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Dialogue in the Dark

I had a one-of-a-kind experience on the second day of the new year.


๐ƒ๐ข๐š๐ฅ๐จ๐ ๐ฎ๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ƒ๐š๐ซ๐ค

The daunting darkness descended on me without warning. It despised the streak of adventure I had thought was in me, rudely pushing me out of my comfort zone. Everything in my brain screamed โ€œI want out! Walk out now!โ€ Yet the walking stick and my legs carried me forward, into absolute darkness, into aha! discovery and into amazing depths of dialogues with my own heart.

Upon a friendโ€™s invitation, this morning, together with two friends, I embarked on a fascinatingly fearful and fearfully fascinating experience to walk in complete darkness for exactly an hour.

Dialogue in the Dark is an experience guided by blind guides in total darkness.

I was supposed to enjoy โ€œa walk in the parkโ€ where the guide led us to sit on a bench, smell flowers and hear birds chirping but I was listening to the dialogue in my heart - please just let me walk through this as quickly as possible, I can do without the fragrant flowers and the sound of birds.

I was able to respond to the guideโ€™s questions in my usual sanguine manner but I promise you I thought I was going to lose it anytime. Feeling the letters SIR on the wall panel distracted me a short while, touching Sir Stamford Rafflesโ€™ shoe did not bring any relief. I was constantly confronted by the darkness I was in.

My friendโ€™s voices did not help. My legs moved forward and we came to a blind manโ€™s house. The guide passed me a braille book, a special rubric cube and an ukulele and I psyched myself to sound enthusiastic as I described what my hands touched but the tension in my heart never went away. Even a spontaneous tune on the ukulele by the guide failed to remove the stress in my heart. Then we โ€˜watchedโ€™ a movie - through an audio tape describing vividly the scenes.

We walked the kitchen, we walked into the supermarket, we walked along the HDB corridor and we crossed a road. These were meant to help us โ€˜engage in order to empathise. I couldnโ€™t see. I couldnโ€™t empathise.

The walk ended at a cafe where I ordered green tea and oreo biscuits. At the sofa where we sat, I finally found my tipping point. After 50 minutes in the darkness, I sensed my heart relax. I enjoyed my green tea in the darkness, knowing that my journey was about to end.

My insights? An ouch! self discovery - when driven into unfamiliar, uncomfortable zones, I just want to walk through it as quickly as I can. I do not know how to enjoy the process and hence I may not have learnt to see in the dark. Ouch. A dialogue in the dark exposes a dialogue in my heart.

A saving grace is Iโ€™m likely to say yes to another opportunity to be pushed out of my comfort zone - and to live with the tension while enjoying the process. Profound.

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