Friday, 4 June 2010

There are Many Ways to See.

I spent some time with two very dear friends yesterday, Andy and Eddie. Now Eddie is a marvellous chap. I would doubt if it was possible to have a more loyal friend. I would consider myself a friend of Andy but I know that I will never ever manage to live up to the friendship offered by Eddie. Eddie does what he is told every time, not just when he feels like it, every time. Now how many of us could say that? When Andy is in conversation with friends like me Eddie does not try to grab centre stage and get attention. He sits quietly waiting no matter how long it takes.

When it is just the two of them there is a bond of friendship that is obvious to see. I think by now you will have guessed, or worked it out from remembering me mentioning Andy in the past. Eddie is the guide dog that Andy daily works with, who makes sure Andy gets across the street safely and to his destination. I was teasing Andy yesterday about his colour coordination. I asked him how he managed that. Yes I consider myself a friend enough to ask such questions and know he will not see it as insulting. Yesterday we laughed. If I am coordinated it is purely by luck. He then went on to tell me about the gadget he has that tells him the colours of materials. He feeds a small part of the item over a lens and it speaks out the colour. Andy went on to say he hoped he was wearing black trousers. “I like wearing black trousers,” he said, “silly really when Eddie is a white haired dog.”

I never leave that pair feeling other than uplifted and thoughtful. I thought about that remark a few times after I left Andy. I need to ask him again about that. I am wondering if he likes black because that will be one colour he most certainly does know what it is like and so by contrast he may well know exactly what white is like. I think of this because one day we will paint together, we have this mission in mind. There is no doubt Andy and Eddie make me see the world in a way no other two manage to do, for this I thank them.

There is a story I am sure some of you have heard.

Several students got into a hot argument about God and different religions, and each one could not agree to a common answer. So they came to the master to find out what exactly God looks like, and if he was real.

The master asked his students to get a large magnificent elephant and four blind men. He then brought the four blind to the elephant and told them to find out what the elephant would "look" like.

The first blind men touched the elephant leg and reported that it "looked" like a pillar. The second blind man touched the elephant tummy and said that an elephant was a wall. The third blind man touched the elephant ear and said that it was a piece of cloth. The fourth blind man hold on to the tail and described the elephant as a piece of rope. And all of them ran into a hot argument about the "appearance" of an elephant.

The master asked the students: "Each blind man had touched the elephant but each of them gives a different description of the animal. Which answer is right?"

There are some questions that have many answers, and the only answer that will be correct for you is the one you have found for yourself.

This blog is linked to my other.  A Poppy

More about Guide Dogs  Guide Dogs for the Blind


  1. Ralph, you are such a kind soul. The people you choose to be around and have as friends are often the ones many of us would shy away from. You are a very good man. You have so many stories because you have reached out to so many people. What a rich life of memories you must have!

    You should find comfort in this and smile at all the riches you have gained.

    A color machine? Huh?

    Wouldn't you just like to try and fool it..?

  2. What a wonderful testimony to your friendship with Andy and Eddie, and to their love of each other. Would that we all had an Eddie in our lives.

  3. Ralph, i love that you are kind...i appreciate your thoughtfullness