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The Checkered Eye Project

People wearing this symbol have partial blindness aka low vision.



Seasonal sensations

Just like the rest of 21st  century human life, the festive season is full of wonders and delights that are pretty much exclusively visual.  And just like the rest of 21st century human life, there is plenty that can be savored without acute eyesight.

(Below is a photo of three small stylized Christmas trees.  They have twisted spines, a star on top, and flat metal strips for branches, curled at the ends.  They are covered with gold glitter.  The tallest has a gold bauble with a red tassle hanging on it, the middle one has a tiny blue flashlight hangin on it, and the smallest has no ornaments added.)


In most years The Checkered Eye Project does little other than fill mail orders in December.  Everybody else is so occupied with the seasonal volume of business that we don’t bother trying to get in anyone’s face about spreading awareness of low vision and the checkered eye.


This affords me the opportunity to do whatever I feel like in this the season of joyous excess.  For the past eight years I’ve been happy to help my Friend Stephanie Reidpath organize and perform at Tunes for Toys, a funds and toy gathering occasion for the local Salvation Army.


Music gives me a great feeling of oneness.  I like to take in the sense that we are all in it together; the musicians are obviously in on the cooperation, but the crowd has lots to do with it too. I’m so glad my eyesight doesn’t hinder that. In fact it probably augments it. Since I can’t see people’s facial expressions I project my own ideas of what their movements and body language are saying.  It’s all up to me whether I enjoy it or not so I pay attention to myself and stay with favorable interpretations.   When there’s just no mistaking that the crowd is having a good time too, you can’t beat it!


My hubby Ray and I are empty nesters now so, since we’re not playing Santa anymore, we thought we’d play some tunes with friends on Christmas Eve.   Before any guests arrived Ray and I played and sang a few on our own.  Ray is an actual guitar player so he did a few numbers while I messed with harmony and kept time with a hand drum.  Then I plunked through a few on my own guitar and just enjoyed that “we are one with the music” sensation.

(Below is a photo of my Mini Martin six string acoustic guitar on a stand, a round hand drum and drum stick on the floor in front o f it.)


I think the best is when I let the intellect drop away and just notice sensations.  And there’s so much to notice this time of year.


Someone’s bound to be baking something somewhere in your life during the holidays, and the scents of certain spices are familiar to me:  cinnamon, cloves, and of course the traditional dinners.  There’s nothing like that first whiff of the turkey.



The tastes go right along with the aromas. I think I’ve had a Werther's hard candy in my mouth 87 percent of my waking time this December.

(Below is a photo of a gold candy dish shaped like a glass ball Christmas tree ornament.)


And the tactile stuff, there’s a lot of that too.  I love getting my hands into the gingerbread dough, the feel of some of the delicate glass ornaments, and recall the prickly trees we used to struggle into the house and prop up to be adorned.  Feeling cozy in the new jammies you might have received, snuggled down into the couch for a movie or two.  Those are some pretty nice sensations I must say.  And another one that happens a lot this time of year is a favorite of mine; hugs.  Even when I’m not in on the hugging I really enjoy witnessing people give each other their mushy seasonal embraces; particularly men.  You know when guys are giving a friend the old grab and pound on the back with a smile on the face and often accompanied by some sort of verbal jab, they really do care.


So whatever you and yours do at this time of year, I hope you are having a lovely time and wish you all the best in the new year, and always.


Comments: 2 Comments



  • Comment by Brenda on Dec 30, 2013

    Thank you Libby! Too bad that Dan n' Joe were a little on the "shy" side on Christmas Eve.....It would have been so much fun to watch them jam with you guys! Happy New Year! xo

    [Yup it would've been fun to jam with the boys. Perhaps next year. HNY XO!! LT]

  • Comment by Steph McCoy on Dec 30, 2013

    Great post Libby. Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year!!

    [Thanks Steph! Happy New Year to you too! LT]

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