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conference notes on independence

I am posting from Henryville, IN, where I am attending a conference called Candle in the Window. There are some 14 blind people here... The topic of the conference is different each year; and this year it is independence vs. interdependence. This morning we examined definitions, and this afternoon we are talking about family issues (parents, siblings, children, etc.) Tomorrow we will talk about marriage relationships.

This is an extremely nebulous topic, and I really wish I had more time to reflect. (This is why I am writing a post while I am sitting in the middle of a session.) Fortunately we are going around the room in a circle, so I can keep up with who is next, etc. I could probably write volumes on this subject. (And where is my money for self-publishing anyway??)

Someone asked this morning why we think that independence is such a buzz word for blind people. Answers included things like because our independence has been taken from us, because independence has been emphasized throughout our lives, because teens strive for their identity, and numerous other things. As I listened and participated in this discussion, it occurred to me that the answer really depends on the context. Independence can be defined differently depending on the discussion and its context. Are we talking about people who lost their sight? Kids who are learning how to function as adults? Girls learning to dress for success? Little kids learning to cross the street? Adults who need to maintain an identity as equals in the community? Independence means something different in these groups.

More notes in time...


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 4th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)
I hope you are having a good time. I miss Candle but there was no way I was in a frame of mind to go this year. Next hopefully. hugs to you and KL and anyone else who knows me
Aug. 5th, 2011 04:52 am (UTC)
Very thought provoking. I wasnt' aware you were *allowed* for lack of a better way to put it, to write about the goings on at candle. Seems the attitude has always been what goes on or is talked about at candle stays at candle?
I'm glad you're sharing!
these are thought provoking and importnt issues/concerns worth discussing, and not just because some group of people paid to attend at a retreat/conference center in the country. :-)
Aug. 5th, 2011 09:26 pm (UTC)
writing about Candle
When they say "What is said at Candle stays at Candle," this refers to the sharing of personal stories that happens. Candle is basically a retreat setting; and as happens in this type of setting people share very personal experiences while discussing general topics. So in writing about what happens here, I am extremely cautious. I can't and won't write, "Alex talked about his brother teasing him when he was a kid," blah blah blah. (There's no Alex here, btw.) But these general topics are thought starters that I think can be safely written about--they wre things that often get posted about in places. And they may help other people to see the point of conferences like Candle for themselves in future years.
Aug. 5th, 2011 11:11 pm (UTC)
As a member of the Candle board, I'd say that what Sarah said did not breach any kind of conference confidentiality. It's important to not reveal individual people's stories, absolutely, but this is not a top secret organization. What was shared here wasn't anything I myself wouldn't have shared.
Aug. 6th, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
I do wish I were there for this year's topic. I have a different take on it. I don't believe in the idea of independence. What's more, I would hate to live in a truly independent and self reliant world. Everyone is gloriously, wonderfully, dependent upon someone else for something. We were made to evolve in that way.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah Blake LaRose
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