Today has been a muddy grey, the whole world a bleak concrete and mucky caramel, sodden mistiness and a dusting of dandruff snow that never settled. Of all the things I bash through when it comes to visual impairment, the steady draining away of colour is the hardest to reconcile with.
It also the hardest to explain partly because colour and how we experience it, like smell and taste, is so subjective. I once went out with a man who had no sense of smell and therefore tasted little of the food he ate. I lived with him for over a year before I realised this. Don’t you miss it? I had asked gobsmacked that he couldn’t tell the difference between my delectable Thai curry and his glue and cheddar pasta bake.
Miss what? he replied and I was stumped.
I, being a bit of a jammy bastard, had an exotic gold and green childhood in Zambia, full of firelight, shimmer and stench and all and every colour every day. I was submerged in the stuff which makes me feel I can’t complain too much if I am getting a bit short on it all now.
I still sometimes dream in colour…in fact my unconscious goes a little overboard. I have woken up from dreams more van Gogh, more Hockney, more Matisse than anything ‘photo’ real.
My reality now with RP js that I see colour sorta. Is it blue or brown? Green or blue? Pale colours are milky ‘pale’ and dark colours are…well ‘dark’. Good natural light helps but I will never see like I remember again. Sometimes I might catch a whiff of colour, a shard of bright yellow, a whisper of gleaming peacock green, a soft squeeze of peach. It’s lovely when I do, when I take time to rest my eyes on the object and try and absorb the colour rather than see it. And red. Red still pops like a sugar firework!
Whilst I do grieve for this, especially at this time of year, my inability to distinguish certain colours in certain light can lead to some curious fun. Not too long ago, having had a full day of meetings and then a quck session at the gym I popped over to my pal’s house and she said, head cocked to one side,
'What’s with the green eyebrows?'
OK personal stuff aside I need to do my UNBOUND thing and call you to arms!
We have stalled at 35% and need to move this baby forward!
This is why. In just two weeks the following stories have all been reported.
A warning in the Independent that the benefit cuts planned for April will mean many disabled people, already isolated and mired in poverty, will be unable to afford even basic costs.
And Welfare Weekly suggested the cuts would make disabled people’s abiltity to find and sustain a job harder. (I also read a disabled jobseeker was three times more likely to be sanctioned than find work.)
In Vox Political a woman spoke about how ATOS had rung the ICU to harass her about work when she was fighting for her life.
Disability Rights UK published the Q and A they had sent to the new Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Penny Mordant and her responses were trite, unhelpful and weaker than Jeremy Hunt’s chin.
And there was worse, much worse; people talking about their cruel treatment, hate crime, sanctions, fear and humiliation.
I don’t care what colour your eyebrows are but raise ‘em high and help me push to get this book into the world. You bought it for a reason. Do you know others as passionate about compassion as you? Would you ask them to look at CULL and pledge, share, pledge, share PUBLISH!
Bless you and thank you! Il luta Continua!
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