Vitale, Clinamen 2012
VIVERE AL BUIO. LA CECITÀ SPIEGATA AI VEDENTI
Mauro Marcantoni, Erickson 2014
WHAT COLOR IS THE WIND?
Anne Herbauts, Enchanted Lion Books 2016
SIX BLIND MICE AND AN ELEPHANT
Jude Daly, Otter-Barry Books 2017