Craig J. Hansen

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Going Blind 10: Hail Volta

By Craig J. Hansen It’s been a while since my last blog.  I’ve been busy.  I decided a while ago that stumbling around, trying to hide impaired vision, was not a productive long-term strategy.   I have learned to use a white cane fairly well. It’s awkward and I can’t help feeling like a human weed…

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Degenerating

I was north of San Francisco with a group of family members, traveling along Highway 1. Every once in a while, along this beautiful, twisting road, you find pullovers or side roads that lead to a small beach nestled in the cliffs. We stopped at one of these and walked down to the sand. As…

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Waiting

I do a lot of waiting. I remember this when my vision was better: standing in line at the grocery checkout or the drivers license office or even waiting for hours for a three-minute ride at Disneyland. I didn’t like that much. I’ve learned with vision loss that waiting is part of the game. People…

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Excuses

Some years ago, we hosted a foreign exchange student. She was from Thailand. She was funny, adaptable, curious, and spoke excellent English. But when pressed with a  question or situation she didn’t particularly like, she would go wide-eyed and say “I just poor Thai girl.” This is a tempting strategy. When someone says to me…

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Superpowers

Question: Isn’t it true that if you lose your sight, you develop other senses that are especially strong? That nature compensates? Answer: Yes, you develop superpowers. Now, I can become invisible to myself. I can walk into solid objects. I am waiting for other superpowers to develop. I want to fly. It would be a…

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Blind on Ice

I went curling. If you’re not familiar with curling, it is like shuffleboard on ice, where you slide a 42 pound granite stone over an ice sheet to a target area that seems about half a mile away. You try to get your stone on the bullseye and, at the same time, try to knock…

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Driving Fear

In my dreams, I still drive. Even dreaming, I’m aware that I have vision limitations. But as I drive in my dream, even if it’s snowing or it’s dark, I realize I can see well enough to do this, and why did I quit driving anyway? Actually, I stopped driving voluntarily. It was about a…

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Blind Fear

Let’s talk about fear. I saw a film about base jumpers, those typically short lived folks who leap from precipices and open their chutes at the last possible second. They, like all of those who defy death on purpose, hold a certain fascination for the rest of us. That’s because most of us don’t need…

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Blind Eye Contact

Another peril of going blind has to do with basic, human communication. When I reached a certain point of vision loss, it seemed like my hearing also got worse. Not for all things, just when people were talking to me. I realized that all my life, I have been lip-reading as well as listening. So,…

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Blind Ricochet

I once heard a music teacher telling his students the key to mastering an instrument. “I know that right now you hate to practice,” he said. The students nodded. “But the more you practice, the better you’ll get, and the better you get, the more you like to practice. You just have to get over…

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