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

Some are color blind. I am stereo blind.

Archive for September 2016

My Frustrating Friday …

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Driving in to my landscaping job, I went to my usual stress-free parking spot (a small gravel parking area not also inhabited by large trucks and heavy equipment) and found a coworker had parked his small car at an enormous angle, leaving me a tight spot. I didn’t know just how tight until I pulled in and couldn’t open my door … enough. I should have just backed out and gone to the other gravel area with the big trucks and the other guys milling about everywhere, but that was even more stressful: aka. the spectre of possible public humiliation to ramp up my nervousness. So I pulled forward, thinking, “If I clip his mirror, it will fold and not be harmed (like at the ATM machine.)” Wrongo! My stubborn mirror popped his mirror’s outer cover and another clear piece that covered a light.

After putting the pieces in his car, I found and told him about my “poor judgement” and offered buy him a new pieces if anything was truly broke. “That’s ok” he said.

Private humiliation turned semi-private. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough, before the event was shared with the other guys and … my boss.

At a client’s house, I was told I could park at the bottom of his hilly drive. So, in a company truck that has taken me a couple of years to figure out it’s true relative size to it’s surroundings, I pulled down and realized I was in deep trouble. There was no room to turn around, meaning I would have to back up a steep curved drive when I finished.

Fortunately the client came out. “You can back up on the lawn to turn around.” He said. Seeing my obvious jubilation, he made a comment about women not liking to back up as much as men. “It’s not that,” I say “It’s just that I can’t see 3D.” He was doubtful, but as we talked more about my stereo blindness, he admitted he does pencil push-ups to help his eyes team after cataract surgery!

Upon returning to the scene of my crime at base three hours and four jobs later, I observed that my co-worker had popped the cover back on his mirror and moved his car, as far away as possible, from mine. I noticed that the small clear light cover on the mirror extended beyond the black band encircling his mirror. My inability to see 3D failed to pick up on this important 3/4” fact.

After work, while fixing lunch, I manage to clip my ring finger, just below the nail, as I glided a plate from point A on the high counter to point B on the low counter, knocking over a glass bowl of egg salad. I got a nice blood blister on my finger in addition to my bruised ego.

Vision exercises at 5pm before dinner provided the usual impasse where I can’t see the Brock string center bead clearly at any distance over 12” … this has been going on for weeks.

I could use a breakthrough.

But instead of continuing to feel sorry for myself, I want to share about Atticus. Kids in schools everywhere need a far more important breakthrough, especially when their needless suffering is way more severe than my own ever has been. Give a listen to Atticus’ appeal for visual accommodations before the Board of Education.

The cherry of top of this video is the last comment by a School Board Member: “Atticus, I want to you know I have the same thing, and I really understand how you feel.” Even if she has a less severe variation of Binocular Vision Disorder (or Insufficiency), she gets it!

The Baltimore Sun has just reported Atticus’ appeal, and his Mom’s advocacy work to implement visual accomodation compliance to Maryland law for those struggling with Binocular Vision Insufficiency in Maryland schools.

Visual system deficiencies are far more common than folks realize. There’s always more to vision than seeing 20/20.

Slowly, very slowly, the world is beginning to see.

Written by Lynda Rimke

September 26, 2016 at 7:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Never Play to the Gallery

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Words of wisdom from a man who maximized his unusual eyes:

David Bowie’s unique appearance was the result of an accidental injury to his left eye during a tussle with a friend as a teen. The friend’s punch landed close enough to his eye to cause the pupil to become permanently enlarged, a rare condition called anisocoria.

Read more about David Bowie’s anisocoria here.

What I noticed more than the difference in pupil/iris appearance in this clip was that he also appeared to have exotropia. His angle of eye deviation is so severe, it’s hard to tell if he’s looking at the camera, or at an interviewer to his right … or both. It has a crazy way of driving his message home.

It would make sense that his brain would suppress the eye with the dysfunctional pupil. I could not find an article to verify his strabismus, but strabismus in the form of exotropia, where the suppressed eye is turned out, is my educated guess. He may have even patched his right eye in the 70’s in an effort to correct amblyopia that developed in the dysfunctional left eye, and used the patch to good effect!

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David Bowie, 1974     |     Credit:AVRO

As a person with strabismus, I found his “Don’t play to the gallery” philosophy doubly inspiring. I can easily make the connection between his way of seeing everything differently and his commitment to remain true to his inner vision, no matter what others thought during his life.

It’s clear he did not let his unusual eyes get in the way of relating to people on stage or in interviews. If anything, his eye conditions informed his outlook on life and his music, as well as his other-worldly stage presence.

Bravo! Olé!

Written by Lynda Rimke

September 16, 2016 at 4:09 pm