Saturday, July 08, 2006

Helen Keller (Awakening)

"Someone was drawing water, and my teacher placed my hand under the spout. As the cool stream gushed over my hand, she spelled into the other the word water, first slowly, then rapidly. I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of her fingers. Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten – a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that ‘w-a-t-e-r’ meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free! There were barriers still, it is true but barriers that could in time be swept away.

"I left the well-house eager to learn. Everything had a name, and each name gave birth to a new thought. As we returned to the house every object which I touched seemed to quiver with life. That was because I saw everything with the strange, new sight that had come to me."1

Helen Keller

1. Larry Arnhart, Political Questions: Political Philosophy from Plato to Rawls, Second Edition, Illinois, Waveland Press, Inc., 1993.

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