Post of 1, Monthly Archives: March 2010

Vision

We take for granted how important our vision is.

Our eyes let us see a beautiful reality, they connect our other feelings, they put everything into perspective. Stop for a minute and think – how would I live without sight?
As a photographer, my vision is very important. My camera is another way of seeing the world. A third eye as some would say. It has let me take my dreams and set them into reality. Through that viewfinder I can make my dreams, I can capture the dreamworld I desperately wanted to grasp as a child. My inner child is still holding on to that thought that somewhere, out there – there is another world and I like to think my camera is a window to this dream place.

My grandmother Megan (in the photograph above) is now in her late eighties. She has been blind in one eye since she was eighteen. I have always wondered what it’d be like to see the world through one perspective, a half vision. I remember as a child I’d squint one eye and try to imagine seeing into ‘her’ world and why most often shed never see me enter the room if I entered on her ‘bad’ side.
My grandma has always been a beautiful person, her aura is overwhelming- whatever life throws at her she is always smiling, laughing. Very rarely do I see life get her down, even after three hip operations, her husband (my dear grandad) dying, her friends dying (she has outlived them all), constant pain and losing her home and having to accept living and relying on her daughter, my mother, to live.
She has never complained about her restricted vision, I asked her recently what it was like to live her teen years with full eyesight to then see the world in a different way. Admirably, as the soldier she is she jokes “Lara, at least I still have my vision in my good eye, I can see twice as good through this one!”.

Two years ago an eye specialist on a routine examination told my mother that my grandmother’s sight would fail in her ‘good’ eye within the next two years. The operation was too risky for someone of her age and health and advised against any further treatment.

It has been two years. My grandma does not know.

As life goes by she questions why she can no longer see two feet in front of her. She recognizes colors, shapes. She longs to see features, to see her five year old gran daughter grow older, to watch the television screen she has known all her life – the news she used to ‘report’, the soaps… but what she doesn’t know is that sight will only deteriorate. The thought of her knowing would only worry her, so we have decided to leave it so.

Remember to appreciate your sight, as artists we DO take it for granted – our sight is a gift.

LJ.

  1. Bottle Bell Photography

    oh, bless you all. ::so moving, lara:: -make a girl teary eyed ;) | a very beautiful post, and truly something we all (speaking from a place of having an illness myself) overlook and so often take for granted.best to you and to your family, always. ash x

  2. Johny Cook

    So true. I meet a lot of older people when I am on placement being a student nurse. They never complain but always talk about how much of a lovely life they have had no matter what has happened to them now. Good Blog.

  3. Adam

    Very moving post Lara. I agree we do take sight for granted. I like you have a grandparent who has no sight, albeit not from such a young age, but it really is hard to imagine how they 'see' the world. It's very hard trying to explain to my grandad what relatives look like every time they grow another year. He, like your nan reminds me that he's had 60 years of seeing the world and that now it's someone elses turn.Vision is everything.

  4. victoria smyrniotis

    It really is something we take for granted. That and our sense of sound.

  5. Mariana

    As tears tream down my face, I had to take a moment and thank you for reaching into my heart and helping me value all that I often take for granted. Your grandmother is a beautiful gift and has helped mold you into the artistic & creative person you are. Thanks for sharing this lovely post.All my best to you & your loved ones,Mariana

  6. Ella Bell

    Sigh i already have horrible eyesight… i don't know what i would do if it got worse. One of my life goals is to get laser eye surgery so that i don't have to rely on contacts or glasses.I've always said that if i found a Genie my first wish would be to have perfect eyesight that never failed me!!

  7. Vivian

    a lovely and heartfelt post lara! there are many things people take for granted and it written words like these that wake people up to them again :)

  8. Kiara Black

    Very emotional post. And full of truth. As the most of the readers here, I'm teary eyed while reading it.Last year, my family desided not to tell my granddad a diagnostic, too.So he could calmness enjoyed the last months of his life.It's harder for the family around, who know what will happen in future.Wish you and your loved ones all the best

  9. Gianma

    We take for granted a lot of things…Your deep and touching words are a gift to treasure Lara; sometimes we're all to focused on our ambitions we forget to appreciate the "obvious", the simplest and most valuable things, and your grandmother is such a positive example to follow.Keep your window always open.Hugs, G.

  10. Lawrence Oluyede

    I completely find myself in this post. My grandma has a degenerative disease affecting her sight. She started losing it in her late 70s and now that she's 82 she can just recognize shapes, colors and so on. One eye is worse then the other. She used to walk and ride the bike all over the town and now she can't. She's the center of the family and one of its driving forces. I never asked her what she feels about that. She still tries to do everything and I can see in her eyes that sometimes she's angry at the disease because she feels that she can't be there for everyone everytime. I love her. Thanks for sharing Lara

  11. BatFromHell

    Thank you for an excellent post, and a moving photo.Well, if your sight does fail, you could get into photography, as I have! Your camera will still capture those images, even if you have to use different methods to get them. You may find that you can still see them blown up on a large monitor, but if not, tactile technology is gradually taking off.You already know what it's like to see the world through one eye, unless your camera has a twin viewfinder – do any of them have those? Maybe they should, if not.

  12. Samantha Nandez

    I certainly know what you mean. My younger brother was born deaf, and it's been so hard for him growing up and being different from everyone else. He's still trying to come to terms with it. There are so many things we do without even thinking about it that we are so lucky to have. I give my best to you and your family.

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