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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Being Blind in China

My friend Bill, also from Nelson, has moved to China. He is living there because he wants to experience it and because, as a blind person, he has some interesting projects he is working on. His project site and his blog can be found here. If you feel like having a look, please do. Here's a snippet from an email I received from Bill today:

Happy New Year!

It’s been a while since the last letter. I guess it was the other New
Year, the one after Christmas. The ‘festive season’ felt very
strange. While the supermarkets are full of Kenny G renditions of
carols, and the hotels have huge fake trees covered in lights, the
whole things is a very thin overlay.

And then boom (literally) it’s Spring Festival. The fireworks are
unimaginable. It is a roar like cannon fire, heavy mortar fire,
semi-automatic weaponry, and rifle cracks, and it’s forever. By
midnight New Year’s Eve all you can do is release into it and let the
noise do whatever it’s supposed to do. Interestingly, I think it has
actually done something to me. I feel emptied out. I had a week’s
break, but I don’t think that’s the operative factor. My whole
relationship with noise and sound has been changing as I live in this
intense and complicated soundscape.

I took a look at your friend's blog. He truly is an amazing person. You are both lucky to have each other.
Well, of course your friend Bill is amazing, as are you. I looked at his website. Thanks for the introduction.
Interesting – the idea that noise has the ability to make one feel “emptied out.” I never thought of it that way, but it’s true. Sometimes it all becomes too much and you do feel emptied, or drained…

Will check out Bill’s blog!
What a nice blog (just a quick look but I'll go back). We've been toying with the idea ourselves.
Thanks all. Send Bill a note if you feel like it. He has some extra funds in the project if you want to visit China too!
Hi Gary
A great story about Bills quest to discover a deeper sense of one’s self which also makes us become more aware of ourselves. Already his letter gives one an inkling of the heightened sense of sound which is felt by one who is visually impaired. His idea about writing the book is apt and a gallant action which I am sure will draw attention to the plight of so many in China with its burgeoning economy. But any economic growth without commensurate compassionate considerations - particularly to those visually impaired or otherwise with impairments - is not really growth at all to represent an indictment upon any so called civilized state. Best wishes

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