Subject: Abstractions
From: Christopher W. Thomas (
Date: Tues June 1, 1999 at 11:35AM


Imagine, if you will - you're deaf, dumb, and blind
And that only two of your senses infuse your mind ...
You can smell, and you can touch, and feel touched
But there's a limitation on that - quite well enough

For abstractions cannot at all be defined ...
Things like Love, and others not so well refined
For everything is defined via finger touches on one hand
As the other one is used to direct touch to a source grand

Water, for instance, can be (with touch) spelled out
But it's only a word - you can't know what it's about
Unless you can feel water trickling over your fingers
Then - that sensation stays with you - and lingers ...

Allowing you to remember this feeling the next time it's spelled
And so, the word - w-a-t-e-r, forms a certain mind-meld
Now then - take things like Light, and Dark, and Love
And you start to realize, without senses - they are above

In other words, how can you make any associations ...
Using touch - to remember those finer connections?
If they cannot be in a meld with remembered things
Then there's a hole in those concepts, and they can't ring

Love is something we each define in our very own way
But it's something for which we use our senses every day
We - those who can see, can taste, feel, hear, and smell
Are driven towards a definition using those safe propels

But, if you cannot see, or hear, and, by consequence - speak
Then Love is not such a clear picture, for it leaves you bleak
Such was the case with Helen Keller ... for she couldn't know
Exactly what she felt for Peter Fagan*, and why they came to blows

"The love which had come, unseen and unexpected ...
Departed with tempest on his wings" she later reflected
Saying - if she could see, she would have married
But ... without sight, only in her mind, could she carry

There may be a burden ... for without the ability to see ...
You cannot fully know sincerity ... wherever it may be ...
For it relies on sight, and hearing, more than it does on touch
And without those two senses ... you can't even know to blush

Well, Helen ... wherever you are in the universe right now ...
Know this ... in a sense, you were fortunate - and here's how

For without - you were way ahead of the game ...
For, even though that lack made you slightly lame
It took away the focus from those two revealing traits
Allowing YOU to focus on the things which kept you straight

- Tristram

Christopher W. Thomas
9am Tuesday, June 1st, 1999

Helen Keller died on this date in 1968
at her home in Westport, CT - she was 87
Despite being deafened and blinded by scarlet fever
at 18 months, she would go on, and with the help of
her teacher - Anne Sullivan - to earn a college degree
from Radcliffe, graduating cum laude with honors in
German and English (1904)

* Peter Fagan was the newspaperman she befriended,
whom she hired as her temporary secretary, and with
whom she took out a marriage license.
[She later dissolved the relationship after someone
read the article (via touch) he'd written for his paper
about their intended union.]