WBU-NAC (Junior Group) Fine Work
Beauty in Braille
Jamaica Samoya Jordon (25, Female)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
However, beauty can also be experienced by feeling
Beauty captivates the soul and arouses the mind and body
Even animals are aware of beauty

The peacock uses its extraordinary colourful plumage to attract its mate and ward off would be predators. Flowers use their natural beauty to entice insects for pollination.

Children are attracted to beautiful things, and the toy manufacturers capitalize on this. The packaging of most toys and candies appeal to children because of their colourful design.

As a child I saw beauty in everything. The rain and the rainbow, the lady bug on a light green leaf, the light reflecting off the face of a pool of water, the patterns the flowers made in the garden, the clouds hugging the mountains in the distance, vegetables piled high in the basket showing different colours and shapes at the market, small birds bathing in a puddle on a road and the large birds flying in the sky swimming through the clouds as if waiting to swoop down on its prey, the splash waves from a pebble falling in stagnant water, the waves from the sea shore and the shells moving along with the tides. Fascinated by these events I tried to capture them with paper, brush and paint but failed miserably.

In 1991, I lost my sight and was forced to see things in a different way. Saul was struck down by lightning on his way to Damascus and lost his sight but regained vision as Paul [The Acts of the Apostles 9]. Similarly losing my vision has taught me to see and experience the world by using my vivid imagination. Because of this, I am no longer a captive of lucidity.

Braille sparked my interest in the fine art of poetry, writing, reading and reciting my poetry.

Knowledge is power. Education is the only way out of poverty.
This shows the importance of braille, and this affords blind individuals also an avenue to communicate effectively. Sir Francis Bacon said this himself knowledge is power. This encouraged me to keep trying, and after learning braille gave me a sense of happiness.

Dainty, dainty, dainty
Majestically coloured
Skipping from flower to flower
Undeciding of where to lie
Alas! Finding a flower that compliments the sky
So beautiful and bright this flower oh my
Lie lie lie

Writing this poem I could see the scenario playing back, however, the amazement when I reread the poem. The color  of the flower and the butterfly wings glistening in the sunlight, the swaying of the flowers the scent of the flowers in the garden roses, sunflowers, buttercups, red, pink,  white, black, white and red and the sunlit sunflower, the dance of the butterfly in the air, the floating of a strand of grass after being ripped from the ground unforgiving wind, the rustling of the colourful leaves on the ground by the wind as if late for an appointment, the reflection of a sunlight on the pond near the garden. To my surprise my imagination sharper and gave me entertainment and joy as I wrote and reread.

The first book I read was dictated to me while I brailled using the brailler because a braille book was unavailable. I reread the Silver Sword on numerous occasions. I could see the story unfolding as I wrote and reread, the scenes, destruction, floods, people and families. The emotions, joy, hope, passion, love, fear, determination, will, decisions and discovery. As I read I was not only entertained but understood the positions people were in and the hard decisions that had to be made despite the reluctance in a nonchalant way. While reading this book I shed tears of joy, fear and I laughed and cheered for the characters in that book so much until I grew tired.

My parents decided that I needed to socialize with other blind children, therefore, they enrolled me in the Salvation Army School for the Blind and visually impaired. While there I met a friend who introduced me to braille literature, she read books to me and eventually gave book to me and encouraged me to read.

I will always look forward to receiving   a new book from my friend Jamie, her books were always about medieval times, the adventures were great sad and happy but I enjoyed them all. While reading the braille I imagined myself as queens, warriors and peasants. I was so engulfed In the parts that I spoke like them, this assisted me in improving my vocabulary and grammar.

My friend introduced me to the library, it was the most amazing place that I had ever experienced. The smell and the echo were intoxicating. I felt the array o f books on the shelves which want to be explored. Authors send their books out in the world like ships on the sea waiting to be explored, each one containing a new adventure. After making this glorious discovery, the library became my safe haven and the vbooks became my best friends.

After completing all the books in the children’s section I journeyed further in my haven and became more familiar with my friends. Even though the books became more mature, I still enjoyed exploring their pages and anticipating what came next. I read books that made me laugh, made me cry and made me wonder why. Without braille my life would be in darkness because books became my stars in the sky. A blind man has a cane, I have my books to travel all over the world. It’s my passport. I will end with a poem my grandmother taught me.

Books are our friends indeed
To learn books are the only thing we need
They will take you anywhere you please
Come let us read.


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