This week's arts and culture column, Jacques Lusseyran: Blind Hero of the French Resistance, begins like this:
“And There Was Light” is the strange and beautiful autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran, “blind hero of the French Resistance.”
Born in Paris in 1924, Lusseyran lost his sight at the age of 8 in a schoolroom incident. Even at that age, he was groping toward the transcendent.
Trying to navigate his way around a world he could no longer see, he came to learn that inanimate things are alive, and of the sympathetic current that runs between the branches of a tree in springtime, and that if you press the little stone you’ve secreted in your pocket, it will press back.
He wrote, “The seeing commit a strange error. They believe that we know the world only through our eyes. For my part, I discovered that the universe consists of pressure, that every object and every living being reveals itself to us at first by a kind of quiet yet unmistakable pressure that indicates its intention and its form. I even experienced the following wonderful fact: A voice, the voice of a person, permits him to appear in a picture. When the voice of a man reaches me, I immediately perceive his figure, his rhythm, and most of his intentions. Even stones are capable of weighing on us from a distance.” He staved off despair by assuring himself that the blindness was temporary, that the very next day his sight would be restored.
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.