Going Blind

A composer friend, who was also a computer wiz kid of sorts, asked me to work for his fledgling computer consulting company. One thing led to another and pretty soon I was designing GUIs (graphical user interfaces) and building databases.

By 1996, I was working at an internet software company. The World Wide Web was in its larval stages. My job was to “make things happen” and see what I could do to promote the software. The internet boom was moving steadily closer. Every six months we had to find a larger office to accommodate the new hires. Before long I was a Vice President, with hundreds of email messages in my box every day. I was writing press releases and promotional materials, designing logos, making presentations at technology conferences, cutting deals with DuPont and paging people at the Pentagon. I got calls from head hunters.

Then I started to go blind.

When I think about it now it almost seems bizarre, but I was so wound up in my work at the time that it just seemed like an increasing annoyance. More and more often as I worked, I would look at the computer screen and suddenly everything would go fuzzy and disappear. I had no trouble seeing everything else in the room, just the computer screen. So, I would stand up. walk around the room, look out the window, do some T’ai Chi, then go back and hope my eyes would be working again. My body was trying to tell me something, but I was not paying attention.

As time went on, my body continued to speak up, ever more loudly. Things got worse and it would take a longer and longer break for me to be able to see the computer screen again and get back to work

It never even occurred to me to go to a doctor. It is as if a part of me knew from the beginning that the problem did not have a physical source, although it certainly had a physical manifestation. Finally, I began to listen to what my body was trying to tell me: I was in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing. As thousands were flocking to the internet gold rush, I walked away. This experience made me conscious of the fact that our bodies have a wisdom all their own, and can know more than our conscious minds may be aware of, and that it is vital that we develop an awareness of this.