Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Vision-Eyes Closed

Eyes Closed
Image size 8" x 11"
Paper size 9" x 12"
In case you missed the answer at the end of yesterday's post, the title of the movie that I was watching was "Judgement at Neuremburg" starring Spencer Tracy, Marlene Dietrich, Richard Widmark, William Shatner, Judy Garland, Montgomery Clift, and others. The name of the actor I was showing was Richard Widmark, as he was talking to a witness on the stand. The courtroom audience was behind him. The painting showed the light rays I see coming from the tv set in a dark room, my foot hanging from the edge of the bed, and, on the screen, there was Widmark, with his face distorted and discolored from my AMD in one eye. Through my eyes-the way that I see things.
I got tired of trying to straighten out all these distortions and see what was going on correctly. So, I closed my eyes, hoping to sleep. "No rest for the weary," as the old saying goes.
With my eyes closed, this is what I continued seeing-the design in the painting above. White rays shot out, almost in a cross design, in the dark, from a center of yellow light. Purple surrounded the circle of light and that was outlined with a transparent green color. Short spikes of light blue shot out of the circle into the rays.
I opened my eyes to watch more tv. The design with my eyes closed was worse than watching distorted tv. It's a good thing that they have good movies on all night, now.
I thought that I might as well get up and do something. I could work on the computer, or paint something. But, I knew that I needed to have my feet up. My eyes were tired, but I couldn't sleep with all the designs going on . I should sleep, but that meant hours of tossing and turning, and trying to get the designs and distortions to go away. If I turned the tv off, there would still be distortions to contend with, in the dark, in lights outside, even in the stars and moon.
I had read that, sometimes, with Macular Degeneration and related problems, that the foggy, purple or dark spot just won't go away, even when the eyes are closed, making it difficult to sleep. I hoped that I wasn't going to have this spot before me all the time. So far, it just happens sometimes. At least that spot is not usually the same. The shape and colors change. More abstract designs.
I added a fun little "test" for you to try on my sidebar. I got this from Dianne McGhee, who does creative things with stained glass. Look under "What Color Are You?" and try the quiz. Just click on the link below it to take the quiz. I thought mine fit, although blue isn't my favorite color at this time. I do use a lot of Indigo Blue and the blue shade of Cerulean Blue, though. For some reason, when I added it, part of it is hidden under the border of my page. I don't know how to fix that. The same thing happened to my subscription button. The links do work, though.
I also added a link to a singer who uses her first name. She uses an 'i' while I use an 'e' in my name. You can hear her sing by clicking on the Youtube link on her page. Click on Cecilia under Interesting Sites.
Also under Interesting Sites, I have added a site called "Melody Lane", where they have old songs, to enjoy as you go down Memory Lane. I believe that you have to join that one, but it looked interesting.
I guess that I have watched so many Gene Autrey movies during the western channels' 100th birthday anniversary for Gene, that I'm really thinking about those old songs. I've just been singing along with Gene and Smiley Burnette, the Sons of the Pioneers, and all the crew since last week. I may go through withdrawel when they finish this series as I've had it going night and day, since it started.
Those of you who know me, and who read my blog, know that my hero was Tim Holt. Gene wasn't my favorite, but I still love those old westerns. I don't like many of the newer ones. The old ones seemed more real, the way that cowboys and the west should be. I wasn't a big fan of country music, either, but these were more swing and folk songs, even church songs. I sing along a little bit, then don't know the words for a while, so, at those forgotten parts, I have to just hum or put in "dum de dum" or something of that sort. I just do this around the house, since my voice is so croaky. Worse than Smiley with all his high and low ranges. My voice hasn't been the same since thryroid surgery a few years back.
I was remembering a time when I was probably 3 or 4 and was playing at my grandmother's house under the china berry tree. I wanted to make mud pies while Grandma was cooking. I wandered over to Uncle Rudloph's house across the pasture, where his wife, Pearl, was feeding chickens. I told Pearl my plight and we went in the house, where she checked her cooking on the wood stove in the kitchen.
I sure did want to make mudpies, but Grandma was busy and I didn't have any jar lids or anything to make my pies in. Pearl took me into her living room. We stood beside a table with a light bulb hanging from a single wire hanging over it.
Pearl opened a cabinet beside the stairs. There were no banisters or any kind of railing, just bare steps leading to the second floor. The cabinet was dark wood with cut out scroll work on the front. Behind the cut out area, there was a deep red fabric. The cabinet opened from the top, and looked like a 1960s stereo, except for the decorations on the front. Inside, there was a record player that played 78s. I was fascinated and had not seen anything like it, for this was only the early 1940s. There were no stereos, yet.
Pearl brought out albums and stacks of records and put them on the table. Gene Autrey and Tex Ritter were just some of the recording artists. There were also a few operas and symphonies. I knew the Gene Autrey records from the Saturday picture shows at the Eloia.
"Here, you can take these, " she said as she stacked a big pile of records and albums in front of me.
"But, won't you miss them? Won't Uncle Rudolph be mad?" I didn't want to take them, ruin them, then have an angry adult after me later.
"Nah," she said. "Those are old. We won't miss them. We usually listen to the radio, anyway. It's too much trouble to have to keep cranking that old record player, so we don't use it anymore. Besides, you need some dishes for your mudpies." She put some of the records back inside the cabinet and pulled the string on the light bulb. The light went on, then off, and she urged me toward the back door.
"You just go on back to Hermena's and make your mudpies, and don't worry about it. I've got to cook dinner, now."
I went down the steps slowly, thinking that she would change her mind and ask for the records back. I shuffled my feet through the dirt where the chickens were pecking, crossed the alley where an ancient plow was parked by a tree, and balanced the records over my head while I went through rows of corn, climbed through a barbed wire fence that separated the field from Grandma's driveway. I opened the gate to the white picket fence of the back yard, and looked back at Pearl's house to see if she was following me, wanting her records back. She wasn't there. I stepped on the concrete sidewalk, passed my aunt's collection of petrified rocks, the old cistern where Grandma had planted Cannas, and settled into my place under the wide windows of Grandma's kitchen, shaded by the China Berry tree. There was water in a faucet that stood up from the ground, lots of dirt to dig in, as long as I didn't dig where Grandma had flowers, or in her Victory Garden behind the clothesline. And, I sure didn't want to go in the back yard area where the chickens were without Grandpa or Grandma with me.
As I made my mudpies, diligently, I decided to use only one record for a dish, and made several pies on one dish. I thought that those records were too much of a treasure to ruin with mudpies. The dirt might wash off, but what would that do to the record.
One day, Grandpa was working with cows in one of the back yards, and he had to go to the toolshed. I was following him. As he went in the shed, I was looking around at some things that had been tossed out of the storage shed beside the tool shed. Buried in the mud was something metal. I dug it out and found a mud-covered, little wood stove, similar to Pearl's.
"Grandpa, can I have this?"
"Ask your grandmother," he answered from the tool shed.
I took it to the kitchen window. "Grandma, can I have this?"
"Sure you can. That's an old toy stove that a little girl gave me when I was a little girl. We used to cook on it. You can really build a fire in it and cook things. But, you will have to clean it up." She went back to the sink.
I took the stove to the faucet and washed the mud off, then left it to dry on the sidewalk. Then, when I visited, I played like I was cooking on the stove. Mudpies weren't all that great, now that I had something to cook real food on. Of course, I couldn't play with matches to light it, and the bottom of the oven was rusted almost away. But it had places to put your pies to cool, a tank for hot water, and holes with covers where you could cook food.
Eventually, I took the stove home and my sister and friends and I would put it on the front porch. My friend, Edie, had some little metal dishes and we put two plates inside the oven to make a floor for the wood. A melted candle held it together for years. We gathered sticks to make a fire in the stove. Then we cut up a potato for french fries, or got little bits of food to make soup with. It really worked! We had sturdy metal cooking utensils then, and dishes that were also sturdy. That was some good food that we cooked as little kids. It sure tasted better than mud pies and the soup we made from weeds and things that grew wild in the lot between our houses. (Of course, everyone had to eat some of what the group cooked, mudpie and soup wise. I wouldn't. Everyone knew I was a picky eater. Daddy told me that some of those weeds were poisonous so don't eat our creations. I didn't. I would run home, instead.)
I still have that little stove. At one time, I put an artificial ivy in it. The inside of the oven, the two plates, rusted away years ago. To keep it from rusting further, I painted it white. I've looked for information on that little stove. Possibly, it was actually a salesman's sample. I still think it would be fun to cook on!
Funny what Gene Autrey's songs led me to think about! "Back In The Saddle Again", "You Are My Sunshine", "Tweedleo Twill", "When It's Roundup Time In Texas", "Sioux City Sue", "Mexicali Rose", "That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine"and all those good old songs. "When It's Roundup Time In Texas" is another story.
My favorite of his movies was the one in 1936 when it was the State of Texas Centennial. That movie was filmed at what is now the Texas State Fairgrounds in Dallas. I love those wonderful old Art Deco buildings, the way that I remember the fairgrounds. It was so interesting to see how it looked. And, so far, I haven't seen that movie in all the selections they have shown. It may have been on the other channel while I was watching something else. Incidentally, the State Fair of Texas is going on now.
Another one in this series that I liked was the one that he made just before going into service in WWII. That one is appropriate today.
I feel like I am thoroughly saturated with Gene Autrey movies. The stories and songs are all running together. I wish they would do that for Tim Holt movies. I could really watch those 24 hours a day, every day! It is nice to be able to count on seeing a good old western instead of things that you couldn't pay me to watch. I am amazed that they rate some of these movies as Parental Guidance. Those are wonderful old shows that had high morals and guided generations of youngsters as they grew up. We could use more of the Cowboy Code these days. I'm glad that they are giving "The Code" in between movies.
Let me know if there is something of interest to you. It helps to get your comments. I welcome your inquiries. Please share this with anyone who you think might be interested.

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