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.