Sunday, 26 April 2009


Helen Keller became blind and deaf at the age of nineteenth months but went on to become a world-famous author, activist and lecturer. She wrote of a dream:

In my dreams I have sensations, odors, tastes and ideas which I do not remember to have had in reality. Perhaps they are glimpses which my mind catches through the veil of sleep of my earliest babyhood....

Once in a dream I held in my hand a pearl. I have no memory vision of a real pearl. The only one I saw in my dreams must, therefore, have been a creation of my imagination. It was a smooth, exquisitely molded crystal. As I gazed into its shimmering deeps, my soul was flooded with an ecstasy of tenderness, and I was filled with wonder, as one who should for the first time look into the cool, sweet heart of a rose. My pearl was dew and fire, the velvety green of moss, the soft whiteness of lilies, and the distilled hues and sweetness of a thousand roses. It seemed to me the soul of beauty was dissolved in its crystal bosom. This beauteous vision strengthens my conviction that the world which the mind builds up out of countless subtle experiences and suggestions is fairer than the world of the senses.

It amazes me that she dreamed of something unseen. I find her story completely fascinating; she lived the first 6 years of her life literally in her own world before being taught a form of sign language. How bizarre and incredible to be entirely trapped inside oneself, unable to communicate - to some extent I can understand the frustration. She wrote:

I was too young to realize what had happened. When I awoke and found that all was dark and still, I suppose I thought it was night, and I must have wondered why day was so long coming. Gradually, however, I got used to the silence and darkness that surrounded me and forgot that it had ever been day.

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