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

Some are color blind. I am stereo blind.

When Surrender Resurrects Desire

with 2 comments

In May, after five months of quasi-resignation from a less-than-encouraging January Optometrist’s appointment, I attempted a third and final self-portrait of my Vision Therapy journey where I would express my acceptance of my fate and diagnosis: “You are not binocular.”

It didn’t work. I couldn’t let go of hope.

1305vision_triptych

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As much as I wanted to depict “Meh,” an attitude of perturbed acceptance of a life without stereo vision, my feelings before the show were much more intense. The triptych was hung above my eye level, which was intensely upsetting to me. My negative reaction was above and beyond reasonable: it felt like someone had smacked a scab on my brain. Why the super-sensitivity?

My brain was talking to me: “This area is not healed yet. Don’t treat the stereo-blindness in your visual center as permanent. This is not scar tissue, Dearie. We’re not done yet.”

A local art critic, Tom Wachunas, summed up the crux of the matter in four short sentences:

Among the more resonant works here are three self- portraits in pencil by Lynda Rimke. They’re simple yet disarmingly candid explorations of her medical condition called stereo-blindness. I get the sense that she’s not looking out at the viewer so much as carefully navigating the act of seeing. The mirror becomes her lens on an inward journey. (1)

And so it is. In spite of my cravings for resignation and closure, I am still trying to “navigate the act of seeing.”

Indeed, 3D-ish quales have returned now that outdoor tasks demand stereopsis from me. The first occurred in late May while pruning the Rose of Sharon: I saw the branches at eye level and below reach out to me. This may have been a protective reaction, as one branch came very close to my right eye, which is blind in the upper inner quadrant of my visual field.

This was just the beginning of several outdoor gardening events, where I experienced enhanced depth while hoeing a row that has to be 1-2″ deep for corn or beans, while weeding, while transplanting.

I am committing to shorter and more frequent blog posts of these experiences, as there is lots to share … for what it’s worth.

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2 Responses

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  1. Thanks for sharing, Lynda! I too have had some gardening experiences similar to yours. Since I have fusion about 12-18 inches out, when I am doing close work (like pruning a tree or bush)I sometimes see more depth. The challenge for me has been working to extend the fusion without experiencing double vision in the process.

    healingmysight

    June 26, 2013 at 11:20 am

    • So happy for you! Today, when I felt that both eyes were working while digging up a tangle of myrtle infested bee-balm, I saw hints of a second shovel. That somewhat disrupted the “working together” feelings and I pretty much was out of the zone after. But at least the working-together is happening, and for that we can rejoice!

      Lynda Rimke

      June 26, 2013 at 1:10 pm


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