Season One - Michael Nye's Acknowledgments

Episode Information

[Intro Music]

Host: From an early age we have a hunger to know more, to have larger lives, and to find deeper compassion and understanding. I’m Michael Nye. Episode 47 is the last episode in Season one, My Heart is Not Blind. In closing season one, I wanna thank everyone from around the world who have listened. This project began with the desire to have conversations about the nature of awareness and the complexity of perception. I have heard and learned so much. Losing and finding seem closely connected. I’d like to offer some acknowledgements, deepest gratitude to artist, photographer, and all-around talent, Alexei Wood. Who worked with and assisted me during this project. It was the greatest privilege to travel and work with Alexei. His care and compassion can be found in each of these narratives. Special acknowledgement to my dear friend and mentor, Larry Johnson. He is a teacher, writer and tireless encourager to many.

Larry is given meaningful shape to this project. Gratitude to Mike Gilliam, president of the San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind, now retired as my friend and advisor. Thank you Mike for your resoluteness and advocacy. I wanna thank again and again the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, Tom McGuire, Molly Dupnick for their belief in this project and the foundation’s ongoing financial support as well as their many meaningful endeavors in our community. Enormous thanks to John Viruzo, who has been the podcast technician. Always working with and offering enthusiasm and expertise.

The title of this project, My Heart is Not Blind, came from France Fuentes. At the time she went blind. She was single with her son, age 11 months. Authorities wanted to take her child away from her. Francis said, I fought with my tears. I had to show them how much I loved my son, how much I needed him.

Being blind was not an obstacle because my heart is not blind. I treasured her compassion and optimism. Frances died shortly after we talked. Deepest thanks also to the following individuals and groups for their unwavering and enthusiastic encouragement. Throughout the seven years I worked on this project, Amon and Carol Burton of Austin, Chelsea Munoz, Barbara Ras, David and Claudia Ladensohn. Katie Kim and Virgil Stinnett of Honolulu, Marise McDermott, president and CEO of the Witty Museum. Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center in Austin, Sylvia Perez, Wanda Austin, Dean Georgiev, and the Warren Skin Charitable Trust.

I am forever grateful for all the individuals who participated in this project. These were not formal interviews, but extended conversations over a two or three day period. Stories are windows and into a larger world than our own. Not all blind people are blind, not all sighted people can see. Knowing what the world looks like is not a requirement for understanding to listen is a privilege.

Each person in this project allowed themselves to be seen and to be heard. They are teachers. They are our voices and guides. Finally, I want to thank my son Madison and my wife Naomi, who advised and encouraged me cheering this project forward with generosity and steadfast support. Season two will begin next week and will focus on the nature of hunger and of understanding. I hope you will join us. This is Michael Nye. Every person, every place is a map to somewhere else.

[Outro Music]