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vivico1
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Fate vs coincidence

Do you believe it was fate or coincidence that the OPTOMETRIST that Jennifer went to see, wanted to check out Mike's eyes? Of all the rare things possible, this surgery,even knowledge of it then, do you think it was Mike's fate to be there with her that day or just a wonderful coincidence? Frankly I think there was a higher power at work here but then I dont believe in coincidences anyway. I wonder what side of the coin Mike would weigh in on.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Librarian
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Re: Fate vs coincidence



vivico1 wrote:
Do you believe it was fate or coincidence that the OPTOMETRIST that Jennifer went to see, wanted to check out Mike's eyes? Of all the rare things possible, this surgery,even knowledge of it then, do you think it was Mike's fate to be there with her that day or just a wonderful coincidence? Frankly I think there was a higher power at work here but then I dont believe in coincidences anyway. I wonder what side of the coin Mike would weigh in on.



Hi Vivico----Interesting question.----I think there was a higher power at work too. I don't think we have one "game plan" or fate. I think we can make altering changes if we want to. I have also experienced serendipitous moments in life that some people may call coincidence but I feel it's a higher power.
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vivico1
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Re: Fate vs coincidence


Librarian wrote:


vivico1 wrote:
Do you believe it was fate or coincidence that the OPTOMETRIST that Jennifer went to see, wanted to check out Mike's eyes? Of all the rare things possible, this surgery,even knowledge of it then, do you think it was Mike's fate to be there with her that day or just a wonderful coincidence? Frankly I think there was a higher power at work here but then I dont believe in coincidences anyway. I wonder what side of the coin Mike would weigh in on.



Hi Vivico----Interesting question.----I think there was a higher power at work too. I don't think we have one "game plan" or fate. I think we can make altering changes if we want to. I have also experienced serendipitous moments in life that some people may call coincidence but I feel it's a higher power.
Librarian


I think we can make changes in our lives too, even when faces with those extraordinary moments or the serendipitous ones, if you will, if we are motivated to do so. I think part of that goes back to what Robert said about what interested him enough to write the two books he did:

"In both stories, the main characters are confronted with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a chance to do what very few people in the world have ever had a chance to do - or ever will again. Despite myriad and great risks - and even at the risk to their own lives - none of these men can abide the idea of turning his back on the chance to see the adventure through; none of them can live out their years knowing he'd had a chance to do something beautiful and impossible, but that he'd passed on that chance simply because it was too dangerous, simply because it might have killed him. Living life with that knowledge, to these men, seemed little like life at all.
This idea - that a person is what he does at that great moment of opportunity - has fascinated me since I was a kid."

I don't think these once in a lifetime events are coincidence, so to see what a person will do with them is fascinating. Think of all the stories out there where people have been given or faced one of these life altering experiences and let them pass by that we dont hear about. What might have come of those!
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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psb
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Re: Fate vs coincidence

This chance happened to Mike and he had the character to take advantage of it. As others have mentioned there are those that receive great chances and for one reason or another cannot or do not take advantage of them. The question that always comes to my mind is, that if a higher power is involved why don't the chances come to everyone as deserving or as able to take advantage of the chance as Mike?
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vivico1
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Re: Fate vs coincidence


psb wrote:
This chance happened to Mike and he had the character to take advantage of it. As others have mentioned there are those that receive great chances and for one reason or another cannot or do not take advantage of them. The question that always comes to my mind is, that if a higher power is involved why don't the chances come to everyone as deserving or as able to take advantage of the chance as Mike?


they do. Everyone at some time or the other in their lives, will have something happen to them that can be a defining moment in their life. It's not about who deserves it or doesnt everyone, of course everyone deserves life enhancing experiences and because there is a higher power not coincidence at work, you will have one. The problem is, most of us dont recognize those moments, or have a clue what they might mean to us, or think they are just little things, not "big" like this was in Mike's life. Our choices define how big they are. Have you never had something wonderful come from what you thought was just a little thing? Or, to say, but if there is a higher power, doesnt he think other blind people are deserving too? Certainly, but because He is a higher power, he knows what life experiences you need to grow in the best way you can in the areas that will mean the most to your own life. It may be something very different so you can't really equate individual's experiential needs. You cant equate what they are given for those either then. The biggest difference tho, is knowing them when you see them, or just trying things rather than saying, oh i cant do that or I am not interested, you never know where they will lead, and there lies the difference. We all get great opportunities for self enrichment in our lives, but we have to be open to see them, recognize them and then have the desire to follow them. Mike was game for anything new I think, and look what happened! You know others have had similar offers even and said no. We just dont hear about them.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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ilucas
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Re: Fate vs coincidence

Yes, all of our lives are filled with wonderful opportunities and moments pregnant with meaning. The story of Mike May is note worthy because the unique elements of this specific moment were unusual. But, the explosive accident was one such moment, So might have been his parents' divorce. Marriage, the birth of his children, getting on skis for the first time, etc. were pivital moments in his life. Is there any life that survives past infancy that does not have such moments. I think the other part of this question is the acceptance of risk. Would we have viewed Mike May less heroically had he not elected the surgery? had the surgery failed? had he stopped taking the anti-rejection drugs? had the frustration and confusion of the distorted perceptions driven him to a mental break?
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vivico1
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Re: Fate vs coincidence


ilucas wrote:
Yes, all of our lives are filled with wonderful opportunities and moments pregnant with meaning. The story of Mike May is note worthy because the unique elements of this specific moment were unusual. But, the explosive accident was one such moment, So might have been his parents' divorce. Marriage, the birth of his children, getting on skis for the first time, etc. were pivital moments in his life. Is there any life that survives past infancy that does not have such moments. I think the other part of this question is the acceptance of risk. Would we have viewed Mike May less heroically had he not elected the surgery? had the surgery failed? had he stopped taking the anti-rejection drugs? had the frustration and confusion of the distorted perceptions driven him to a mental break?


We would not even know who Mike is, if he hadnt done the surgery, taken the risk, grabbed the opportunity. Think about it, we define extraordinary people by what they do with what they have or what they do with opportunities given them. If they dont take it, as most of us dont, who will know it? Who would write it? Nothing to write. I am fascinated with these type of stories, even when maybe somewhere down the line, they dont work out or someone gives up. Its that something special was offered,taken and we begin the ride with someone on a journey we may never know otherwise.

Again, Robert, I love the way you write this story because it does take us along with the experience. The fact that we find Mike and this whole story so exciting is because, well for them because it happened and is happening, and for us it's because of the way you wrote it that allows us to ride along and feel and see things we would not otherwise be privy to. I really like this book and your style and I will be getting your other book and watching for more books from you. It truly is a marvelous writing of factual events. Any plans for a book tour down this way? I am in oklahoma. How am I going to get your autograph otherwise? :smileyhappy:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Wrighty
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Re: Fate vs coincidence


ilucas wrote:
Yes, all of our lives are filled with wonderful opportunities and moments pregnant with meaning. The story of Mike May is note worthy because the unique elements of this specific moment were unusual. But, the explosive accident was one such moment, So might have been his parents' divorce. Marriage, the birth of his children, getting on skis for the first time, etc. were pivital moments in his life. Is there any life that survives past infancy that does not have such moments. I think the other part of this question is the acceptance of risk. Would we have viewed Mike May less heroically had he not elected the surgery? had the surgery failed? had he stopped taking the anti-rejection drugs? had the frustration and confusion of the distorted perceptions driven him to a mental break?



I think I consider Mike more of an adventurer, a pioneer rather than a hero. That doesn't make him or his story any less important it's just my viewpoint. I also think that we still would have heard his story even without the surgery. Look at his accomplishments - he worked for the CIA, he has records for snow skiing, he is an inventor who helped develop the first laser turntable and a GPS system for the blind, he has won prestigious awards, the list goes on and on. He is a man who goes after life and all it has to offer and he never does things in a small way. I expect to hear even more of his amazing story.
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vivico1
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Re: Fate vs coincidence


Wrighty wrote:

ilucas wrote:
Yes, all of our lives are filled with wonderful opportunities and moments pregnant with meaning. The story of Mike May is note worthy because the unique elements of this specific moment were unusual. But, the explosive accident was one such moment, So might have been his parents' divorce. Marriage, the birth of his children, getting on skis for the first time, etc. were pivital moments in his life. Is there any life that survives past infancy that does not have such moments. I think the other part of this question is the acceptance of risk. Would we have viewed Mike May less heroically had he not elected the surgery? had the surgery failed? had he stopped taking the anti-rejection drugs? had the frustration and confusion of the distorted perceptions driven him to a mental break?



I think I consider Mike more of an adventurer, a pioneer rather than a hero. That doesn't make him or his story any less important it's just my viewpoint. I also think that we still would have heard his story even without the surgery. Look at his accomplishments - he worked for the CIA, he has records for snow skiing, he is an inventor who helped develop the first laser turntable and a GPS system for the blind, he has won prestigious awards, the list goes on and on. He is a man who goes after life and all it has to offer and he never does things in a small way. I expect to hear even more of his amazing story.


Thats true, it goes back to what he does with what he has. I guess what I meant was, we would not know him from THIS story, the amazing story of sight restored. And someone would have had to bring him to our attention for his other things, if you are not familiar with skiing and those things. Like me, yes he has done amazing things anyway but I didnt know that or who he was until this book, did you?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Wrighty
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Re: Fate vs coincidence


vivico1 wrote:
Thats true, it goes back to what he does with what he has. I guess what I meant was, we would not know him from THIS story, the amazing story of sight restored. And someone would have had to bring him to our attention for his other things, if you are not familiar with skiing and those things. Like me, yes he has done amazing things anyway but I didnt know that or who he was until this book, did you?





I agree Viv. His surgery seems to be his defining moment as far as being in the public eye. No, I had never heard of him before this book. I had never heard of this book until this club. I hope it gets more attention because it's a great story, well written and I think almost everyone would really enjoy it. I don't always care for nonfiction but I loved this one.
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vivico1
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Re: Fate vs coincidence


Wrighty wrote:

vivico1 wrote:
Thats true, it goes back to what he does with what he has. I guess what I meant was, we would not know him from THIS story, the amazing story of sight restored. And someone would have had to bring him to our attention for his other things, if you are not familiar with skiing and those things. Like me, yes he has done amazing things anyway but I didnt know that or who he was until this book, did you?





I agree Viv. His surgery seems to be his defining moment as far as being in the public eye. No, I had never heard of him before this book. I had never heard of this book until this club. I hope it gets more attention because it's a great story, well written and I think almost everyone would really enjoy it. I don't always care for nonfiction but I loved this one.


Told ya nonfiction can be good :smileywink: You should try the other one I did in here that is told in almost real time. Its called Manhunt: the 12 day hunt to capture Lincoln's killer by James Swanson. I am not a big history buff but this is told like a novel too with facts that I had no idea about. I didnt know for example that this was all part of a plot to kill him, the VP, the secretary of state and that there were others involved and some other shootings and killings that night. They never told us that in history in school. You get to hear thoughts from actual journals and newspapers and eye witnesses that wrote things down, even Booth's as you take this step by step 12 journey of his to escape and others to get him and his co-conspirators. It was really fascinating and I know more now about the history of it all than I ever did before, all because of the way it was written. Its all true stuff too.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Wrighty
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nonfiction


vivico1 wrote:
Told ya nonfiction can be good :smileywink: You should try the other one I did in here that is told in almost real time. Its called Manhunt: the 12 day hunt to capture Lincoln's killer by James Swanson. I am not a big history buff but this is told like a novel too with facts that I had no idea about. I didnt know for example that this was all part of a plot to kill him, the VP, the secretary of state and that there were others involved and some other shootings and killings that night. They never told us that in history in school. You get to hear thoughts from actual journals and newspapers and eye witnesses that wrote things down, even Booth's as you take this step by step 12 journey of his to escape and others to get him and his co-conspirators. It was really fascinating and I know more now about the history of it all than I ever did before, all because of the way it was written. Its all true stuff too.


I heard that was a good book and I was always fascinated with Abe Lincoln (except when I had nightmares about him when I was a little kid. Ick!) I'll have to check that out sometime. You haven't steered me wrong yet Viv! :smileytongue:
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RobertKurson
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Re: Fate vs coincidence

When I spoke to Bryan Bashin about Mike, he consistently described Mike in terms of a pioneering instinct. I think, after knowing Mike for three years now, that I would agree with that assessment, and with that exact choice of words. He really is a pioneer.

Also, I wish I were traveling to Oklahoma! I just completed a six-week book tour (that even included Anchorage!), but alas, there are no plans for any more cities at the moment. Mike joined me on six or seven of these talks, and was absolutely fantastic at describing his experience. (He also brought along Josh, his Seeing Eye dog, who got more attention than Mike and I combined.)


Learn more about Crashing Through.
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vivico1
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Re: Fate vs coincidence


RobertKurson wrote:
When I spoke to Bryan Bashin about Mike, he consistently described Mike in terms of a pioneering instinct. I think, after knowing Mike for three years now, that I would agree with that assessment, and with that exact choice of words. He really is a pioneer.

Also, I wish I were traveling to Oklahoma! I just completed a six-week book tour (that even included Anchorage!), but alas, there are no plans for any more cities at the moment. Mike joined me on six or seven of these talks, and was absolutely fantastic at describing his experience. (He also brought along Josh, his Seeing Eye dog, who got more attention than Mike and I combined.)


Well then, I will just have to hope that the email I sent to you at the address listed on your site will help me out with that. I do hope you get it. I saw your tour listings were past already, I think one was Chicago and my best friend lives there...if only I had known! BTW, do you read your email from your website or does someone else? Or do you just get to read a few and then have to dump the rest? This book means a lot to me for several reasons, so I sent something there. Vivian
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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psb
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Re: Fate vs coincidence

[ Edited ]
Vivian,
I'm probably asking too much but I want every kid I've ever brailled a book for to be given the chance to make the same decision Mike had of whether to have their sight restored or not. Not that I begrudge Mike his opportunity and certainly admire him for his accomplishments. I'm also thrilled that a writer such as Robert wrote about him. Maybe this book will be available in braille one day as well as audio.



Vivico1 wrote:
they do. Everyone at some time or the other in their lives, will have something happen to them that can be a defining moment in their life. It's not about who deserves it or doesnt everyone, of course everyone deserves life enhancing experiences and because there is a higher power not coincidence at work, you will have one.

Message Edited by psb on 07-21-2007 11:03 AM
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vivico1
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Re: Fate vs coincidence

br>

psb wrote:
Vivian,
I'm probably asking too much but I want every kid I've ever brailled a book for to be given the chance to make the same decision Mike had of whether to have their sight restored or not. Not that I begrudge Mike his opportunity and certainly admire him for his accomplishments. I'm also thrilled that a writer such as Robert wrote about him. Maybe this book will be available in braille one day as well as audio.



Vivico1 wrote:
they do. Everyone at some time or the other in their lives, will have something happen to them that can be a defining moment in their life. It's not about who deserves it or doesnt everyone, of course everyone deserves life enhancing experiences and because there is a higher power not coincidence at work, you will have one.

Message Edited by psb on 07-21-2007 11:03 AM


I understand what you are saying and when its kids, we want even that much more for them. I know tho, that as they grow, they will find the gifts they have, some that none of us will have and but that each person has uniquely.

**no book spoiler warning, just a VERY long story warning ROFL***
When I was in 7th grade, we lived on the Navajo reservation, no I am not Native American, my folks just had jobs there, and one of my teachers was a young blind woman. I think she came there because at that time, it was hard for her to find a school that would let her teach. She taught music. Well, unfortunately, where I was, it was not acceptable to the N.A. there to have a handicap of any kind. One of the boys there was an albino, the first I had ever seen, and he was teased and left to himself or beat up all the time for it. This was true of the adults too. There was a lovely man there, so kind and good natured, who was N.A. and had been burned over 3/4 of his body in a train boiler room explosion. It got him all over but his face, imagine that! And it left him with epilepsy besides all the scarred skin, which actually was amazingly soft, that was something I didnt know either. He was ostrasized (sp) from his family and clan.

Anyway, back to the teacher.I really her, she had a gift but not one of those kids or their parents cared. The kids would tease her and throw things at her, till she was exhausted trying. I visited her at her apartment a few times, she was only in her 20s. I remember her asking me to light some incense for her in her kitchen sink. She did it there, just in case of fire and she loved the smell of one of them. I lit it for her, she said sometimes, I still burn my fingers doing this so thank you. There were no lights on but I asked if I could turn one on. We talked and I always had questions for her and she always would answer.

One day, she was going to go to the store but the woman who took her, did not come and said she couldn't that week. Well, she really needed some things and I was on my motorcycle and I asked her if she had ever been on one. She said no and sounded excited. I noticed too that when she was excited her eyes would dance around. They always kind of darted around, she didn't wear shades, and since she couldn't focus on any one thing, her eyes were everywhere. But when she was excited, her eyes got bigger, her pupils would dialate and the darting movements were quicker, like they were searching out something, a catalogue of some unseen sort, where she might find a remembrance of what it would be like to be on a motorcycle!

I only had my helmet and I gave it to her and told her, all you have to do is sit there and hold onto me. We will be leaning some at times, don't let that scare you, its just us going around a curve. You are going to feel the road very differently than in a car and its great to have the wind in your face. She was so smiling and giggling and said ok!! I said when we lean, just lean with me, don't try to sit straight, just go with what you feel my body do. So off we went and with the first forward jump of movement, she grabbed me around the waist so tight that I thought she would squeeze the air out of me! lol but as we went, i could hear her gasp at times but mostly laugh in my ear. She was loving it and I was as excited as the first time I had been on one. Yes, at 13 I had my own motorcycle, I grew up very fast because of things that happened in my life and those were different days anyway.

At the store, we got a cart, I lead it from the front while she hung on behind. She had a small list of what she needed. As we went down the first aisle, i started describing what was on this side and that side and she said, what are you doing? I was startled and said, oh I am sorry, you probably know by now what is where, I just started naming things without thinking. She said, NO, thats not it. No one has ever told me before what is in this store! The woman who comes and gets me, just asks what I need. No one at home ever just took me down aisles before and told me everything they saw either, so I just make a note of the things I know I should have and bring that. I was pretty surprised at that and saddened, especially the home thing. They had raised her to her twenties only telling her what she needed but never telling her about what else she might try. She said , please, tell me everything ok? We really had bonded, kind of like sisters and I said ok, so we went down the aisle and I would tell her what was where and if it was something she was interested in or didnt know for sure what it was, I would read the ad on the front and labels in the most dramatic way i could lol and she would just laugh or say ewww and we would get it or some we didn't lol. That was probably the longest I had ever been in that little grocery store in that little town lol.

When we went to pay, I said, how do you know what to give them? She said, I fold the corners a certain way for each bill. I said how do you know they are giving you back the right bill and not cheating you? She said, that one is a problem, I dont, I just fold the corner for what they tell me it is, thats why I mostly have to have someone with me at the registers. Well we had way too much for one bag to put between us on the motorcycle but I knew the family that owned the store and found one of them and asked him if he could bring the groceries to her house, it wasn't but like 5 minutes away. He was a young guy and said sure. So we were free to ride the bike again and we got home before he did. I asked her lots of things about lights and shadows, she had a little of that but had been blind all her life. I even asked her about what she did about her periods. I had just started having mine and had a horrifying incident at school, where i started and didn't know it, but had a stain on the back of my pale dress and thought i would die of embarrassment! She said, she was on BC pills to keep her regular and had a good sense of when she was about to start and would wear something right then. I still puzzled over if she ever had an accident but didn't follow that one up lol. We talked about all kinds of other things too about not having sight that I wanted to know and she said but I can hear such wonderful things and I do so love music. I knew it was my way to independence too, I didn't want to live with my parents all my life. I said, by the way, when you walk to school, do you know that where there is a rail, thats over a deep dried up creek? She said, yes they told me that and I am careful. I said well thats the short way to get you there and safe too. I wondered if you went that way or the long way around. She said, would it really kill me if i fell over? I said I dont know,I guess it would depend on how you fell but it would definately hurt you bad.

Hey, I was 13, I didnt mean to scare a blind person about what they were doing everyday, I didnt think! I saw her worried look and realized what I had done by bringing that up. I said, have you ever gone hiking? She said yes, back in the state where she lived there was this nice trail they used to go on in the summer that was pretty cool. I said have you ever gone OFF trail hiking? She said no, they had special places for us to hike so we didn't have to worry about that. I said would you like to go off trail for a little hike with me, up some hills where you might slide and down some too? Would you trust me enough to try it? She said where? Her eyes, searching her catalogue again. I said, down that ravine that you walk over every day. She went quiet, scared quiet. I said, I go up and down it all the time,its ok. You don't want to fall over a rail into it but its ok to walk up and down and you will know what its like down there then and I will be with you, we won[t fall, maybe slide down or trip a bit but we wont fall far where we could be hurt, honest. I said, it would be a new view of where you live? lol With that she said ok, ok, yes lets do it saturday. I said ok and I will see if Jimmy wants to come too! Jimmy was my weekend friend to hang with and he liked her too. Quite frankly, that made us the three white people who were always seen as out of place at that school, or outsiders maybe is a better term.

Saturday came, she had on jeans and her eyes were dancing so much and she was breathing so fast, I had wondered how long she had been up, just contemplating whether she was really going to do this or not. I said, well there is one thing you have to do before you leave the house. She said oh whats that? What did i forget? I said, BREATH! lol I said slow down and breath first and she realized what I meant and took a deep breath and was able to laugh then. The way to the easiest part to walk down and up was nothing, just asphalt and a sidewalk so no big deal. Then we stopped and I said, ok, here is where we go down, are you ready? She could hardly speak. I said Ms Tester (I wont forget that name lol) I said we don't have to do this at all, its ok if you don't want to. That seemed to shake something in her that I thought was from something in her past that she did not like and she stood very straight then and said no, lets do this! I said Jimmy is going to be in front of us, he said yeah its easy honest! and I will be in front of you holding your hand and I will tell you what we are doing as we go. I said, remember, we are going down first and your feet may slide some but its ok to land on your butt (LOL). She was the one that laughed at me being serious when I said that. She said ok. I said besides, how far can you go, if Jimmy and I are right in front of you? You will slide right into us first lol. She said hey that works for me! ROFL.

We started down and the ground gave a little immediately with her first step and she held out her other hand, sure she was falling down. I said, Ms Tester, have you ever had your shoes off somewhere and got stickers in your feet? She said well some grasses, like out here in the desert do, so yes why? I said I really didn't know if she had and I wanted to try something else (but didnt want any more new surprises for her than she was going to have already). I said, I think if we take off our shoes, so you can feel the ground, you will feel more secure and its mostly sand, ground and rocks, you may feel some rocks but in case there are stickers too, I wanted to know if you knew about stickers! She said oh, ok, and yeah, I feel things very well with my feet and this slipping is scary. So we all took off our shoes and left them there cause we would come back the same way. As we started slipping down the side, taking the best steps that we could, she could feel the incline better and she said she liked to feel the differences in the ground under her feet and between her toes, tho the little rocks hurt some. Her fear was going as her curiosity took over and each OHHH, was followed by a giggle or laugh. I think I loved Ms Tester at that moment for the joy of discovery she was feeling all fresh and making me feel it again too!

At the bottom was mostly sand and I said now, we are on the bottom. We stopped and she took a big deap breath and said, well that wasn't far down at all! I thought we would be going down half the day! It had only taken about 20 minutes. I thought to myself, how frightening it must have been then, to think that if she fell over that rail, she could fall into something that would take half a day to walk down into. How huge that ravine must have been in her mind. She said well this is just too much fun and definitely new! She said, this is not like going down a hill on a sidewalk at all, the incline feels so different. I asked her if she could tell me how, what she felt, I was so curious and not sure what she meant too. She said, well this is the sharpest incline I have even been on, its like walking down stairs that are not flat! She says, this is like walking on something alive too, it moves always under your feet and over them, even the things that hurt my feet, felt alive. I loved to think of it that way, I never had before.

On the other side of the ravine, we were about to start up and I told her so. Jimmy was already at the top LOL. I said Jimmy come back down and get behind her. He said, why, she's coming up now. I said so she can fall on your dumb head if she needs to ok??? lol She said oh my! Will I? I said, oh don't worry about it, its just in case you need a push up or want to hear someone behind you is all. I actually did worry about her standing up too straight and falling back tho. We took one step and she was immediately on her knees. She said oh my this feels so much steeper! I dont know! I said its ok Ms Tester, its the same and actually when you go up the side of one of these things, you do do it mostly on your hands and knees to help pull your way up and keep your balance. She said oh ok. We started up the hill, she was using both hands and I was standing up more but didnt tell her that. I knew she needed to take it at her own pace and she seemed very serious about what she was doing. It took about 35 minutes to get up this side. At the top, she was dirty and her hair was a bit sweaty and she stood up and took in a deep long breath with her shoulders up, like she had just landed on top of Mount Everest. She said, that was AWESOME! WOW, that is work coming up! That was great! She gave me the biggest hug and just did this little dance that had me dancing too and Jimmy just shaking his head at us.

It had taken a little over an hour to do the ravine that Jimmy and I scrambled up and down in maybe 15-20 minutes most days and it had taken a lot of her adrenaline too. At the time, I just knew for all her excitement, she looked very tired too and I thought about the hour back across and wondered if she could make it and if it were too much, would it spoil the experience for her. I said Ms Tester, it would take another hour to go back the way we came, do you want to just walk around and over the bridge now to go back? She said what about our shoes? Jimmy said, I bet I can get them and beat you both back! I kicked him in the shins! She looked puzzled at how he could do that but she said oh ok, that would be great thank you. We walked back to her apartment talking and laughing. I said your filthy you know. She said I know, isn't it wonderful??LOL

We sat outside at her apartment and she brought us some lemonade she had made and thats when I saw that you measure how much you pour in, with one finger over the rim to feel it when it reaches that point. Her world was as new to me at 13 as mine was to her and I was looking forward to us learning so much from each other for a few years to come at least. But, things got worse at school for her. She had lost control of a class one day and couldnt get it back. One of the boys was throwing a ball around and whenever she would go to one boy and tell him to give her the ball right now, he would laugh and throw it to another boy. She did this too long, they knew they had her. Soon, she walked out the door as fast as she could and later I heard that she was crying really hard out in the hall. She went that day to the office and said she couldn't do it anymore and was going to leave, to go to a school and teach music to other blind children, she had already checked into it. She said, if I cant control my class, if they don't respect me, I cant teach them, and the music will be lost to them. I hated to see her go, I really wanted her in my life. We wrote each other for a brief time, but I was 13 and she was just in her 20s trying to make a new life. She married a man in his late 50s. I loved that one year with her and that one summer and I can still feel her on the back of my motorcycle and see her dancing eyes that never saw me, but knew me and tho she never looked straight at me, her eyes never stopped moving, I remember how much she did express with those eyes anyway.

I know this wasn't a happy ending story, but some aren't in our lives. And now that I have totally gone off on a rambling tangent again, let me come back to my point. I never saw her cry because she couldn't see. I had even asked her if she wished she could see, when things seemed so hard at times. She told me, but you have hard things in your life too Vivian, and just because someone else may see your hard things as sad or harder than they are to them, doesnt mean you feel them that way if you never knew different. She told me this way and its an analogy i use for a lot of things. She said,what is your favorite food. I said potatoes! lol, she said ok but what if you had never had a potato in your life, would you miss them? I thought and said well , if I had never ever tasted one, I guess not. She said no because its not a part of your life that you had and then someone took from you. She said, I dont know sight as you do, how can I miss it? I could tell you about a potato and you might very much want to try one sometimes but you dont miss it. Sometimes I would very much like to see what you guys call things with your sight, but I dont miss it, I never knew it. She said, what I do miss tho, are the chances to try things new and be told about things, that my family and even the school i went to, never did because they supposed it would make me depressed or if I couldnt do it I might get depressed, I guess. She said, sometimes I think my blindness doesnt limit my options, the people around me do and then I get discouraged. She told me she would never forget the motorcycle rides we did or the ravine and she would from now on ask more questions and force people to let her try more things at least. I know somewhere, maybe with an older man that would let her try, I hope so, that she did keep trying new things and found a place to really share her gift of music with someone. She really had a lot to give and never talked about not having sight, just not having opportunities or people to help her find them. Thank heavens, Mike had those people.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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vivico1
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Re: Fate vs coincidence

Ok, that last post I did was a book!!! I am sorry, its just this book, makes me think of so many times in my life that something important or different or special happened that I had either forgotten about or never told anyone about in these terms that I get carried away. lol. Good books sure get you thinking huh? lol and PSB, I don't know if that was more about what I felt given than about what Ms Tester was given, but I hope it at least got across the point that even tho we may feel sad for people with "disabilities", sometimes we are their true disability. I love that you are teaching children, and I am with you, I would love to see all books done in braille too, not just some done in audio. If they spent just the amount of money it takes to put braille on bank DRIVE UP window pads (what is that all about??) on braille books instead, that much would make a difference. I know how it can hurt to see children struggle, I am sure Mike's mom felt that a lot of times. Just be sure that you dont see them as limited by it, or they may begin to feel limited by you (and I dont mean just you Psb, I mean all of us). Thats what Ms Tester's family and her blind school did to her. And thats what she taught me.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
psb
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psb
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Re: Fate vs coincidence

Vivian,
My motivation for putting textbooks into braille is so that the blind students will not be limited by not having the books everyone else has. The American Foundation for the Blind has a series of posters called "Get Caught Reading" and my favorite and the one that inspires me the most is of a young man, Erik, in mountain climbing gear inside a tent reading a braille book.

I don't honestly believe that given the choice to be born or become blind that is what any one would choose.

To go back to your original question,I don't know if there is a higher power at work in the world or not but I confess I don't much care for the idea that a higher power is at work in one person's life and not the next. I've never felt very satisfied by the usual answers given for "why bad things happen to good people".


Vivico1 wrote:
Ok, that last post I did was a book!!! I am sorry, its just this book, makes me think of so many times in my life that something important or different or special happened that I had either forgotten about or never told anyone about in these terms that I get carried away. lol. Good books sure get you thinking huh? lol and PSB, I don't know if that was more about what I felt given than about what Ms Tester was given, but I hope it at least got across the point that even tho we may feel sad for people with "disabilities", sometimes we are their true disability. I love that you are teaching children, and I am with you, I would love to see all books done in braille too, not just some done in audio. If they spent just the amount of money it takes to put braille on bank DRIVE UP window pads (what is that all about??) on braille books instead, that much would make a difference. I know how it can hurt to see children struggle, I am sure Mike's mom felt that a lot of times. Just be sure that you dont see them as limited by it, or they may begin to feel limited by you (and I dont mean just you Psb, I mean all of us). Thats what Ms Tester's family and her blind school did to her. And thats what she taught me.
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vivico1
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Re: Fate vs coincidence


psb wrote:
Vivian,
My motivation for putting textbooks into braille is so that the blind students will not be limited by not having the books everyone else has. The American Foundation for the Blind has a series of posters called "Get Caught Reading" and my favorite and the one that inspires me the most is of a young man, Erik, in mountain climbing gear inside a tent reading a braille book.

I don't honestly believe that given the choice to be born or become blind that is what any one would choose.

To go back to your original question,I don't know if there is a higher power at work in the world or not but I confess I don't much care for the idea that a higher power is at work in one person's life and not the next. I've never felt very satisfied by the usual answers given for "why bad things happen to good people".
__________________________________________________________________________________



I dont think people chose to be born blind or not either, hope it didnt sound like I did. OK, lets forget the higher power term and just say I believe in a God. And a loving one who knows the first and the last of us, the ins and the outs of us and wants nothing but the best for us. Why do some people die young? Why are some born blind? Why do people get murdered, raped, mutilated and on and on.... I dont know. I know that we are not just pawns in God's own little game, or some other cosmic game of chance. But having said that, I do believe that once we are given life, whatever that life is, we are also given free agency to think and act and do with it what we will. A lot of that will be shaped by others around us too.

Why do bad things happen to good people? Why not? Why would good make us exempt? If there is a God and good people never got hurt or faced adversity, wouldn't that mean, God doesn't care about the "bad" people? He does, or the atonement means absolutely nothing! Diseases, why? again, why not? What could we have done before this life that would make a god give us something in birth that would seem to be just a mean act? He is too loving for that. But he knows things we don't. He also knows what we can and can not handle and what things in our lives we can learn from and grow from. I would dare say, if you asked Mike if he would change any of these things that has made his life what it is, he would probably say no. So its not that God is working in one person's life and not another's. Its that he is working in different ways in one person's life than another's. We can include him or not in ours. We can see that something else is working here if i grab hold of it or just believe its our dumb luck. If its just the luck of the draw, then that is cruel, of a God or of nature, which ever you chose. But we are on an ever changing earth, with ever changing challenges and we are all as unique as our fingerprints. But, what I want to be careful of on my life, from the many people I have run into that taught me so much is to never feel that one person "has less than" or was just "unlucky" and its sad they cant be more. I have been called on this more than once in my youth by people with challenges telling me they dont want my pity or me questioning the quality of their lives.

Bad things happen to good people, because bad things happen in a mortal world. Its just that simple and bad things happen to bad people too. Why don't we question that? We don't because even if we don't believe in a God, or say there cant be one, if he lets this stuff happen to good people, we do not feel the same about when bad things happen to bad people. We are more than willing to give some "higher power, or karma" the credit for that because surely the bad person got what they deserved! No, bad things happen to good and bad people and always will.

Free agency, is a gift. How we use it in our lives, whatever they are in this life, is up to us. God gave us life but he isn't going to live it for us or take away all our challenges or just give them to bad people. Who learns anything for themselves in that and life is about learning and it is an adventure, full of heartache too sometimes. But its not always about what is going on, on the outside that is the adventure or where the learning takes place and if we make it all about that, we diminish the experiences that make up our lives or those of others. And sometimes, like a friend of mine, whose little girl was brutally raped and all she was hearing was, God has a purpose for everything till she was ready to hate God, we talked some about free agency and she looked at me with near hate and said, do you mean to tell me my baby chose to be raped! I said, no, but this man chose to use his free agency in a horrific way and unfortunately your child ran across this man using his free agency in such a way that she was terrible hurt. Her eyes got huge and she let go of something right then, you could tell, just a little something but something, because her voice changed so much. Then I said, it was not her fault, its not your fault, its not God's fault, He cries too that your baby, his child too, was hurt by this man. It is this man's fault. Now what we need to do, is use our free agency to do the things that will help heal her, not diminish her or make her fearful of people or make her hate forever. She said well and I am sick of being told I have to forgive him. I said, then dont! God knows how you feel and forgiveness is not really for that man anyway, its for you, to help you heal. If you dont want to forgive him, dont! Its ok. Besides, forgiveness comes in many forms, and I don't personally think God really expects you to go up to thi man right now and say oh I forgive you! It may never be HOW you forgive inside about this anyway. I couldnt right now, maybe never too if she was my child and as your friend and seeing her right now,I am not in a very foregiving mood myself. I said but we cant use our agency now to make the bad choices of letting what he did cripple any of us, most most especially her. She needs help understanding and getting through this, cause she will have to go through this, not around it and you too. Don't let him take any more from you and don't let her stay stuck in this feeling forever by your feelings of helplessness now too. You have great god-given tools that I know are in you, I have seen them, that will help you help her and I know your the one to do it and thats why you are with her. So you are not helpless, your just hurt and are stuck in the bad thoughts right now and think you cant get out but you can and you will as you are there for her, you will feel it. God didn't want your baby hurt, but because he does love her, he gave her to you. Now choose those things that I know are in you to help her.

I do agree about the textbooks being in braille, like I say, I would love to see all books offered in braille, or at least copies available to all libraries. I would love to see children, and adults too, sitting in our libraries with everyone else, checking out the books, or sitting there reading one and enjoying it with everyone else. I think that would be awesome. Is there an organization that works to get books into braille that might be for this purpose? I would love to know about it and see how I could be involved.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Fate vs coincidence

[ Edited ]

vivico1 wrote: And sometimes, like a friend of mine, whose little girl was brutally raped and all she was hearing was, God has a purpose for everything till she was ready to hate God, we talked some about free agency and she looked at me with near hate and said, do you mean to tell me my baby chose to be raped! I said, no, but this man chose to use his free agency in a horrific way and unfortunately your child ran across this man using his free agency in such a way that she was terrible hurt. Her eyes got huge and she let go of something right then, you could tell, just a little something but something, because her voice changed so much. Then I said, it was not her fault, its not your fault, its not God's fault, He cries too that your baby, his child too, was hurt by this man. It is this man's fault. Now what we need to do, is use our free agency to do the things that will help heal her, not diminish her or make her fearful of people or make her hate forever.






Hi Everyone---On the matter if Mike would be less known if he had not chosen sight

Remember. Everyone still does not know about Mike even with his decision to see and the publication of this book. I have mentioned this book to people who knew nothing about it. So if Mike had decided against this surgerey, it doesn't mean he would be less known. With either decision, he is known by people who either come into contact with his business, an article in a paper, a conversation with someone, one of his sports activities or a book.


On good and bad things and good people


Vivico------Your explanation is outstanding. I agree with you. Also what a great story about the music teacher who was blind. She was held witin limits by the people around her, the opposite of Mike's experiences, until you came along and let her experience some of her potential.
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Message Edited by Librarian on 07-22-2007 04:02 PM

Message Edited by Librarian on 07-22-2007 04:04 PM
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