Where is the Sun?

Blindness can be more than seeing.


When I was 9, I was in a park in Stockton, California across from Lincoln High School. Another child near my age, a boy, was playing on a spinning disc; the kind you run to spin and then get on to ride. We did this for a while during which time I realized he was blind.

His mother was watching from nearby.

I was extremely curious about his experience as a blind boy. When the disc stopped, I began to ask him questions. Eventually, I asked him if he knew where the sun was, and he said he did. I inquired if he would be so kind as to point it out to me so that I could see if this was possible or true. Unfortunately, when his mother saw him pointing (something a blind child would nearly never do) this alerted his mother to the nature of our communication and she, upset, quickly intervened. I saw no more of my new friend.

The boy pointed in ‘the wrong direction’. But I was not yet entirely blinded by tradition and expectation. I quickly realized two things.

The first was that we had just been spinning, and spinning is disorienting — even to us with eyes. Without them, it could be even more disorienting. He may have been pointing at something he sensed, but was, for him ‘still moving’, as some of the visual terrain was for me.

Then I realized something else. Suppose there was another sun? A true sun, that I could not see, because I could see? Suppose that the sun I saw was half or less than half the story, and only a child born blind could point true — whereas one like me, with seeing… would always point at the focus… rather than, for example… the relationship, the everything, the universe.

What if the child knew a secret I didn’t?

What if he knew that ‘everything here is the sun’, and so, in pointing away from it, almost randomly, was trying to get me to see what eyes could never comprehend. He was showing me the star of the soul itself, that recognizes origin in all of its expressions. He could have pointed anywhere and been more right than I, who would have pointed at ‘the sun’ as if ‘that were it and it was a that’.

Together, he and I became less blind. Indeed, perhaps his blindness here enlightens us once more, today, in a context none of us could then have imagined.

His mother was mistaken.

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