The Blind Leading The Blind

This morning I traveled by train to Almere, to take my artwork to a fine art scanner so it can be digitized for printing. It’s my first solo train ride, so I was a little nervous about finding the right train and being on time for my appointment.

Just when I was feeling unsure and my anxiety was starting to climb, a man walked past, tapping his cane on the ground. I could hear that his phone was giving him directions to the platform for the train to Almere, so I followed him and found my train. All the while smiling to myself about this actual case of the blind leading the blind!

When we boarded I sat opposite him and introduced myself and we had a little chat. He’s profoundly blind. Couldn’t see me at all. He navigates his iPhone by touch and voice using Siri. His apps all have voiceover switched on and tell him what one would normally be seeing on the app.

I told him about my vision impairment and the uncertainty of the future of my vision. And that seeing people like him out and about independently here in the Netherlands has taken the edge off my fears about the future of my vision and reassured me that if I lose more of my vision, I won’t have to be stuck at home.

He laughed loudly at that, as if I’d said something properly crazy. “Oh no! You’d NEVER have to stay home!”

I’m still all tearful and mind-boggled.

And trying to remember to take deep breaths and let all of this hope he just gifted me land fully and root deeply in every cell of my body.

The blind leading the blind, indeed.