photo by Tracy Lee Karner
The Way I Was

I’m color blind, and 9 other random things about me

photo by Tracy Lee Karner
Wild White Trillium, northern Wisconsin.
  1. I adore a gentle breeze, a nice little hair-ruffling tickle, especially on a warm day, with butterflies flitting around in the wild flowers.
  2. The audiologist who tested me said I hear like superwoman. Don’t whisper if I’m in the same auditorium–I just might understand every word.
  3. My preferences are wide-ranging and quirky. I (and two other people in the world that I know of) enjoyed reading the long, droll Education of Henry Adams. I also (along with multi-millions) love listening to Willy Nelson.
  4. I’m fluent in German, and every day I spend an hour or two reading German, skyping friends in Germany, and/or watching German public television on the internet to keep up my fluency.
  5. I like salamanders, geckoes, and turtles. They’re cute. Snakes are not cute, but they don’t bother me. I still want all reptiles, cute or not, to stay outdoors where they belong.
  6. As a child, the endless list of foods that gagged me included potatoes, hot dogs, margarine, gravy, cooked vegetables, egg yolks (I shared eggs with my brother, sort of like Jack Spratt and his wife–I got the white, he got the yolk). I also hated steak, chicken-on-the-bone, peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, bread crust and cream-of-wheat but I grew into an adult who can eat, and usually likes, almost everything. I won’t eat beetles, grubs or any other insect even though they’re high in protein and readily available, and they may very well be tasty. I hope I’ll never find out.
  7. I’ve tried, but the one thing I just can’t make myself like is chilled zucchini-yogurt soup with curry. As my grandmother would say, “ish-ka-bibble.”
  8. My favorite flowers are wild and white–lily of the valley, white trillium, and bloodwort (which in our dialect was called bloodroot, but at least we didn’t say warsh instead of wash).
  9. My favorite season is spring, until summer comes, and then summer is my favorite season until autumn arrives and autumn enthralls me. I love winter, too, for two weeks. Mostly, what I like about winter is yearning for spring.
  10. I took a computer test designed by Harvard. They rapidly flashed zillions of faces at me, while I clicked buttons about whether the faces were friendly or unfriendly. This was supposed to determine whether I had racist tendencies. The result said I was one of the most color-blind people ever tested. Evidently, I barely notice a person’s skin shade or ethnicity. I notice their humanity and whether their eyes and mouth are signaling subtle, universal gestures of welcome, or slight expressions of violence and cruelty. So, teach your children to sing “Jesus loves the little children” (click here to hear the song) as soon as they can talk. Even if most of the people in their environment don’t believe it, skin color has nothing to do with a person’s right to be loved or respected, and that notion sometimes does take hold on children’s hearts and make them color-blind for life.
photo by Tracy Lee Karner
My son and his friend, 1993.
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