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Guest Post: Mel Scott

The Time Between Time: Liminal Space

Image of a flip day calendar starting at Dec 21 ending at Dec 31 the words Liminal space floating out of the calendar pages.Originally Published on BlindAlive by Mel Scott

The last ten days of December is a favorite time of year for me. Not for religious reasons or for the anticipation of gifts, decadent food and drink, but because it is my designated time of reflection and imagining. I call this liminal space. The transitional time between the old and the new; the time between time when I allow myself to gather what I learned from the past year and time to imagine the New Year. It is that quiet time or still point between inhaling and exhaling. For me, it is marked from Winter Solstice to January 1st.

The prospect of a clean new year has always excited me. I love the thought of getting to start again or better yet, to build another layer onto the foundation that I have created slowly over the years.

My practice is, on December 21st to acknowledge the year gone by with curiosity and with gratitude. I write about it, think about it, and laugh and even cry over it. I want to make sure that I didn’t miss anything and at the same time, forgive myself for what was surely missed. There is no way that I am so conscious that I captured all that was there for me to learn. This is also the time when I let myself off the hook.

This time of transition, the liminal space – is the time between December 21st and January 1st. During this time I celebrate, eat, drink, laugh, cry, and stay in my pajamas. I even eat cinnamon rolls. I sing songs just because I like the tunes. I buy myself, and others, things we don’t even need just because I feel like it. I catch up with old friends and most important, I rest my mind. This is my time for mind clearing, for house clearing and for making space for all that is creative and new.

When December 31st comes around, I am more than ready get grounded in a routine again. Usually on New Year’s Eve I force myself to read my journal from the past year and sum it up. Sometimes I resist this practice, but I do it anyway. I close out the old files and start new ones the next day. On New Year’s Day or the day after, I declare my intention for the New Year. I do not make all kinds of resolutions. I set one goal for myself. It usually involves learning something new.

One year I proclaimed it “the year of the computer.” I was determined to learn it so that it became a tool, not an enemy. One year, I vowed to feed my family better and learn to cook. The last few years have been centered on making my little company something that I can be proud of. Next year I intend to build on the foundation I have created. I have not solidified it in my mind yet, but December 21st is not here yet. My hope is that 2017 will be a year of a gentle evolution. I am imagining a purposeful, prosperous year, full of health and generosity.

This will be my last blog for 2016, I will not be writing again this year. So, my wish for you is that you allow yourself some “liminal” space for reflection and imagining.

I am so incredibly grateful for all of you. May your upcoming days be peaceful.

Good health to you,

Mel

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Blind Beauty Issue #16 | Shaini Saravanamuthu

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“Retinitis Pigmentosa has legally claimed me as an individual with a disability and legally blind!” ~Shaini Saravanamuthu

A question that I get asked often is “But that’s why you wear glasses right? They fix your vision and you can see right?” I wish it was as simple as that, RP has taken my night vision and slowly killing off my peripheral vision. I wear glasses because, in addition to what RP has caused me to lose, I am also nearsighted!

Question# 2: “Can’t you just get laser surgery and fix your vision ?” Unfortunately, laser can’t bring back any night vision or peripheral vision lost! At the moment researchers are still in the midst of working on different treatments to cure different kinds of Genetic Eye Diseases!

Friendly reminder, not all of us that are visually impaired / legally blind own a white cane or a guide dog hence why you sometimes hear us refer to it as an invisible disability! So someone you know can be visually impaired and you may not even know it!

To those of you going through vision loss, remember that our disability doesn’t define us and it most defiantly will not stop us from reaching for the stars! So keep on pushing and living your dreams!

Shaini was born and raised in Montreal, Accountant in the day and a Sephora girl by night. She loves learning new things and trying new projects, which have led her to several great opportunities and great friendships! She hopes that her story inspires others and helps others who may be going through a similar situation. “Always remember, Live. Laugh. Love & Learn”

Description: Featured image is a mock magazine cover titled Blind Beauty. Shaini’s long dark hair is draped over her right shoulder as she looks fabulous in her eyeglasses and is slightly pouting. She is wearing a black top with a keyhole neckline and a white sweater.

Blocks of text superimposed on Shaini’s photo are: “Bold | She Keeps Pressing Onward,” “Blind | She Has Deeper Insight,” “Beautiful | She Sees To The Heart Of Others.”

Shaini can be followed on IG: @shinez_

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Abby’s Reflections #25 | Precious Moments

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Insights on Beauty & Sight Loss

“I don’t like cold weather but I love coming in from the bitter cold to my warm and cozy home. Putting on some Christmas music, turning on the tree and sipping on a steamy cup of hot chocolate hits the spot. Simple moments like these are so precious and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.”

Life is so fleeting when we don’t take a minute to savor the simple moments we will look back in regret at what we lost. Enjoy now.

Description: A white, teal, and gray boldblindbeauty.com template utilizing the ‘Abby’s Corner’ image of Abby sitting cross-legged in her PJs (gray bottoms & white top with a gray collar) with a teal Abby logo laptop on her lap. Behind Abby to her right is a teal colored Christmas tree with a gold star and ornaments. She is sporting her signature explosive hairstyle while wearing a headset with microphone and her white cane is propped up next to her. In the background are light gray snowflakes.

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Shading The Windows To The Soul…

Or Deception Is Our Nature

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Full-length mirror selfie

Who doesn’t like feeling and looking their best especially when you’re preparing for a special event? But what about those times when you feel like pond scum? This question I faced a few days ago as I was getting ready for another followup appointment with my ophthalmologist.

Over the past two weeks, I had one emergency room, one doctor, two ophthalmologist visits, antibiotics, steroids, and anti-inflammatories, and all over one eye, my good eye. After I recovered from the flu it began with a minor itch in the corner of my eye, then blossomed into an aching, swollen, mess that has me couped up and practically bathing in antibacterial products.

Needless to say, makeup has been out of the question but what’s a girl to do when she has to go to a follow-up appointment? She breaks out the heavy artillery. That’s right, a dress, boots, fur vest and the most important item dark oversized shades. Adding a little lip color and no one was the wiser, all I had to do was keep my gear on.

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Left to right shows improvement in the left eye.

I actually felt better and couldn’t help secretly smiling knowing I was such a sight under my sunglasses. As my son and I waited until we were called in to see the doctor he gave me the sweetest compliment saying “yeah mom, you look nice but I wouldn’t expect any different because deception is the nature of your sex,” I burst out laughing. He has such a way with words and who’d thought his sexist comment would become the title of my blog post?

Even though I’m still not 100 percent laughter always makes me feel better and I try to find humor all around me. Not taking myself so seriously has truly helped me survive what I may have once thought wasn’t survivable.

Description: In the full-length mirror selfie I am wearing a burgundy and black floral wrap dress, black suede knee-high boots, gray faux fur vest, silver earrings, stretchy cuff bracelet. I must have been sick because I totally forgot to sport my burgundy booties, oh well there be another time.

The collage of four selfies shows the improvement in the swelling of my left eye. In the two upper photos, the eye is nearly swollen shut. In the bottom two pictures, the eye is opening.

Do you have any tricks up your sleeve when you’re not feeling your best? Please do tell, you’re among friends here.