What Does “Yellow Sun” Mean to the Blind? (creative nonfiction)

My god assures me that there are worlds of albinos out there in the universe. Whole worlds of us where the light is perpetually twilight and we can all see everything and our skin radiates and no one ever gets skin cancer and no one calls us “Milky” and no one hunts us for our magical body parts.

I hope he knows that in this world, the twilight has to be just the right kind of twilight. It can’t be too much toward dark or light, because then it’s either too bright or the lights have just come on and they are too bright. It’s that sweet spot where it’s too light for the automatic streetlights but too dark to need sunscreen anymore. That’s the spot that world would have to be in for us all to radiate, to be the norm, to keep our body parts intact.

Now, here’s a question: If there were mutated pigmented people on this world full of albinos, how would we tell them how to find stuff? “Look for that thing I think is fuzzy and silver next to the tall thing I think is fuzzy and green?” What does an unsighted person say to a sighted person to direct them through their twilight world?

They would have to be in special schools I think and have their own language of clear letters that make sense to only them.

I once was in a class where I saw a teacher telling a blind kid to remember that the sun was yellow. I was ten at the time, but even then that seemed so odd. I suppose you need to know the sun is yellow to understand what that means when it comes up in literature or on the TV or in conversation, to understand the connection, I mean, but the statement itself is meaningless, is it not? What does yellow mean to a person who is totally blind?

Maybe yellow means sun and heat and summer, not summer and sun and heat means yellow.

“Which blindness comes from looking beyond the mark,” is a Mormon scripture I repeat to myself a lot, directed at myself, or shaking my head at others. I think that’s a more godly way of saying you can’t see the forest for the trees, though it would be more like you can’t see the trees for the forest. If there were no yellow sun, or no white moon reflecting the yellow sun, no one, sighted or not, could see the forest or the trees.

I’m going around in circles. The sun is a circle. The sun is yellow. The circle would be meaningful to a blind person, whereas yellow would be a wild, esoteric theory—something you have to wait for your own world to see, or for the second coming—or for Jesus to walk by and rub mud in your eyes.

-M. Ashley

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