Cancer Vs. Blindness
Blindness can be a pain in the ass, and infantilizing, even depressing sometimes, but it is not cancer.
This is A Blind Writer’s Notebook, a monthly column by M. Leona Godin about her experiences as a writer and the monolithic trope of blindness.
You’d think worries about cancer would be your number one preoccupation when you visit the radiologist for a biopsy on your boob, but if you’re blind, not so much. Last August, I had my first mammogram, my first abnormality, my first biopsy, my first cancer scare. The radiology appointments came in quick succession and each time, the receptionist refused to talk to me directly. Each time, he said to my partner Alabaster, “What’s her name?”
Eye and Brain.
Touching the Rock,
M. Leona Godin is a writer, actor, and educator who is blind. She received her PhD in English Literature from NYU. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Playboy, FLAPPERHOUSE, and Quail Bell Magazine. She serves on the editorial review board of Newtown Literary and is the founding editor of Aromatica Poetica.
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The idea of exploitation seemed to me fraught with assumptions about what a blind person is supposed to do and be—assumptions that insist blind people be poets and prophets, saints or beggars, not lowbrow entertainers.
The sixth sense, second sight, third eye. We are supposed to have both extra-accurate hearing and perfect pitch, more numerous and more acute taste buds, a finer touch, a bloodhound’s sense of smell.
I felt that whipping out the white cane would irrevocably launch me into the kingdom of the blind, and, for many years, I did not want to go there.