Monday, November 12, 2012

Living the Van Gogh Life

I was sitting out on the front porch yesterday evening with my husband. He was pointing out beautiful birds in our yard which I was pretending to see.  Red birds, blue birds, buntings and starlings and thrush moved from pine to feeder to oak to bath and back to feeder again. I could see the motion when they moved from one place to the other. The titmouse has a way of fluttering its wings when it moves about that I can hear from 50 feet away. It is like a humming bird and I love it. I could see the huge lazy shadow of the buzzards riding the Indian summer heat over our heads. I just couldn’t see the birds, or the feeders for that matter.

I looked out over our yard and I realized my landscapes have become those of Van Gogh. Beautiful colors, swirls and whorls and dots that represent definable shapes but have no strict definition. No red birds or blue birds or thrush darting about, no flowers or chipmunks or squirrels are enjoying the evening as we are. I hear a vehicle roll by at 250 feet but couldn’t tell you anything about it. I can’t see even the motion any more at that distance.
I love Van Gogh; this is not a terrible state to be in. I do worry about what comes next though in this interminable process of losing my vision.

I used to know my family by the way they walked, turned their head, held their shoulders or moved their hands. No more. I have to be within ten feet of them now to be sure they are who I think they are. This frightens me on two levels. One, and this is the big one, I do not want to NOT be able to see the faces of those I love. These people are why I am here! If I lose them I will feel adrift and frightened. The second, which is really still the first but seen from a different angle is that I can’t see! I already can no longer ride a bike alone. I move faster than I can decipher obstacles like trees, curbs and psychotic killers. I am now afraid to walk alone because I no longer see well enough to see anything approaching, like dogs with foaming mouths and rabid foxes and psychotic killers. You can interpret this two ways… either I am just a scaredy-cat or I read the news and know that there are indeed rabid foxes, vicious dogs and psychotic killers whether one lives in a metro area or the heart of the country as I now do. With my track record for one in a million happenstances, (tornados, pregnant while taking the pill with my tubes tied, etc.), I choose to avoid them whenever I can.
For now I enjoy the hell out of my impressionist’s yard (people pay hundreds of millions to hang a slice on their wall. I LIVE it baby). The fluid lines and melting edges and glorious colors titillate and soothe by degree. The morning I wake up in a five year olds watercolor, splotches of color running together into browns, lines obliterated and subject up for anyone’s guess will be a sad day for me, I think, maybe not. I will have color and light and God willing my lovely and loved seeing-eye-people to help me navigate it.
Vincent Van Gogh (Duh!)

Night and birds by John Scott's Photography (my hubby, in my front yard.)