Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Seeing by Annie Dillard

"While he was blind he was indifferent to objects unless they were edible; now, "a sifting of values in...his thoughts and wishes mightily stirred and some gew of the patients are thereby led into dissimulation, envy, theft and fraud." pg. 702
This quote fascinated me, because it is interesting how many values are lost in appearance. What people see, the first impression, became very important to a newly sighted person who used to care for nothing material except food. And that is the way it should be. And yet we get so carried away with the colors and beauty and richness of our appearances that it becomes a competitve unspoken game to have the nicest furnishings and the best High-Definition TV. One would wonder if it was human nature to be this competitve and mark your status, or it was just our sight and appearance awareness. And this quote proves that to this man sight changed his whole view not only on the world but on himself.

"But shadows spread, and deepened, and stayed. After thousands of years we're still strangers to darkness, fearful aliens in an enemy camp wiht out arms crossed over our chests."pg. 697
This quote was my favorite because I am afraid of the dark and question why every night. In biology we learned that there is believed to be a trigger in everyone that either triggered by a small experience and stays for the rest of your life or is never triggered, and certain genes hold fears to be triggered like that of the dark or spiders etc. Is it still that thousands of years ago humans found the dark less apt for survival and therefor we shall forever be strangers to the dark? Or is it the lack of something we become so dependent on, seeing, that frightens us. I have found that over the years it has become harder for me to constantly close my eyes or walk in the dark. Is it because a gene has been triggered? Or because I have become so dependent on my sight that I am terrified to function without it. Or perhaps as she puts it, it is a simple human nature that humans use their sight as survival and to the darkness we are aliens, strangers in a new land. Fearful of something unknown to us.

1 comment:

Karl Seidel said...

I'm trying to figure out which book this essay is you know?