“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Quote from The little prince
by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
I have never felt that it is such a big deal with my blindness, but I have come to realise that many people I know and meet have a need to discuss that topic, obviously because they wonder what it is like and everything that seems strange can be a bit frightening… That’s why I have decided to dedicate a chapter in my book to explaining how I experience the world.
I want to point out that I do not voice all blind peoples’ experiences, I can only share my own views, because we are individuals.
Some might say that I romanticize blindness, but that is not my intention. However, I want to inspire us to see more with our inner eyes, instead of simply surfing on the surface.
A good friend once told me:
“It is the contrasts that make us discern anything at all in our reality.”
I am not sure that I agree with that statement or if I even know what he meant, but it is nevertheless an interesting perspective to consider …
People often ask me if I get a picture inside me of how people I meet look. It happens, but more often I see people as colour displays. It is as if they are made of threads dyed in different colours. I have seen this ever since I was small, but when I got older I learned about the term aura. Maybe it is an aura that I am seeing.
Peoples’ colours usually vary depending on their mood and mind-state. I have observed that when someone is tense or trying to copy someone else’s ways, that is to say: Not truly being his or herself, their colours tend to become foggy and entangled. If I meet a grownup person who is very childish, free and openhearted, the colours I see around that person are usually bright and pure. Like clean water dancing in a fountain. A colour-fountain. When I say a childish person, I mean a mature person who is in contact with the child within.
Most of the time I find it beautiful and enjoyable to watch peoples’ different colours, but sometimes I can feel like I get an overdose of beauty… At times like that it is advisable to meditate in order to recalm the mind.
Sense of humor is a key in my life! It is a boat which carries me over stormy seas …
Sometimes so-called handicapped people can be confronted with a lot of prejudice, often from people who don’t mean ill but are insecure or just thoughtless. For instance: If I go to a café with a friend and the person behind the counter asks my friend:
“What would she like?”
When we have to face such situations it is important to be able to joke about it all … That is my experience anyway.
My close friends know that I love joking about almost anything in life. Sense of humor is dancing with the dark.
Sometimes, if I accidentally walk into one of my friends they exclaim: “Watch where you’re going, Nenne!”
I like that! It makes me feel less different.
I once knew a man whom I thought was extremely beautiful. The picture I had of him was that of a Greek god and he had actually already been compared with a Greek god when he was a teenager.
Shortly after I had told him about my picture of him, he went on a camping trip with some of his friends. Then he told the guys:
“I have met a girl who thinks that I am beautiful!”
“What, is she blind or what!?” one of his friends burst out ironically.
He was quite taken aback when my friend replied:
“Well, as a matter of fact, she is!”
One of my friends asked me:
“It can’t matter to you can it, if you take a walk in a place where you are surrounded with the beauty of nature or if you’re walking in an ordinary street with square houses?
Those words made me realise that many people close to me don’t know that I see inside of me.
I have never seen myself as being blind, I simply think that I see in a different way.
I can definitely feel affected by gloominess and straight city streets. The atmosphere of all kinds of surroundings is in the air and that you can pick up whether or not you are blind. The sensitive one feels the vibrations of a place.
When I walk in a forest I watch everything there: The trees, the leaves, the stones and the colours of seasons, but from within. Obviously, I can not show you how I see, but the question is if everyone actually sees things in the same way???
If you are watching a sunset sky, you might say that the sky has an indigo colour, but if you have a friend beside you, watching the same sky, he or she might think that the sky has a violet shade.
My interpretation is that colour is an individual matter, depending on the person’s own inner colour-language. What if we die the outer colours from within …
I have often heard that you develop other senses and abilities if you have lost one of your senses. As to that I can not be sure, but it is possible that the brain compensates for senses you don’t use.
I have an exceptionally good memory and maybe I wouldn’t have developed that if I had been able to see with my physical eyes.
Hands have always fascinated me!…
Being so-called blind has meant that I have had a lot of contact with many kinds of hands, helping hands or leading hands.
When I was small and lived in France I held more hands than during my time in Sweden, where people are a little bit reserved and prefer to let me hold their upper arm when they lead me.
There are so many different types of hands: Cold hands, energetic hands, big fluffy hands which make me think of sand dunes and clouds, hands with long piano fingers, tired hands, chapped hands, hands that seem to avoid contact by keeping a slack grip and soft, cool hands that remind me of rose petals.
Have you ever felt the feeling of rose petals under your fingers? If you have, you’ve probably noticed how very cool and smooth they feel. Rose hands are not chilly and nervous, but cooling and pleasant to touch …
The way I see it, the main purpose with our hands is to touch the world and when we touch it with compassion the hands feel well.
Our hands are only handy if we create with them and we need to create with the longing of the heart. This may sound cliché, but I mean it! It is possible to live that way!
I would say that hands unwilling to help others are blind hands.
If you haven’t got the ability to use your hands, you can always help and create with your thoughts, I mean to say: Your inner hands.
A few years ago I started making hands in clay. It has been a good way for me to further deepen my hand studies!
If you think about it, you could compare a hand with a star. Strictly speaking a hand doesn’t have the same shape as a real star, but it does have five star beams! These thoughts help me to appreciate these wonder called hands.
When I am in the middle of an audience applauding, I sometimes think that it is a sky full of stars celebrating…
One of my greatest passions in life is the miniature world: Doll houses. Partly I think that this particular interest has sprouted from my love of fairy tales about pixies, gnomes and the little people, but I also have a theory that miniatures attract me because they give me the opportunity to get an overview of objects which normally are hard for me to imagine simply by listening to peoples’ descriptions of them. I mean to say that when I feel a miniature bike, a cottage or perhaps a grandfather clock in my hands, it is easier for me to get an inner picture of the whole, an entirety if you will.
Many people have asked me if I wish to get my sight back. I haven’t been sure how to answer. I can’t make up my mind. I change my mind from day to day. One day I feel one thing and the next day another. My feelings about it are like ebb and flow …
Since I don’t remember how it is to see, I do not miss anything. therefore I don’t really care so much about it. I often enjoy what I see, the worlds I have inside me, so I am happy with what I’ve got.
Since I lost my sight when I was two years old I do not consciously remember how it is to see, but I still have a very rich, colourful inner life, so I suppose that it is a mixture of subconscious memories and my own imagination.
In 2004 I met someone who would become a close friend. I call him Soul. He suggested that I try hypnosis. He guided me through a hypnosis session while he was playing a shamanic drum and by the end of this session I remembered the time when I was about two years old and went through an operation. The doctors were going to try and save my eye-sight. The operation didn’t succeed.
When I returned after the hypnosis session, I suddenly had a very shaking experience: A sharp light appeared in front of my eyes and the light felt like a spear piercing me. I almost fainted, because the experience was so overwhelming …
After that I have had similar experiences a number of times. Some times I have simply seen the sharp light, at other times I have been able to make out shapes, contours and colours as well.
It is a peculiar sensation. I somehow see the light in the middle and the shapes and colours surround the light. It all looks rather ruffled.
I have noticed that the light I see during these experiences is relentless and somehow much sharper than the light I see inside me, which is dreamy and mild and my inner shapes are less substantial. I think it is possible to compare my inner life with aquarellistic pictures.
I have named my inner light the aquarell light and the outer light I call the spearlight.
Most people who heard about my “seeing-experiences” exclaimed:
“That’s great! Maybe you will get your sight back completely soon!”
They congratulated me, but I wasn’t sure what I felt or how to relate to all of it … but I can’t blame people for cheering when someone gets her sight back. It is a natural reaction to rejoice when something like that occurs!
My sister was the only one who understood that seeing again wasn’t such a glamorous experience.
She said: “It must be quite a shock, suddenly being able to see again after so long…”
Some of my relatives don’t even believe that this has occurred at all, since no doctor has been able to confirm that my sight occasionally is returning. Some people think that my own wishful thinking has caused the experience. The thing is that I have never really wished to get my sight back. Well, no matter what others choose to believe: I believe it, because I experienced it and I doubt that I could have imagined such a concrete phenomenon.
Around the time of my first “seeing-experiences” I came in contact with an 85 year old man who at the time was gradually losing his sight and felt scared and shaken by it. His name was Rafael and we met a few times and had some very fruitful conversations about seeing and not seeing, imagination and inner sight. Rafael experienced a relief when we discussed inner ways of seeing. He wanted me to guide him towards his inner landscapes. I don’t know how deep he came or how much I managed to help him, but I hope that he got some kind of hope from our discussions.
Rafael once said that he was on a journey towards the darkness and I was on a journey towards the light. I don’t know if I would exactly put it like that. I do not feel that I have lived my life in the dark, because I have always had my inner light, but nevertheless: It was his perspective and I honor his experience. Maybe it served him to think like that at the time; That we in some way had parallel experiences with me getting my sight back and him losing his.
I can understand … or maybe I can’t understand at all how it would feel to see for 85 years and then, suddenly start losing the reality you are used to.
I suppose Rafael thought that it was comforting or consoling to realise that it is possible to see with other eyes, despite the lack of physical sight.
Rafael left the earth some time ago, but I will never forget our encounters which I think gave both him and me soul-watering eye-openers.
Our talks were very philosophical and inspiring… He was a poet.
About three years ago I decided to acknowledge a dream which has been haunting me for as long as I can remember: I started photographing.
When I was small I was told that if I wanted to become a pilot or a photographer I needed to accept that it was not possible, but I have often felt in the back of my mind that I am a budding photographer, so three years ago I bought a camera and it has been ever so inspiring, both for me and the people who have visited my exhibitions.
I feel that I have developed a very close relationship with my camera. We communicate about the motifs, I feel that she calls when a dream motif appears.
My wish is to teach my camera to see the way I see, in the hope that I might be able to show others, or at least give you a fleeting glimpse of my realities.
For me photographing is all about intuition, intuitively feeling when the moment is ripe for a photo.
It is almost an intimate connection with nature, like making love with the motif …
So when I take the picture, I see the motif inside me. Then afterwards, when someone describes the photo to me, I see it with that person’s eyes. So my experience of a picture is a mixture of my own imagination and others’ eyes.
Sometimes when I take a walk with someone and I feel inspired to take a picture, it happens that my friend gets an impulse to direct the camera in the “right” direction, but I refuse to let anyone but me hold the camera when I photograph. It is important for me that the picture truly becomes my work of art!
I love the feeling of blurred photos. Blurriness brings a certain mystique and depth to a picture …
Sometimes, in the moment when I press the camera-button I deliberately shake my hands or make a sweeping movement, as if I was holding a paintbrush, that way I create the hazy, fairytalish atmosphere I’m after.
When someone says to me: “I can’t see what this picture depicts” I am thrilled and delighted!, because then it means that the imagination has got an abundance of possibilities …
I want my photographs to be like clouds: Shifting, ever changing and dreamlike…
Some people have compared my photos with aquarell, that’s why I have named my camera Aquarella.
I love putting music to a picture, or writing a fairy tale about it. It feels like building bridges between different kinds of art forms. I have always felt an attraction to the thought of a multidimensional works of art: A necklace turning into a poem or a dance telling a story about a painting …
I recently studied the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin and he apparently had the same dream of building art-bridges. Most of the art during the romanticism circled around the so-called all-embracing art form, universal work of art or as it is called in German: Gesamtkunstwerk.
There is one thing I would like to share with the world around me, but I don’t know if I can find the right words. However, I will do my best: I have seen a colour inside me and it doesn’t match any description of any colour I’ve ever heard of. I have named this particular colour mimino. It is related to the feeling I get on an overcast day when all of nature seems to be shrouded in pleasantly sticky veils and shawls. Some people have wondered if it isn’t grey that I am talking about, but it isn’t! I know grey and this is something completely different. Anyway, mimino is a restful, peaceful colour which awakens a meditative state of mind for me, not cold nor warm, but cooling, like a refreshing shower or a sigh of relief …
I am an artistic soul and I have never been able to have a “normal” job.
Does my book enrich your life, grateful for a gift: +46 (0)76 413 3262.