A few years back I had lunch with Candia McWilliam in Edinburgh. Candia is a writer. She lives with blepharospasm. [Blepharospasm is also known as “functional blindness”].
My path crossed with Candia McWilliam due to our shared interest in historic buildings and Scottish culture. Candia’s father Colin was an academic in architecture who helped save many of Scotland’s old houses. Candia’s father was one of the first to survey Mavisbank:
It was Toma Tranströmer who remarked to a friend:
I have sometimes wondered if my profession, medicine, can also be “functionally blind”? What I mean is that it is blind to the ‘two cultures’. My profession seems to divide them as easily as it divides the “subjective” from the “objective”:
Candia’s memoir revealed to me, that despite her blepharospasm, she could see more clearly than most. The observations Candia makes in her memoir are indeed far-sighted.
Candia’s “a memoir in blindness” is a book I would recommend to all.
Below are some of the passages that most struck me from Candia’s memoir in blindness: “What to look for in Winter”: