Today, Andrea, Vincent, Chris & I headed to Mei Foo to participate in Dialogue in the Dark.
Dialogue in the Dark Hong Kong is a 75 minute immersion into total darkness where blind guides lead a group of 7-9 to experience 5 different aspects of Hong Kong. The sudden withdrawal of sight, which serves as the dominant sense for many, throws everyone off balance. There is a complete flip of dynamic when blind people become the “sighted” individuals in this community. Our nimble and youthful sounding Daniel led us on bridges, through street crossings, to food markets, and even a boat ride on the Starr Ferry. With our world completely pitch dark, our hearing, smell, touch, and even taste rose the the challenge to recreate our experience.
We touched walls, trees, bridge handles, and covers. We sensed the wind on our faces as we rode our Star Ferry. We listened to a movie soundtrack in a theater and created the images with our imagination. We fumbled for fruits at the market and were utterly dependent on our white canes.
At the end of our experience, as we snacked on cookies in the dark, Daniel came out to us about his experience losing his sight due to a brain tumor surgery that damaged his optic nerve. Despite his youthful voice, he was actually already in his mid-40s. He talked about how losing his sight changed him, and how family and love gave him strength and made him realize what was truly important in life.
We came out touched, pensive, and utterly amazed. Wow, just wow.