Hello everyone. It's another long lazy Sunday afternoon here. Applying for a passport wasn't nearly as complicated as I had thought it might be. Now that you don't need priests or doctors to act as references, family friends and neighbours who jenuinely know me are happy to do this. There were certainly a whole lot of places to sign and bits of information required. However, once we got to the passport offices with the already completed forms, things certainly went smoothly enough. In fact, the most challenging issue for me was when we got my photo taken. I would think I was looking perfectly serious as you're supposed to but the picture would show me smiling. It took several tries to get one where I apparently wasn't. That has to be the only time I've been at all annoyed at the thought that I'm most likely smiling most of the time. I truly couldn't make myself definitively not smile. I should have my passport within a couple of weeks.
This weekend was a pretty good one overall if a bit slow in places. Yesterday, our pool was opened up for the year. They didn't end up needing me to help this time. I took in DNTO on CBC Radio. It was all about first impressions. One guy the host interviewed was legally blind. He thought it was fantastic that he could add value to people's lives by not being able to judge them by their visual impression and having to take time to converse to get to know them. I certainly feel the same way. However, The host explained how her first impression of him was negative and how she thought he was aloof since he couldn't make eye contact. He had to look away from a person to follow their expressions and reactions visually using the perifferal vision he still had. Unfortunately, people would think he was disinterested since he seemed to be looking away. How many opportunities have I missed out on because people didn't realise how open to conversation and getting to know new people I am due to my inability to visually engage? So few people seem to take the time to go beyond their first impressions. Other than keeping myself presentable, I really can't convey much visually.
We then went out for dinner to Scores to celebrate my parents' 40th anniversary which is actually today. There was certainly an extra irony in that given what's just happened to me. A lot of things have that tinge of disappointment about them. I still enjoyed the dinner and evening. It's damned hard not to enjoy an excellent steak in the company of my parents and two very good neighbours. However, I couldn't help but wonder if I would ever find a woman who was willing to go that distance of commitment with me. Is there actually anybody out there who would truly value what I have to offer enough, or am I simply chasing a foolish hope? I know I can be a good husband other than the financial income perspective. I'm patient, faithful, fair-minded, reliable, and willing to apologise when I'm wrong. I'm absolutely willing to work if I'm given an actual opportunity to. The trouble is that nobody seems willing to let me in to the rest of life. Surely, somebody out there values what I can bring to the table enough to go beyond friendship with me. I've written greetings to so many women whose profiles say they're looking for these kind of qualities in a potential husband but have yet to hear back from anybody who isn't so far away that I'll likely never meet them. I wish there was some social group for singles I could meet up with but there doesn't seem to be anything like that around here. I may be able to put my best foot forward online but I crave more human interaction with people my own age. Has my path through life truly made me so different that I'll simply never find a life partner? Will I always be that single batchelor friend who has more impact on people half way around the world than in his own community? I damned well hope not.
Things are happening over the next while which ought to decrease my sense that life is standing still for me. There's the festival I'm going to with Mark and Wendy next Saturday. Next Sunday, the church is having a social barbecue. That'll hopefully let more people begin to know me as more than simply a blind attendee. Camping with Ron and his crew of friends happens the weekend after that. I always have a good time with them. We share quite a few common interests. However, there's just not that constant exposure for me to think of them as my close friends. I just don't hang out with them often enough. Perhaps, that will change over the years ahead as I slowly accumulate more time spent with them. That's really what it comes down to I think. Time and common interests. I just can't seem to connect with people who have time to get to know me, are close enough to meet up with, and have similar interests.
As I ate lunch this afternoon, I listened to a terrific lecture by Don Tapscott. It was the latest thing added to the Big Ideas podcast presented by TV Ontario. It's a series of lectures by various people. Not all of them interest me but I've found quite a number of them to be very thought-provoking. This one was about his observations of how the Internet has effected the current generation of people who have grown up with it. I guess I'm technically still a part of the last generation of TV kids. I spent most of my childhood listening to things. The current generation spends a lot of time interacting with their media online. His thinking on the differences this has made is absolutely sensible, has that ring of truth to it, and seems very worth-while discussing to me. I'd love to go to some restaurant, person's place, or coffee house and spend an afternoon or evening in meaningful conversation about things like that while they're still at least somewhat fresh in my mind. I take in so much information and it just has nowhere to go immediately other than into this blog and perhaps eventually into my writing. Adam's the only friend I have who is truly close enough to just go and do something like that spontaniously with. However, he would be utterly bored in no time flat. He just has different interests. I haven't exactly lost my interest in games. They'll always be a part of my life. Assuming I'm my normal self, they'll always be something we have in common and can relate to each other through. However, they're just not the centre of it and haven't been for some time. I spend far more time listening to podcasts, reading books and taking in information about all sorts of things. There's just nowhere for me to plug all that thought and time spent reflecting on it into other than online.
I keenly look forward to reading Mr. Tapscott's book Wikinomics which I've just obtained from the CNIB digital library. His observations are definitely going to have an impact on Enchantment's Twilight when I finally get back to it. I've decided, after experiencing a kind of creative stawl, that i need to turn away from Enchantment's Twilight for a while and try to start work on some short stories over the Summer. I got a little bit done over the past week but the flow just isn't there for me. It's truly time for a change in direction. Time to start using that Writesparks software I've got and whatever new experience life decides to throw my way over the next while.
My friend Steve has had a stroke of profound good luck. We talked for the first time in quite a long while via Skype yesterday morning. There's a restaurant opening up in Toronto called O.Noir. There's a similar place in Quebec. People come to eat meals in the dark and are served by blind waiters. Steve has always had very good physical coordination and balance. I can easily picture him being supremely good at this job. It suits his personality completely. You couldn't have fit him more neatly into the work force if you sat down and tried. It's quirky enough that it won't drag on him like an office job would. I just hope the place does well. It would be terrific to actually find someone willing to take me there for a meal together. That's the kind of thing I think Janene and I could have done together. It would have made a very interesting event for both of us. A place like that could literally do a lot to knock down peoples' prejudices towards us by rendering their sight and all of its power for first impressions temporarily useless just long enough to be forceably confronted with the fact that we blind people aren't. Best of luck to you, Steve. You're an absolutely deserving soul given a fantastic opportunity to shine in darkness for people who aren't used to being there.
This comming week, like the past ones recently, stretches ahead like an empty road. There's my mobility lesson on Wednesday. I'll also go out and practice what I feel comfortable travelling along tomorrow and Tuesday presuming good weather. Other than that, there's trying to get started writing short stories. I have a few podcasts awaiting my listening pleasure as well as Wikinomics. That ought to be a fascinating book given how much I enjoyed his lecture and the CBC Spark interview I heard from him a while ago. There ought to be enough there to keep me stimulated in my solitude. I've also been going online more these days to chat on For-The-People. Getting used to leaving Skype online most of the time is slowly coming along. I just have to get used to telling people when I'm busy but have accidentally forgot to set the status to indicate this. There's always the chance that the couple of women who have shown any interest in me at all will contact me via that means. It seems a pretty remote hope though. Even presuming they did, it's not like it would be any different from talking to other people online. I have a very hard time picturing myself falling in love with somebody who I couldn't actually get together with regularly. I guess it's possible. It just seems so very unlikely. Still, I've got to try to keep an open mind and open door.