To the dyslexic, reading is a race against time. Each phoneam is a prick on your tong. Each word scrapes the edges of your throught and gathers more blood. You wond spontanclsy from the inside out. If you dare to read, you are fleriting with danger. The page is for you, a tray of loos simbles held in feeble hands. If you are not carful, the simbles will fall. The document is burning. Your task is to stay infrunt of the fireline.
Note: This blog is intended to be read in conjunction with its audio podcast. To listen to the podcast, click on this post’s title.
Eventually you will accept the danger and the pain, and begin. Because reading, even this way, feels stangly intitive. Humans are ment to read. As long as you can remember, you have been surrounded by readers. You want to be able to call yourself a reader too. And so you attemp the impossble, and start reading. (Or, in the other sinarrio, you find yourself reading out of pure nesesity. Steatsigns do not come in audio).
Whatever your impitus, you are reading now. It is of cousce an exspernece of mixed emotions—at wonce both intitive and stange. But right now, in this moment, you are reading! And so you rejoice. The words taste more bitter than you remember or could have imagined, but you trust that they are not possen and read on. For, to the dyslexic, reading is a state of mind. If you are to read, you must beleave that sound and meaning are real, and that you can find them in the ink of the page.
But you are filled with fear. This is a land of miens and snares. Felling something at your feet, you think viper and jump. If not snake, what is it? In truth, it could be deadly or benign—some stange instrument of doom planted for your parral, or a rosseta stone found in sincronisity. You never know.
But does anyone ever know? The dyslexic life, like all of life, is an act of faith. We do not always see our footing but must step—probing one foot after the other, until we reach an ancorhold, or fall. It is pure uncertainty and yet, somehow we find the strangth to more forward. And so, when we catch a set of eys in the destance, we must walk towards them (not knowing if they are frend or fow, the gaze of a lover or the cold plotting stare of the asseason). We may never discover their true identity but follow them anyway, if only because it feels elimetnly human to do so.
Dyslexics learn how to be human, as they learn most things—though the mediom of disiblity. But humanness is a universal and ubilites lesson. It can be found anywhere and by anyone willing to seek it out.
Dwight Richardson Kelly is a dyslexic student and artist living in western Massachusetts. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
* Blog title taken from a poem by Willis Barnstone