"I'll See You
"Well, I'll see you around." "Nice to see you again." "I see what you mean." When I use expressions like these, some of my sighted friends are surprised. They laugh, perhaps teasing me, and say, "You don't really mean that, do you, John?" I explain that, when I say I am pleased to see you, what I mean is that I am pleased to meet you, pleased to be with you, glad to be in your presence. I explain that this is surely what anybody, blind or sighted, would mean by that expression. In the same way, I explain, when I say that I see what you mean, what I mean is that I understand you. Your words make sense to me.

This is what anybody must mean by that expression, since the meaning itself is invisible. When you are blind you do become aware of how much of our language is dependent upon images drawn from sight. It is natural that sighted people also become sharply aware of this when talking with a blind person. "What is your point of view?" "Do you have any observations?" "I just don't understand the way you look at this." "Now look here, my friend!" "I've looked everywhere for it." "I'll see if I can help you."

In expressions like these, attitudes, intentions, demands and references to knowledge and understanding are all suggested.

--- From Touching the Rock
An Experience of Blindness

John M. Hull
©1990 Sheldon Press
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