I knew it wasn’t going to be good news when I went to the eye specialist. There would either be surgery that would leave me with the current crappy vision in my right eye but not let it get any crappier. Or it would be the news that it could actually get worse. So I was sort of prepared when I found out that the left eye might be joining the party.
Believe it or not, I was actually kind of relieved. I hate surgery, but when I first learned that my retina was developing a split personality, I was more than a little worried about being able to work at a computer long term and, especially, if I would be able to draw. The art world will be relieved (or maybe appalled) to know, that both eyes can get a lot ickier and still let me doodle. It may be a sign of misplaced priorities, but I was only slightly bothered by the idea that the continued loss of peripheral vision might keep me from driving.
I’ve lived without a car before, and I’ve lived without drawing. Living without driving was inconvenient (less so in places with decent public transportation, but nothing compares to the experience of transporting a sheet of plywood home on the subway). Living without art was downright depressing. It’s not really life.
I’m not religious or prone to looking for cosmic reasons for events in my life, but I do try to find a bright side to get through things (instead of wondering where the zombie apocalypse fits in the grand scheme of the universe, for example, I might see it as a good chance to practice my screams in the key of high C) or, at the very least, a good contingency plan (planning for a career in the zombie opera because, let’s face it, I wouldn’t be outrunning them).
Last week, my bright side was that this discovery was a warning to create as much as possible before the lights got fuzzy. This week, my bright side is that maybe the increasing inability to see and be distracted by everything on the periphery will be a gift – one that reminds me to focus only on the people and dreams that matter.