"Rise, Crowned with Light"
Alexander Pope, 1712
When Jesus approached the blind beggar in Jerusalem who was begging for alms, he asked him what he wanted from him, and the beggar replied, “Lord, that I may see." The man had been blind from birth. I often wonder how we who have vision can possibly describe it to the blind. They must know that we are able, with our eyes — which they know they have, after all — perceive things at a distance, even from millions of miles away, by a thing called “light,” but exactly what that is, even if their eyes are capable of sensing some degree of lightening from total darkness, they cannot know. I have had one or two blind students in my career as a professor, and as I’m irrepressibly curious about what it’s like to live in a way so far removed from my own, I’ve asked them about it, and from their answers I can tell that they are struggling to form some idea of light and seeing, something that makes sense to them. There are also people with what’s called “aphantasia,” which means that they have…
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