Fifth Position


Optimistic as ever, but I have to say that the crystal cylinder is totally clear, the sight has gone, no retinal function. Except for full moons in a black night sky, a seemingly bright blob, a high contrast beacon, a sort of message. An illumination, a path or something. Now almost everyone asks the same question, “how can you possibly, how can you?”. I realize they are making a statement, not asking a question. They smugly know that a blind person cannot take photographs and cross streets. My response is that any photograph begins as an idea in the brain. So with current camera tools, I can shoot and have printed an image as close as possible to the initiating image in by brain. They can look at the image and I remember the one in my mind, and we can compare. Size, and large size, is no longer any help. It is not blackness out there, at least in the daytime.


 I perceive a pale gray light when there is light, and blackness at night. My saint Joseph dies of the complications of bone cancer after ten years of model guiding. I cry and cry and go back to guide dog school and come home with Slater, a mild joker, no saint he. He likes to window shop and has no desire to be in front of a camera. He does not swim either.


The photography gallery where I had been showing for eight years closes in the economic slump. I feel totally adrift. Who is my audience, I wonder. Will people come to my house to view my stuff? I have so many photos framed on my walls, a mini museum.


I some days forget that I am also trying movement. Nine years ago, a friend and I received a fellowship from Harvard University. We were Bunting fellows at the Radcliffe Institute, to make a film about me and my insight at sight loss. It took us five years to finish the film, that is, to raise more money and continue filming.