Yesterday I got to have a profoundly interesting experience. I went to a Blind Cafe performance.
My friend and I were led into a totally pitch black room by a blind person (conga style with my friend in front of me and people holding on behind me). We were told where our seat was, and that our meal was prepared and set in front of us. Olive oil and bread was on the table to share.
It was very very dark. I could not see my hands in front of my face (I know--I tried to do that several times!)
I found the olive oil -- my hands were soaking in it! Found my water bottle. Found my plate and starting eating the wonderful vegetarian meal prepared for us. With my hands. Nice and squishy and soft and tasty. Only later did I realize that I had a fork...and then trying to eat with my fork, not as succesful as my hands. I went back to hands.
While we were eating (this was with about 50-60 other people), the chef, who was blind, explained the meal he prepared (butternut squash, beets, pasta salad, kale coleslaw, etc.). And our blind guides into the room told us their life stories and how it is to be blind. They answered questions, handed out desserts of dark chocolate pieces.
And then we listened to music in the dark.
I found it so interesting to establish myself in this complete darkness. And I know that it was not to "feel how blind people are"--no, that is too complicated an issue to deal with in this experience. But it was a sense of profoundness and of feeling and BEING. Listening to others and cooperating and contemplation.
It was so sincerely life affirming.