Showing posts from July, 2012

Helen Keller and the Man Who Tasted Like Night

TODAY, reading Rosie Sultan’s debut novel Helen Keller in Love , I thought about the scene in Black Beauty when the barn catches on fire and Black Beauty’s groom covers the horse’s eyes with a scarf and leads him outside to safety.  Black Beauty’s shrill whinny pierces the darkness and gives his stable mate Ginger, still trapped inside the burning barn, the courage to run through the flames.  In the opening chapter of Helen Keller in Love ,  Helen is waiting to elope with her secretary Peter.  “I wait under a night sky pocked with stars I cannot see.  I lean forward on the porch … the air vibrates against my skin … I cannot account for my behavior.”  Like horses, humans fear what we do not know, but Helen Keller is not referring to fearful behavior.  Living in darkness has not made her afraid; it has made her lonely.  She isn’t running away from danger –she is running towards life.  Outrage fuels her political activism, but it is desire and loneliness that fuels this