Once I dropped a spoon in the snow and when I couldn’t retrieve it I was tempted to view the matter as a comment on my life.
I imagined a balloon-like God who’d seen me groping in snow.
In general it helps to think of God as a Macy’s balloon.
In general one’s groping has no meaning.
Still, poking in shadows is central to blindness.
I search for my shoe in a strange hotel.
Perhaps a sighted person finds the shoe instantly.
I lie on the floor spreading my arms like a diver.
Shoe. No shoe. Shoe of the mind. Platonic.
Fingers scrabbling under the inauspicious bed.
Carl Jung said: The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.
What of the lost shoe?
Are not all lost shoes equal?
To find a shoe in a foreign hotel.
Eyes evolved for only this…
ABOUT: Stephen Kuusisto is the author of the memoirs Have Dog, Will Travel; Planet of the Blind (a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year”); and Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening and of the poetry collections Only Bread, Only Light and Letters to Borges. A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and a Fulbright Scholar, he has taught at the University of Iowa, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and Ohio State University. He currently teaches at Syracuse University where he holds a University Professorship in Disability Studies. He is a frequent speaker in the US and abroad. His website is StephenKuusisto.com.
(Photo picturing the cover of Stephen Kuusisto’s new memoir “Have Dog, Will Travel” along with his former guide dogs Nira (top) and Corky, bottom.) Bottom photo by Marion Ettlinger