This I Believe

suzzy - nyc, New York
Entered on June 19, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

“I believe in what I cannot see.” I had that thought while walking downtown the other day. Oddly enough, about a minute later I came to the corner of 23rd and 7th where a blind woman with a stick was calling out to passersby to help her cross the street. She was disheveled and spoke with a thick accent. I was going in the opposite direction, but stopped short and said, “Can I take your arm?”. “Please”, she said. As we walked across 7th avenue, she commented on how hot it was. We laughed about the way that winter sometimes turns to summer, ignoring spring. We walked slowly because suddenly, without sight, time changed and there was no hurry. We were enjoying a certain intimacy. I was her friend, keeping her from harm. It was a short friendship, but deeply affecting. Once she was safely across and on her way, I stood for a moment and closed my eyes, inspired by her bravery. How does one walk down the street without being able to see? I shook my head, wondering about the coincidence of running into her right after thinking, “I believe in what I cannot see.”

I have no idea what it’s like to be without eyesight, but I do know what it’s like to be blind, so to speak. I wander through my mysterious life, and the fog is thick. I think I’m going one way, only to be turned around and pointed in another direction. More and more, the strange and magical relationships, that spring out of coincidence and chance, are the ones that clue me in to who I really am and remind me that a whole lot is occurring that I can’t perceive.

I just returned from a business meeting that left me feeling hopeless. My colleague was telling me that in order to drum up business we must make a My Space page that many people will visit in order to create the illusion that we are “happening.” Honestly? I don’t even know what My Space is! I felt my concentration drift off in the middle of the meeting. I thought about the woman on the corner asking for help to cross the street. I remembered how alive I felt holding onto her arm as racing cars slowed to let us cross. I recalled her smile as we said goodbye. I wondered, does she have a My Space page? Again, I said to myself, “I believe in what I cannot see.”