On April 7, 2018, Colorado Vincentian Volunteers had the pleasure of hosting The Blind Café Experience for about 70 of our incredible #CVVAlum and current volunteers. It was a powerful evening of dinner in the dark, rich conversation, an active music listening experience, and of course, lots of companionship. It was all held entirely in 100% darkness with no blindfolds and facilitated by the Blind Ambassadors.
We hope you enjoy reading these reflections from the night of this unique and unforgettable experience.
What did it mean to sit with myself in the dark, free from visual distractions? What was it like to only be aware of others’ voices, as if we were all sound boxes, sputtering out and receiving nervous words? Why was the live music, with its melodies, lyrics, and guitar chords, such welcome solace from the chaos of hundreds of unseen, conversing voices?
How do I describe conversing with those experiencing permanent blindness in the hope that they would shed light on my incomprehensible, but temporary darkness? These questions are not rhetorical; they are my incomplete and initial examination of my Blind Café experience. I hope countless more people are fortunate enough to share a meal with the Blind Café so that they too catch a glimpse of the mystery they cannot see.
by Brian Vander Heiden, CVV 21.