Amy Krout-Horn (Continued)
Each morning, my life partner and I set out on our two-mile walk; a habit that began when we adopted a rescued wolf named Istazi. We greet the dawn and the hawk that always sits upon the mast of a sailboat in the channel. Some times dolphins or manatee swim by along the sea wall. I take in the beauty as I walk, exercising my spirit as well as my body. We stop at a park bench, I test my blood glucose level, and the polite female voice says that I'm in a decent range. With no need to pop open the glucose tabs or push any buttons on my insulin pump, we continue. Sometimes, I walk with my long white cane, but more often we hold hands, like a couple in love, which we certainly are, and Gabriel points out whether he thinks it will be a good "beach day." Later, out at the Gulf of Mexico, we swim laps and walk long stretches of sugary sand.
Like my father, I'm fighting the good fight, living each day with purpose, and finding joy all along the way. Father, I'm a warrior, too. I will make you proud.
"The solstice sun shone on the pelicans' wings as they glided on the warm currents and Gabriel inhaled the salty morning air, the new day waiting at our backs. I ran my hand along the braid of hair resting between his shoulder blades.
Amy with her father.
"Do you remember when we were first together and you wondered what it was that I saw? You wondered whether there is nothing else, only darkness."
Perhaps few sighted people considered what existed when a blind woman opens her eyes because no one before Gabriel had ever asked. But, from the very beginning of our relationship, he had wanted to understand and relate to my blind life; a desire that touched me and sometimes made me laugh. I had once caught him, eyes closed, lights off, hunting for the can opener in the kitchen drawer. He thought his maiden voyage into sightless waters had been a success, until we both realized he was trying to get baked beans out of the can with a garlic press. I had appreciated his effort and had congratulated him for not slicing his fingers on the knives we stored in the same drawer. He deserved to know what I saw, but was surprised by the actual answer.
At first, I experienced what most would imagine those with total blindness to possess: a dark murky color, very dull and flat, one shade shy of true black. But as I gradually healed, emotionally as well as physically, the view shifted and something strange and unexpected grew out of the gloom.
"My point of light is very bright right now. The colors are there, too," I said, smiling up at him.
Like a milk-white moon suspended in an inner cosmos, the solid circle of light floated, expanding and brightening with my positive emotions, joy, love, peace, laughter, passion, and creativity sending shooting star sparks to orbit around it. With harmony, colors often appeared, as for long moments the white light pulsed shades of blue, green, red, purple, or yellow. Concentration let me increase the size and brightness of the mysterious light, but the colors always came at their own accord; a gift beyond my control. But whether my happiness tossed a million spiraling sparks from its edges or its shine dulled with my sadness, the light lived in my blind field of vision. It always changed, but never left.
His voice was soft and serious and beautiful as he said, "Ceremony attracts and releases great power. Our spirits respond to it." The light swelled, flashing pink, turning to poppy, becoming red, then deepening to the crimson of my suffering and my salvation, my loss and my reward, my body's fragility and my spirit's endurance. It was the color of my disease and my destiny. It was the color of wholeness. It was oyate duta, the red nations, the color of my people. It was the color of blood."
Excerpt from My Father's Blood
Excerpts from My Father's Blood appear by permission of the publisher, All Things That Matter Press, 2011.
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Reviewed by dLife Staff, 05/13.
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