In a full scale labyrinth representing the center of Athens, in absolute darkness, I spent an hour with a blind guide discovering what it means to not to see, at “Dialogue in the Dark”. The challenges and the curious and the deep discoveries that one can make in this adventure are enlightening.
We take for granted what is reality and how we perceive it. But of course we only perceive what our senses show us. And relying on their constant availability, we can grow lazy in the knowledge of what we grasp, potentially missing the full extent of what we can aim for.
Closing off, at least temporarily, one of the richest senses, that of vision, it is possible to concentrate on the still very rich and full bandwidth of the signals arriving through touch, smell and hearing. Our small group explored streets, crossings, parks, subway stations, markets and bars. Following the voice and directions of our guide, we were able to briefly experience how complex the lives of the blind is.
The guide Chrysella shared a lot of interesting pieces of knowledge about her hearing (normal), sense of color (none), shopping, and more. The most interesting, perhaps, answer to one of my questions was that indeed her dog shows to know that she can’t see it, and makes special noises to let her hear its position in the room.