Some say the eyes are the window to the soul. But when the lights go out, that all changes.
"It's sort of like playing cards without one suit," said Gerry Leary with the Blind Café.
Leary went blind just a half-day after he was born. "I was a 24 week pregnancy in the early 50's. They put me in an incubator on 100 percent oxygen and it burnt the retina of my eye," he said.
It caused an infection doctors couldn't stop. By nine months he had both of his eyes removed. "The way I feel, this is your world and if I'm going to be a part of it I'm going to adapt myself to it and hope you'll help me adapt to it," he said.
He's also helping others experience a day in his shoes. Days spent living in the dark.
Forget the mood lighting and the fancy outfits, this dinner date at the BCA center in Burlington is in complete darkness. It's called the Blind Café.
"It really puts you in the mind of how do these people who have never been sighted -- how do they function?" said Grace, a Blind Café diner.
Those are the questions Gerry hopes to answer. No topic is off limits in the community awareness raising concert expereince -- from dating to everyday obstacles.
After a little while, most diners are eating, drinking and chatting like it's any other dinner. But for some, the darkness can be scary or overwhelming. In a matter of moments the darkness brought clarity to the everyday challenges others face.
"But it's not anything like experiencing it," said a diner. "I think it's a beautiful thing -- it's beauty."
Helping people see others more clearly by dining in the dark.
The Blind Café is based out of Colorado and travels around the country. To find out where it will be next click here.
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