So, do you have any siblings?

February 8, 2009

photo by Elinor Carucci for New York Magazine

We all have a list of questions we ask people we’ve just met(people we wanna date). These questions are meant to 1. show that you are capable of holding a conversation beyond “so, how many siblings do you have?” 2. display your deep inner mysticism and 3. determine if your new friend is not completely screwy. One of my personal questions(and I’ll never be able to ask it again now) is “If you had to choose between going deaf or blind, which would you choose?” My answer is always changing. Some days, I’d rather go blind because I couldn’t imagine a world without music. Other days, I’d rather go deaf because there’s so much of the world I haven’t yet seen. Fortunately, I’ve never actually had to consider this question as a definite possibility but I know there are people out there, much stronger than myself, who do.

Going Blind and Deaf In A City of Lights, a New York Magazine article by Arianne Cohen, introduces us to Rebecca Alexander, a young New Yorker with a rare condition that’s causing her to slowly lose her sight and hearing. Cohen spent a few weeks hanging out with Rebecca and getting a sense of what her life is like, how she deals with losing her eyesight and hearing, and why she can’t stop driving 100 miles per hour(Yep, she still drives).

It’s good to read stories like this, stories that remind us of the power of the human spirit and what has kept us thriving as a species thus far, the ability to adapt even if only on a personal level.

If you’re not in the mood to read the article, check out this video about Esref Armagan, a remarkable painter who has been blind his entire life.

Esref Armagan’s Site