Saturday, July 28, 2007

Vision-Male Blue Eye Looking at Me

Male Blue Eye Looking At Me 9" x 12" watercolors
The pink and purple clouds continued to swirl and fold over after the injection for Wet Macular Degenertation in my left eye. I was still alone in the examining chair, waiting for the doctor, who was a retina specialist, or his nurse, to return and tell me if everything was okay and then send me home. They had told me that they were going to let me sit a while, then would return to check the pressure in my eye. If everything was okay, I could go home then. My daughter had left to pick up her sons after school and would return. This was taking longer than she had planned. We thought that there would be a quick shot in the eye, then I would be sent home, if my eye didn't deflate, fall out, or if I fainted or something we couldn't even imagine.
I had gone from seeing bubbles in a dark fog, to confetti raining down in the dark, and a pink swirl of clouds with part of a man's face appearing in the center. He couldn't be there, I knew, but I was seeing him. And who was it that I was seeing? I struggled to try to remember who it could be.
My fear of the shot was fading a little, and, now, I wondered if this person in the room with me was something to be afraid of. Was I dead or dying and someone was here to take me away? Was it someone to comfort me? Is this someone I know or knew? Or could this be something evil to fear? Could this even be Jesus, not looking like the pictures in the Bible or in church, but more like an average person today? Was I about to have a religious experience?
As the clouds continued to float in the room, the face slowly lifted his gaze and began to turn until he was facing me. He looked straight at me, staring, unblinking, steady.
"Who are you? What do you want? Are you really here? Do I know you?" I whispered.
No answer.
"You aren't really here." I thought it might vanish if I confronted whatever it was. But, it remained. Just an eye, and the surrounding area, staring at me. He had the coloring of someone with red hair and his eye was a bit red as if from lack of sleep or drinking-maybe irritated from allergies, or even crying. There was no pupil that I could see, but a light reflected in his blue eye. I thought it was from the large light that the doctor had used above my chair. But, wasn't that light turned off when everyone left? His eyebrow was lifted a little. Was he questioning? Examining? Friendly? Disgusted? Accusing? Sad? Evil?
I was a little frightened, but I didn't move. I just looked back, then tried looking away. He was still there, a little further than where the doctor had stood in front of me.
"Tell me who you are!" I demanded. "Why are you looking at me?"
No answer. He just looked at me with that blue eye.
I felt that I may have seen that eye before, but where? And who did it belong to? I wished that the doctor or nurse would come back so this whatever-it-was would either go away, or this thing would have to show its whole self to all of us. I hoped for an explanation.
Was I dying, having a hallucination or a reaction to the medicine, going crazy? Perhaps this was someone who appeared to comfort me, to take care of me, or maybe it was something entirely different-something evil and frightening. Angel or devil. Or some kind person from the past.
I didn't dare to move too much, but I sat, holding onto the chair arms and wiping the water that ran from my eye to my cheek with the small tissues I had been given.
Thinking of the other things I had seen, beginning with the bubbles, I felt that I should just try to relax, sit back, and enjoy the art show that I was passing in front of me. A special show, just for me.
I was still a little hot, at times, but thought that it would be good to take a deep breath, avoid fainting, and enjoy the parade of different kinds of pictures that were coming before me. My own private art show. One that, perhaps, no one else was given access to see. I had seen things that seemed abstract, and, now, this part of a face that I was seeing was almost classical and realistic, somewhat like the beautiful ancient Roman and Greek sculptures, the paintings and sculpture of Michaelangelo, and others who were able to portray the human figure so realistically.
The skin in this face seemed to be touched with a little gold and the clouds were pink, with the exciting Cobalt Violet where the clouds rolled over.
While I sincerely admire realism, what comes from within me is more expressionistic. Instead of fearing this eye I was seeing, maybe I should just admire and appreciate its classical qualities.
Still, I couldn't help but wonder who I was seeing and why.
"Male Blue Eye Looking At Me" was done on Strathmore 140 pound watercolor paper using Winsor and Newton watercolors. The pale purple color is Cobalt Violet. I used touches of thinned white acrylic on the edges of the clouds. In some places, in order to lighten or lift color, I simply blotted with tissue while the color was still wet.
The above doesn't show the true colors of the painting, completely. In the scan shown above, the yellow is strong and the eye appears to be more green than blue. In the actual painting, the yellow area around the eye is more flesh colored and the eye is definitely blue.
(At least it looks that way, to me. One of the problems with AMD is that people have problems distinguishing colors such as dark blue from black. I always thought that was part of aging and that most people have it after a certain age. I've had that trouble with my clothes, especially, for quite a few years. If I take them into sunlight, I can tell which socks are blue and which ones are black, but in normal light that is hard to differentiate. Since I learned that I had AMD, I find that I also have trouble sometimes with colors like light beige and lavender. It could be the cataracts as well as the AMD, not to mention that little muscle in the eye that becomes slow to focus as we age, and was the cause for me having to get reading glasses and bifocals about 20 years ago. Now, I'm reading things, except for very small print, without glasses. At least I can when I am close to what I am reading and there isn't too much waving, distortion, blurring, bright lights, or that annoying purple spot that sometimes appears in the middle of what I am trying to see.)
Most of the time, when I scan a painting, if it is small enough, I just put the original on my scanner. For larger things, I either scan them in parts or scan photos. On my computer, the colors are more true. I've noticed that when I add them to the blog, occasionally, the colors are a bit different. I will try to note a difference when I post.
It would be interesting to find out if others have had similar experiences when they had injections in the eye. Could it have been the medicine, as the doctor had said about the bubbles? Or perhaps this was something akin to the out of body experience I had when I had surgery a few years earlier. I wasn't anesthetized during this event, though. I did have eye numbing medicine put in several times. Other people had told me that they would probably give me something to calm me down and relax me before they started, but that didn't happen for me. I told them I was scared and the doctor only answered that this was normal, and went on about what he was doing. He seemed to be an excellent doctor, and highly prepared and skilled.

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