Wide-eyed Wonder: an artist's musings on three-dimensional vision

Some are color blind. I am stereo blind.

Eyes Contact

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Most people make two-eyed contact, with right eyes gazing into left and left into right. Al enlighted me of this fact only last week. It’s really eyes contact.

Eileen is the only friend I know with whom I can make eye contact. Eileen “sees” out of her left eye. I “see” out of my right.

When we first talked about our monocular vision on Sunday, we immediately compared driving and baseball experiences (unfortunately, with minimal eye contact, which is typical of persons with binocular vision impairment.)

Eileen avoids the highway. If she absolutely has to, she will only use the right lane. I, on the other hand, feel most secure on the highway in the left lane, next to the concrete barrier. The reason for our choices is obvious: we drive where we can see the most.

I was the kid that chose right field. Nothing happens to your left on right field, except a foul. The rare ball that blew by the infield was handled by the center fielder who knew I wasn’t the most talented person with a glove. The remaining and even more rare high fly— hit well into right field— I could usually catch with intense concentration, provided there was enough time to judge the ball’s trajectory. What went up the parabola would come down the other leg either to my right or left, and hopefully in front of me and not behind! So I tended to hang to the back of right field as much as possible.

I could hit almost as well as the average neighborhood kid, again using intense concentration to judge the trajectory of the ball with the help of visual cues: where the ball was relative to the pitcher mostly, until the last split second when I would look for those seams.

Eileen said she couldn’t hit a ball … at all. Catching wasn’t mentioned. Perhaps all her baseball experiences were intensely competitive. I was fortunate to grow up with kids that played to have fun.

I plan to seek her out next Sunday and make eye contact; my good right eye connecting with her good left. It will be a novel experience for both of us!

I freaked a few friends out by making alternating eyes contact. One friend tracked my eye-switching with both his eyes darting right and left in order to keep up with each working eye of mine. That he could track the subtle difference in the appearance of my eyes and connect with each working eye was pretty amazing.

Eye contact is amazing. Eyes contact is a goal.


Written by Lynda Rimke

November 22, 2010 at 11:22 am

Posted in monocular vision

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