Painting Eye Shield with low vision, back in 2014
Painting with low vision – 2014

In times like this, when my eye feels tired and painful, I realize how visual our world is nowadays. What can you do without eyes? Luckily, I am a creative person and I can think about numerous things to spend a day. One of those is ‘reading’ as in listening to books. Reading is something I haven’t done for quite a long time, since I have symptoms of cataract for about a year or so. I remember, in the Spring of 2020 I was still able to read a book in the sun, because only sunlight gave me enough light to read. But it has got worse, so I had to switch to audiobooks.

The good thing is that I am eager to learn and do not only read novels, but also dive into books about shamanism, buddhism, meditation and Ayurveda. I have acces to all kind of books, it’s a library for blind and visual disabled people, but all of the books available are quite old. Most of the time it doesn’t matter, the information is still good and refreshing. But sometimes it’s just a little slow. As if your watch a movie from the 80’s.

Reading a book about Ayurveda made me aware of how extra visible and fast our world of today is. In the 80’s or even the 90’s people had no phone to look at all day long. It was just sometimes, the phone rang. Most of the time it was for my mother and I remember sitting on the couch, pretending I was doing homework, and secretly listened to the conversations she had with my aunts or her friends. Just talking. Without seeing their face.

Now, we’re replacing calling with having a FaceTime or Zoom session. We skip visits and if we have a question we simply ask it with Whatsapp or whatever message system. When it feels like it is a message for more people at the same time, we put it in a group, or on Facebook. Everybody who is involved, or not, will read that message. We can even chat with people we don’t know. It feels richt to have so many choices in what medium to use to connect with other people.

But now I’ve put myself on a – let’s call it a screen-diet – I really feel the need to talk and talk and listen and listen. So, these weeks, I find myself often in veeeeeeery slow and long 80’s or 90’s dialogues with my dear ones. Which is good. Even when I forget to reply to emails and messages. And posting something on social media? Well, my 80’s/90’s brain doesn’t seem to handle that anymore. No, I am not ignoring you. If you need me, call me or drink a coffee with me! πŸ™‚

At this moment my life is all about giving my eyes enough rest. I’m balancing between seeing people and being alone, going outside and have rest at home or in the garden, keeping my brains active and just go with the flow. Because most of all, this is a time of silence, . I mean the visual equivalent of silence. Is there a word for that?

What I mean is… there are times we can have a lot of visual input and there are times for meant for precious inner work. As I try to withdraw from impressions, I practice meditation and turn within a lot. Tuning into my imagination, I find new places again and again. They’re not making me tired. They remind me of what is pure. And most of all, they give me very important insights to paint.

Blank canvas(es), I can’t wait to work with you!