Post by Jenny
I’m one of those lucky people who have needed to wear glasses since…well, conception, considering my genes. Growing up, my annual eye exam invariably resulted in thicker lenses, which is why I dread the eye doctor the way some people dread the dentist. And now that I’m reaching a certain age, I’m having more trouble seeing up close. Truly, we life-long myopes—who squint at the swimming pool, battle with foreign matter under our contacts, and have had a lens restriction on every one of our driver’s licenses—should be spared the additional hassle of presbyopia.
(And yes, I know about Lasik, but I’m a total chicken.)
But as anyone with more significant visual impairments than mine could attest to, vision is not always synonymous with eyesight. Dictionary.com defines vision as “the act or power of sensing with the eyes,” “the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be,” and “a vivid, imaginative conception or anticipation.” That last one is my favorite.
I know that painters, photographers, and the like depend heavily on eyesight. And I find it interesting that many famous visual artists endured eye troubles. Claude Monet and Mary Cassatt had cataracts. Camille Pissarro had a malfunctioning tear duct. Edgar Degas suffered from what was probably macular degeneration. These artists continued to paint as long as they were able, and consequently their work reflects both their eyesight and their creative vision. In Monet’s case, some of his most famous works were painted when his cataracts were at their worst.
Many writers, especially those of us who can barely draw a bath, primarily use words as our medium. Without a single brushstroke or click of the shutter, we are often able to visualize an entire WIP from beginning to end. Additionally, we writers, from the most minimalist poet to the most epic fantasy author, must keep an eye on our writer’s journey—where we’ve been, where we are, where we’re headed.
I’ve recently been to the eye doctor, so I know how my eyesight is doing. (MOTS, but thanks for asking.) But it has been quite a while since I’ve examined my writer’s vision. Am I proceeding from a place of “a vivid, imaginative conception or anticipation?” Or am I becoming increasingly short-sighted? Maybe it’s time I tweaked that prescription, too.
How’s your writer’s vision doing these days?