What We See Better with Eyes Closed

"Blind Woman" - oil on canvas - by Diego Velazquez (1599-1660)
"Blind Woman" - oil on canvas - by Diego Velazquez (1599-1660) | Source

Tribute to a Blind Woman

What fascinated us was Miss Muggie's phenomenal insight, seemingly supplementing her physical sight.

We were primary school children, and now as an aging woman, precious memories of this blind woman still surface on days when I feel the need to remember the heroes of my personal faith. In this tribute to her, the intention is to spread the nurture she shared and to make the reader aware of some personal features we may see better with our eyes closed.

According to Dr. Karl L Weunsch, the compensation blind people experience is perceptual, not sensory. It comes with learning and practice, as he further explains it in the quote below.

Blind persons may learn to use their intact senses more effectively, even though those senses are no more sensitive than those of sighted persons.

— Dr. Karl L. Wuensch

(1) Character Values

Miss Muggie did not live in our community at the time we knew her, but she must have at some time before we were born. She made us think that she knew all our parents (I doubt now that she did) and was determined to know us too. We would watch her take one child’s face between her palms and feel the shape. Then she would run her fingers over his or her cheeks, nose, ears, lips and make statements like:

"You’ve got your father’s ears; I hope that you will be obedient like he used to when he was growing up."
"These are your mother’s lips; I hope you speak some of the same nice words I have heard her speak."
"This is your mother’s beautiful face; now, you just have to be beautiful inside as well."

We all waited our turn for her to tell us what she saw in us. She made us proud that she thought so highly of our parents. The words Miss Muggie spoke empowered our self-worth and respect for our parents. She helped us see their worth. With her eyes closed, she could see how important such observations were in the lives of children.


"Kerosene lamp on the wall" by V. Jurov (VladimirZhV)
"Kerosene lamp on the wall" by V. Jurov (VladimirZhV) | Source

(2) Responsibility

Whenever Miss Muggie came to the afternoon service, she got the opportunity to share her talent. She either told a story or sang a song. The story I remember very well, because my mother never let me forget, was about the many household chores she did in the dark, without bothering to light her lamp (we did not have electricity at the time).

The entire presentation was humorous with audience participation.

“I make my bed in the wee hours of the morning,” she said, “and I do not even light the lamp.”

“I pick up things and put them in their proper places aaand” that was her prompt for the audience to finish the sentence. “I do not even light the lamp.”

“I dust the shelves and sweep the floor, aaaand.”

Ever after that story, my mother would tell me, “If Miss Muggie could do it without sight, you don't have an excuse.”

That was my cue to see and do what needed to be done, even if perchance my eyes were closed. Thank you, Miss Muggie, for empowering my mother to underscore the need for personal responsibility with regard to household duties.


With Picture Presentation

(3) Faith

Miss Muggie’s solo rendition of How Great Thou Art (translation of lyrics by Carl Gustav Boberg 1859–1940) was my introduction to the song. Her soprano voice, clear like a crystal dinner bell, invited the audience to share the blessings which inspired her faith. She sang confidently:

"O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder

Consider all the works Thy hand hath made.

I see the stars . . ."

To this day, whenever I sing the song or hear it being sung, I close my eyes and see the stars. I have also discovered that with eyes closed, is it easier to hear the “rolling thunder”, the “birds sing sweetly,” the “brook”; and to feel the “gentle breeze” as the song describes.

Miss Muggie taught us that appreciation for the works of nature is not limited to the ability to see. Faith and trust in the Creator enable a deeper appreciation than the physical senses can. Or, as Helen Keller expressed it, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.”


Nature. - Enjoyable with or without physical eyes.-  Photo by Robert G. Price, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Nature. - Enjoyable with or without physical eyes.- Photo by Robert G. Price, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. | Source

(4) Perspective

Those were the days when air conditioning and burglar bars were non-existent in country homes, schools or churches. The windows were fully open during daylight, and even sometimes at night. Whenever Miss Muggie came to church, she had a strange request.

“I’d like to sit by the window,” I remember hearing her say.

“To see what?” I always wondered, looking at her, looking straight ahead. There was nothing she could see through the window with her eyes closed; maybe, she wanted to feel the breeze.

Anyway, I have stopped trying to figure out her reason. Whenever that memory surfaces, it brings with it valuable lessons which I have shared often:

  • Distraction from outside an open window is less of a problem when our eyes are closed.
  • Whenever the physical view becomes seductive, we can close our physical eyes and switch to the mental focus.
  • With our eyes closed, we can change perspective as often as we wish.



Music by Neville Peters, blinded at age six months by Glaucoma

(5) Challenge

We all face the challenge of seeing our way through life. With our eyes open, it is difficult; and with our eyes closed, although the difficulties remain, we see different solutions that we do not see until we close our eyes and focus mentally.

It takes someone like Helen Keller who lost both her sight and hearing at nineteen months, to make us aware that with eyes closed, our view is limitless.

"Of all the senses, sight must be the most delightful."

"It's wonderful to climb the liquid mountains of the sky. Behind me and before me is God and I have no fears."

"I can see, and that is why I can be happy, in what you call the dark, but which to me is golden. I can see a God-made world, not a manmade world."

"What I am looking for is not out there, it is in me."

In addition to our gratitude to God for our sense of sight, it is also wise to appreciate what we see better with our eyes closed.


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44 comments

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

So beautiful and with thought it is not so hard to see with our eyes shut, but not many of us would like to try it for real I am sure. I loved your story of Miss Muggy and am sure this is a memory close to your heart at all times. Thank you for sharing it. ^


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Jackie, thanks for reading and enjoying my story about Miss Muggy. I'm still learning to see with my eyes shut.


Romeos Quill profile image

Romeos Quill 2 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

Hi MsDora,

It seems as though some people's disabilities are more obvious than others but this lady's other senses have honed themselves to such a fine degree of compensation. It's remarkable how she coped, but expect that necessity was the mother of invention.

I suppose if the ' average ' person sleeps for eight hours at night, then we all spend a third of our lives with our eyes closed. Sight is such a great blessing and many of us would be lost without it.

Thanks for a fascinating insight into the social history of this notable woman.

Best Wishes,

R.Q.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Romeos, thank you for your input. Yes, I have heard several stories of how the other senses compensate for the disabled one, but even then, I think much depends on the person's passion for life.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

Hi MsDora,

We all need a personal hero of the faith. Sounds like you found yourself a good one. Hold on to the memories.


Ann1Az2 profile image

Ann1Az2 2 years ago from Orange, Texas

Wow, how inspiring! Well done, MsDora. You know people say that when you lose one of the senses, the others you have become keener. But I think you might be onto something and that is when you lose eyesight, your feelings become not only keener, but deeper and, one would like to think, rather than bitter, more Godly. The Bible says that we see light through our eyes and that Jesus is the light of the world. It is another one of His miracles that people who are blind can also see the Light of the World even without eyes.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Only one word describes this adequately, and that word is beautiful.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Lifegate, thank you. Wish I was as keenly aware at the time I was being influenced.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Ann. I appreciate your input. Yes, seeing the Light of the World does not need physical sight. Thanks for noting that.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Ahhhhhhh, Billybuc. Thank you, kindly.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Oh, MsDora, what a lovely story and lesson, and thank you for sharing about Miss Muggie with us! All of us can learn much from Miss Muggie for sure. I wonder if she wanted to sit by the window, for not only the breeze, but she could hear all that was going on outside that the rest of us most likely miss, the smells, the sounds, etc.?

Beautiful hub. This really touched my heart.

Up and more and sharing.

Blessings, Faith Reaper


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Faith, you may be right. Miss Muggie was probably able to hear what was going on outside and still concentrate on what was going on inside. Thank you for your input.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

My momma left few instructions for her death/life ceremony but one was clear. We must sing "how great thou art".

My momma would put me at the feet of withering lives and tell me just to love. Blind and deaf, and it did not matter, I was to love them. Oh the joy they brought me.

What we fail to see with our eyes wide open is too often God!

As I was taught well to love good, I must tell you Ms. Dora, I love you.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Eric, our love is mutual. Thanks you for accepting me and supporting my work.


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Hi MsDora, Very interesting topic. I love your depth of life. If everyone walked around blind folded for an hour or a day then what a realization of life that would be. Maybe they can relate to what you are saying. After that experience they would become more reluctant to take life for granted. Perhaps, more love would be shown to each other. That was huge. Voted up!


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Most interesting and so beautifully written eyesight is so precious as all other of our senses. With all senses we do tend to miss the real sense of life itself. I enjoyed reading something from you.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Word, thank you for your observation. That is a good suggestion you made. I might even try it myself.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

DDE, thank you. Well said about the real sense of life.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

What a beautiful message, Dora. I had a great grandmother who although sighted exuded such positive words about each person that even now, nearly two decades after her death, we talk about her like she still walks among us. In a sense she does. It's so important to affirm self-worth, much like your Miss Muggie did.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Flourish, thank God for those faithful heroes of our faith whose words still inspire us. We are blessed and may God help us to influence our generation in the same way.


Froggy213 profile image

Froggy213 2 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

I needed this inspiration. Thanks MsDora.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Froggy Darling: Be inspired, be encouraged and be an overcomer in Jesus' name.


sheilamyers 2 years ago

Wonderful hub! I think learning to see even more with my eyes closed would be a great learning experience. I'll have to give it a try to experience things using my other senses.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Sheila, hope the experience brings some benefit. Thank you for sharing.


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

What a great hub! You have written it so well. It reminded me of something I used to do years ago when I was a primary school teacher. I'd get the children to fold their arms on their desks, lie their heads down on their arms, close their eyes and think about what they could see. After the rest time I'd get some of them to tell us all what they had seen. You're an inspiration to us all, dear Dora.


Ebonny profile image

Ebonny 2 years ago from UK

I love the way she communicated that she was proud of the children's parents. I bet those parents felt good too, even if she didn't really know the parents it's great for the parents to think their children were being encouraged to be proud of them. All very uplifting. Thanks for sharing.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thank you, Blossom. It would be interesting to know what all the children saw. It was certainly an introduction to the practice of visualization.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Ebonny, thanks for your input. There's much we can imitate from Miss Muggie. I'd like to influence some little life the way she did mine.


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

This is so beautifully written that I found myself getting more and more breathless as I read on. This is inspiring and leads people to dwell on so many things we have, and what we lose when we don't take time to close our eyes. Margaret was a beautiful woman, thank you for giving us the privilege of sharing in her life. This is voted up and will be shared on my Facebook page. Thank you.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Grand Old Lady, thank you for such a kind comment. I appreciate you.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 2 years ago from West Virginia

MsDora, what a great story. Wow, what a woman! I couldn't imagine being blind. I close my eyes and suddenly feel lost. Dealing with that every day, I don't know that I could. And at the time period and her condition, I would imagine that it was tough. Even so, she was proud and this story warms the heart. Truly inspirational!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

LyricWriter, thank you for your feedback. Happy to inspire by sharing this story.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

Msdora what a wonderful story/lesson/history whatever you want to call it.. was truly inspiring bless you for the share


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Frank, let's just call it a share. Thank you,so much.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

One day we will all see with our eyes shut, Dee, but yes, life or God has produced many noble souls with indomitable spirits. Good luck. You have my backing!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thank you, Manatita. Hope all is well with you.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

What an inspiring story! We have such a profound effect on those around us when we focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses. This woman's ability to see what God sees in others and in the world gives hope that we can look beyond the present moment and grasp onto the eternal!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Denise, thanks for the message. I appreciate your input.


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

This is so beautiful. There's nothing more peaceful than relaxing outside on a bright sunny day in a lounge. Lay your head back, feel the breeze, listen to the songs the birds sing, and become aware of yourself in the midst.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Crafty, I feel the peace just by reading your description. Thank you for this contribution.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

You have ticked all my right buttons here. Inspirational and instructive. Truly well written and with 'passionate' songs. A loving story of a beautiful woman and a deep love of sweet simplicity and inner faith.

Exhausted from NY. Fitting that I end here this 00:05 hrs. Voted awesome and beautiful! Deep, deeper and deepest love, my beautiful Spirit-Sister. Higher blessings and good night.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Mantita, thank you for your visit so soon after you arrived home from your trip.Your comment encourages me. Sweet rest tonight and enjoy the weekend.


ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

What an inspiring story. It's amazing how she knew if someone was staring at her. My mother used to tell me that blind people compensate somehow. I guess she proves my mother's statement correct.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Ologsinquito, think she did. It is a mystery. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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