Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Eye Update

My window to the world 

It's been awhile since I've blogged, or been on the internet in general, due to continuing eye troubles.  What's causing my right eye to blur is still a mystery, but over the past few weeks the doctors have been able to rule out some of the more serious causes, like MS or brain tumors.  

All the same, it's been a bit nerve-wracking.

Artists are visual creatures, and to think that one might lose the ability to see (or worse) can really mess with one's sense of creativity.  I had a few days where I was so depressed that I despaired that I might not paint again.  However last week's MRI results showed that the optic nerve was still healthy, so this has encouraged me to keep going, despite the fact that half of my view is still out of focus.

I recently came across a letter by Edgar Degas, the famed impressionist.  Apparently he had sudden trouble with his right eye in his late 30's, as well.  And, as in my case, the cause was a bit of a mystery.  In 1878 he wrote to his friend, James Tissot:

"I have just had and still have a spot of weakness and trouble in my eye.  It caught me at Chateau by the edge of the water in full sunlight whilst I was doing a watercolor and it made me lose nearly three weeks -- being unable to read or work or go out much, trembling all the time lest I should remain like that."   

It's speculated that he may have suffered from some form of retinopathy, but no one knows for sure.   But the point is, even though he eventually lost most of the sight in his eye, he kept going.  Some of his greatest works were considered to have been created in the years not before, but after his vision loss.  I certainly am no Degas, but it is somewhat encouraging to know that another artist struggled with this problem, and overcame it.

My brain, as seen on MRI.  Isn't technology amazing?


TheArtistOnTheRoad said...

Wishing you all the best on a speedy and complete recovery!

art is jok(k)e(n) said...

Well, I can imagine your worries. I had something very similar last winter: nothing was really sharp, out of focus and my eyes were slightly "burning" as if you are chopping an onion. It lasted several weeks and than it disappeared. (I minimalized the time spend behind the computer and reading). I can tell you I was really really upset.
I wish you all best!!
Hope dies last !!

Andy Smith said...

Hey LG - so sorry to hear about all of this. Must be quite stressful! It sounds like you have an excellent attitude towards this setback, regardless of how it turns out. Wishing you all the best.

Sarah Melling said...

I hope that you're feeling better, Laura! Your post reminded me of one of my favorite poems, "Monet Refuses the Operation" by Lisel Mueller. I think you'll like it: