Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: It's a Colorful World (12/03/09)
TITLE: Seeing With the Heart
By Yvonne Blake
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Reporter: Winifred, it’s a privilege to talk with you today. Could you give our readers an insight into how it feels to be blind from birth? How have you coped with your handicap?
Winifred: I don’t think of it as a handicap. Everyone has a weakness. Mine just happens to be my sight. I have other strengths that I couldn’t have lived eighty-six years without.
Reporter: What kind of strengths?
Winifred: Oh, I can hear and identify many smells and sounds that most seeing people don’t notice- such as: I smell sour milk on you, so I assume you probably have a young child.
Reporter: (laughs) You’re right! My son spit up on me just before I left the house. I thought I washed it all off my shoulder. What else do you sense?
Winifred: You are wearing heels—not appropriate shoes for a clear day like today.
Reporter: Right again! Although, it’s rather cloudy today, not clear.
Winifred: I meant it was clear like ice or a cold window pane.
Reporter: Oh! I never thought of it like that! But you can’t see the sky or colors, so how do you know what color they are? Do you describe things by how they feel?
Winifred: Colors have meaning to me. Green is like a needle, and red is like maple syrup.
Reporter: Wait a minute! Maple syrup isn’t red.
Winifred: It is to me. I associate something sweet with apples or cherries, with peppermint sticks...or maple syrup.
Reporter: Oh! Okay, I understand. So, why is a needle green?
Winifred: It pricks me like roses and Christmas trees.
Reporter: Interesting! What does blue mean to you?
Winifred: Blue is warm, and the sun is black.
Reporter: (shaking head) You’ve lost me there. Why is the sun black and blue?
Winifred: (smiles) No, a summer day is blue, and the sun is black. When people say the sky is blue, my skin is warm, but the sun must be very hot to make everything warm. So, it is black like the stove and burning coals.
Reporter: That makes sense! What about white?
Winifred: White is one of my favorite colors. It is soft like my kitten and sheep’s wool and snow and moss. (touching reporter’s sleeve) Your coat is white.
Reporter: (laughs) Actually, it’s black, but I never thought of how many white things are soft and fluffy.
Winifred: Does your coat make you hot?
Reporter: It’s making me hot in this room.
Winifred: Then it IS black!
Reporter: Tell me about other colors.
Winifred: (leaning back her head to think) Yellow is sour like pickles and lemons and grapes.
Reporter: Yes, that one I can easily understand. What about purple?
Winifred: Purple? Purple is wet. When I brush my cheeks against purple lilacs, I get all wet. Walking barefoot in the grass gets my toes all purple. My kitty’s fur turns purple when she’s been outside on a snowy day.
Reporter: Here’s a hard one—pink!
Winifred: (giggle) Pink is gooey, like gum and taffy and pine tree sap and melting wax.
Reporter: I love it!
Winifred: Emotions have colors, too. Anger is orange like a fire, but sometimes it is green when its words sting. Stubbornness is silver like a cold, hard metal. Happiness is purple-y refreshing, but joy is fuzzy white.
Reporter: You are a wise woman, Winifred. What color is love?
Winifred: (smiles) Love is beautiful. Love is brown.
Reporter: Brown? Not red or pink?
Winifred: Why should it be red or pink? Those are nice, but brown is the color of love—of fresh bread or warm milk, of packages in the mail or swept floors or a ticking clock, of my father’s arms and hugs and kisses. Brown is the color of home.
Reporter: Thank you, Winifred. It’s been wonderful seeing the world of color through your eyes.
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart.” Helen Keller
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