Sunday, April 20, 2008

Eyesight is not vision



This picture is my creative response to "a woman, a rose, and what has it to do with her or they with one another". I'll bring it in to class for people to have a closer look.

For me, this poem is about the horror of the descent into blindness. The page is divided into three sections. The top section represents what is being/has been lost: surefootedness (seen in the dancers in the maze), colour (seen in the flowers) and a place in the world – a place of independence, ease of enjoyment and words. For this reason I chose to paste in the line “Do you see me? I am falling out of a blue sky.”

The middle section, shaped like an eye, represents the blindness that Michele has. I used white tissue paper to create the feeling of blurry white, at the edges of the top and bottom sections can still be seen. Around this eye I have pasted the lines which I thought were most evocative of the loss of sight to this blindness: “Then a pair of taxis went head to head in a distant country so suddenly I didn’t see the difference but it was a wide white threshold.”

The bottom section is the horror of this blindness. It is hard to imagine what it would be like to lose sight and the ability to easily navigate this world, but the final line of this poem, for me, captured that sheer panic: “She is in the dark, perhaps four years old and the future does not exist, screaming and screaming and screaming.” When I first heard this line read out in class, it sent ice cold chills down my spine. The swirling darkness therefore is not the blindness itself but the panic and terror it evokes.

Within the middle of the eye-shaped whiteness however, is the idea that runs as an undercurrent through this poem: Eyesight is not vision. At first I thought this was a hopeful idea, but within this poem it is a terrible burden. The gift of vision, which must come at the cost of eyesight, is unasked for and feared, but is nevertheless a destiny. The journey towards the destination of this gift is laid out in this picture: the falling and then the panic. But what does this vision see? It lays behind the veil of blindness and it as yet unclear.

5 comments:

Gregory Wood said...

Ah, some creative competition at last! I was getting sick of looking at Sir Ed all the time. Well done Kath.

Kathmeista said...

Thanks Gregory! :) I'm a little self-concious about my artwork (if you can call it that!) as the skill doesn't really match up to the vision, but for me, this poem had to be represented visually. So I gave it a bash anyway.

Gregory Wood said...

It takes a lot of guts to stick a piece of art up for public scrutiny, which all artists have to do eventually. Otherwise, we simply hide away any talent we possess and the world never discovers it, or gets to enjoy it. Your piece certainly worked for me. Indeed, I am amazed how original it is. Michelle Leggott is certainly an inspiring force for creativity.

Wordslave said...

I agree Greg. it takes courage to put yourself out there. This piece made me take another look at the poem in a more personal and empathetic way. I'm grateful for this new perspective.

Kathmeista said...

Wow thanks, guys! You've both made my day :)