I’m a registered volunteer with NY Cares and last Tuesday night I helped a group of visually impaired citizens paint picture frames and make mosaic coasters. I made a mosaic coaster, too. But that’s beside the point.
I was paired up with Manny who, as far as I could tell, could not see anything at all. We had a good chat about me being laid off from AOL, how he used to have an account (didn’t everyone?) and the fact he wanted his picture frame to be painted entirely in yellow. He calculatedly sought out the brushes, the water, the paints and the wooden frame using only his hands.
With the coaster project Manny was adamant that I check his work to make sure he wasn’t placing two like-colored tiles together. Every few minutes I would list off the order of his fingered choices to reassure him that two blues or two greens weren’t next door to each other; quite the contrast from Mr. All-Yellow Picture Frame.
It was fascinating to watch Manny in complete control of the colors. He couldn’t even SEE them but he knew exactly what he was doing. He knew exactly what would result.
I dunno. I can see and all, but damn if I don’t think I could use a lesson in understanding colors a little better. I think I need to learn how to use them. And then I should learn how to trust what will result. It shouldn’t be that hard for someone with access to an infinite palette.
The coaster, he shared, was going to be a gift for “someone.” Mmmhmmm. A nice bright shade of red.