My name is Jim Morgan. I am a former teacher, cabinet maker and home builder. Now I am The Blind Clockmaker. The blindness was a result of an accident that I had in March of 2014. I was struck by a car while riding a bicycle through a crosswalk in Ft. Myers, Florida. I suffered many injuries, the worst of which were multiple skull fractures and massive bleeding from my head. My wife Cathy saved my life that day by curbing the blood loss until the ambulance arrived to transport me to the trauma center. The trauma doctors gave me little chance of surviving, but by their efforts and God's grace, I pulled through. The one lasting effect is total and permanent blindness.
Suddenly, I had to learn to adapt to a new sightless world. I did so by going back to tasks I had previously done and devising a new way of completing them. I design the clocks in my mind and conjure a method in which to build them by feel alone.
Many times I have been asked if my other senses have become more acute. No, I don't believe this is true but I have definitely learned to rely and depend on them more to compensate for the vision loss. For instance, I used to identify many domestic woods such as walnut, cherry, oak, sassafras and hickory by sight. Now I detect the odor, hardness, weight and texture by feel and smell to identify the variety of wood.
I frequently have heard that I am an inspiration to those who receive my clocks, but the opposite is true. The people inspire me and give me purpose.
Two things I often say about my clocks: they are all one-of-a-kind because I cannot copy, and the one who built it will never see it.
THE MAKING OF
It begins as an image in his mind
A concept of something one of a kind
The design determined by it's intended place
And proportioned to fit within the space
A sketch or drawing need not be made
For the clockmaker is blind, it can be no aid
From his mind alone a plan is derived
The steps and method must not be contrived
The species of wood is now selected
It's weight and hardness and odor detected
As the shape of each part begins to form
The heart of the craftsman begins to warm
The clock is assembled by feeling alone
The proportions are right, his fingers intone
The work nears completion, sanded smooth and true
An oil finish applied, his last job to do
Each day begins with the morning doves
Each day ends leaving the work that he loves
This clock a gift, as they all have been
The best part of all is the hug from a friend
The next morning you'll hear him sorting through his stock
For the clockmaker needs only time to build a clock
- Jim Morgan