openbox: “Is there anything worse than being blind?  Yes, a man with sight and no vision” –Helen Keller


We took a blindfolded walk and then a sighted walk around the Audubon Center in Milwaukee.  We were asked to compare and contrast our experiences.  We were all blindfolded and were holding onto a rope with knots tied onto it like a line of kindergartners being led around a park.  We took the walk blindfolded and then we were able to take the walk again but with our sight.  The most profound difference that I noticed was not the fact that I could see, but the way that I payed attention to my surroundings.  When you see you anticipate things making sounds so the sounds you hear are as jarring as when you don’t know that they are coming.  I thought that the blindfolded walk was a more artistic experience for me, even though I am a photography major, because it allowed my imagination to fill in the absence of my sight and to match images in my head with the sounds that I was hearing and the things that I was smelling.  Comparing the two walks, the one where I couldn’t see was better than reality, as I over saturated the images in my mind.
My sense of touch was also used.  I had said that we were being led around on a rope, as this was happening, I was able to observe the gentle tugging onthe rope urging me forward and when it slacked I was able to figure out that we were slowing down.  I was also able to feel the cnage of the earth through my shoes, fromwalking on pavement to the sand, to the dirt and through the leaves.  My sense of hearing was heightened as well.  I was able to keep a rythem with the footsteps and the sound of the surrounding nature.  I observed swishing of coat sleves and breathing more than when I could see all of this happening.

I encourage you to go out and try this.  It really opens up your eyes (no pun intended) to see more than what you normally do.  Just make sure you have someone to guide you around!