July 4, 2020
Pat-a-caking and sight loss

From the article: "Professor Hull’s autobiographical experience of vision-loss in Notes on Blindness could well be compared to pat-a-caking. In his audio-diary, he chronicles his gradual progression of re-tuning himself with his world after confronting sight loss. As he puts it, “You have to learn everything again.” To this end, Professor Hull slowly pat-a-cakes the doors, walls, furniture of his house; he counts the steps from house to work to his class. The touch of the bannister lets him know that he is on the path to his classroom. Through these rituals of touch, he establishes “linearity, predictability, same objects, same movement, a steady environment.” But pat-a-caking does not only grant familiarity to Professor Hull ; it also provides him with “a new horizon, and new ideas,” as it opens new contours of the world to him where echoes and spaces become sharper and assume novel connotations. It offers a different kind of consciousness."