"For a man to truly know his path, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark."
San Juan de la Cruz
The movie, Bella, was one of my favorite "happy-ending" films of all time. In particular, this scene moved me to tears.
G*d closed my eyes: Now I can see.
Those words, the first time I saw the film, elicited tears from deep within the well of my heart.
Blindlessness is the ability to look but not really see. I've been practicing mindful seeing for several years now ("practicing" being the key). And the world truly comes alive when we truly see it.
People. Emotions. Stones. Insects. Blinking lights. Engines. Cold breezes. Birds. Detritus. Flowers. Clouds. Soil. Garbage. Did I say people?
I've been noticing a man who is blind recently. I've seen him three times. And as I've watched him circumnavigate the neighborhood, I found myself marveling at the way he truly sees and knows the world far more intimately than I.
While at Starbucks this morning, I stood behind two people, as a large crowd came through the door. At the end of this crowd was the man who is blind. He came in last, behind the others. I watched him come through the door slowly, his probing cane leading the path, and he lined up, with deliberate accuracy, seven customers behind me as I was ready to place my own order.
Spontaneously as I placed my order, I surreptitiously added a $20 gift card for the cashier to give him anonymously. I didn't have a Kindness Project card ready, but it didn't matter at all. I whispered to the cashier, "If he asks, tell him its because of his beauty in the world as part of the Kindness Project."
I hurriedly left and sat in my usual spot outside, around the corner, thinking about my own sight, both the literal and the figurative. And my home. And my family. And my job. And two legs. And food and running water. And friends. And Chey... and feeling thankful. Yes, thankful.
About 15 minutes later, he came out, his coffee in hand, and with an ear-to-ear smile that brought tears to my blindless eyes.
Perhaps, in that moment, and without even knowing, that stranger opened my eyes so that I could really see.