What else do the pictures say? There is no such thing as an ordinary life. The blind soldiers are in a single file parade. Each holds his memories of heartbreak, of shattering violence, of the betrayal of history. Each man is blind in a new world without rational answers. The photographs remind me that I shouldn’t forget that devastating time. Just thinking about it I find I have to walk around my study, pick up small objects, a doll from Lapland, a small piece of votive comfort. The violence of the first world war is beyond comprehension, even now, almost a hundred years later. Imagine trying to find your way ahead, blind, after the battle of the Somme? Imagine having to resketch your own heart.
From What a Dog Can Do: A Memoir of Life with Guide Dogs
by Stephen Kuusisto, forthcoming from Simon and Schuster, 2014