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.
I was very grateful to be able to participate in The Blind Café with the Colorado Vincentian Volunteers. As an individual who lacked awareness of the experiences of the blind community, I knew that the personal narrative would be a new insight for me. Being surrounded by a supportive community helped me to be vulnerable to the experience. I knew that I was there to have an experiential learning opportunity, and I wanted to open myself to the exploration both internally and externally.
This experience of isolating one of my identities, gave me time to reflect on ways in which I experience the world through each one of my own layered self-identities. Overall, it was a heart opening experience that helped me build my own awareness of the blind community. As counterintuitive as it may seem, the experience gave me the opportunity to gain a more abstract understanding of what it means to experience light. Based on my previous limited understanding of the word light, it would not have encompassed what I experienced in the midst of the dark room of The Blind Café. But I know that what I felt was warmth and communion from the illumination of the Spirit in the room, light.
by Margaret Mailander, CVV Board Member.