How I See Things

How I See Things
Cartoon-like drawing in shades of dark to medium purple. Eyes with beautiful eyelashes, looking through a pair of glasses.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Seeing the Beauty

A friend has enjoyed seeing photos I take wherever I go. I take a LOT of photos. 

My friend remarked that for someone who has vision issues, I definitely notice beautiful things & she is grateful I share them so other people can see them, too. 

So I thought: what if I share some photos on my blog here? 

So, perhaps you will enjoy this gallery of beautiful things I have photographed. 


A gorgeous sunset, and the human elements of electrical power. 

My 2 dogs, running with a friend of theirs - Jasper is the black American Cocker Spaniel in the front. Sparky is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (with perhaps a mix of Chihuahua in him, because his ears are short … they are sticking up in this photo because he is running!) … and their friend in the back, chasing Sparky. 

I love how Jasper poses for the camera. 

Sparky taking a doze on a friend’s ottoman. 

Jasper’s cute butt while he looks out the window. 

Another gorgeous sunset. The Shenandoah Mountains near where I live. 

Sparky and Jasper romping - ears up!

A fire sunset with the snow in the foreground. 

Baby pinecones forming. I actually tasted one, too. It tasted like pine. Definitely interesting. 

Lilly pads in a pond. 

Interesting formations on a tree. Not sure what they are, but I like them. 

Boats on a lake, fog in the background. 

Purple Irises. 

Forest in front of a lake. 

Jasper looking at the camera. His nose. This one may not be a beautiful shot, but it’s fun. 

A chipmunk!

First sunset over the Atlantic Ocean. 

A local caterpillar in Shenandoah. These are harmless to people. But they make gigantic nests in the trees and kill off tree branches. Then they turn into small white moths. 

I hope you enjoyed this post! Maybe I should do more of these. This is literally, “How I See Things.” Photos of things I see. 

Monday, May 30, 2022

3D Moment

I live in a mountainous region (the Shenandoah Mountains, part of the Appalacean Mountain range in central Virginia.). 

I was driving on a road, and the sun was in my eyes. I must have mentioned before on this blog somewhere how sensitive my eyes are to light. I probaby mentioned it in one of my Dissociation posts. My eye doctor, Dr. Magic AKA Dr. Tod Davis of Virginia Vision Therapy liks the two. He says they are commonly linked -- dissociaiton and sensitivity to light. 

I already had on my prescription sunglasses. I added on orange clip-ons from Rainbow OPTX. 

I put them on, and felt my eyes open up. I wasn't being bombarded from the sun so strongly, and felt my eyes rest. 

Soon after, I was driving towards a perfect round tree on the right side of the road, and beyond the tree, I could see the mountains in the distance. 

Now, normally, it looks like a postcard to me. It's all flat. I know the mountain is beyond the  tree becasue 1) that's how it is, there is road going from in front of me, next to the tree, and getting smaller and smaller, eventually looks like it's running into the mountain. 2) the tree is covering part of the mountain. The mountain isn't hiding the tree. 

When my eyes were able to rest, and it was a clear, sunny day, I had a brief moment, driving towards that tree, where I saw the tree in 3D - popping closer to me than the mountains. 

I love the brief moments when I get to see something in 3D! The only time I consistently see in 3D is when I am in a 3D theater, wearing those special glasses. 

The rest of my drive and for drives in the future, I was trying to find a tree and mountains way off in the distance, so I could see the tree standing out , towards me, the way it did that one time. But, I only saw it the one time. 

I look forward to the time (and I have hope that this will happen some day) when my brain makes some adjustments and connections and can see in 3D consistently. 

Oh, the things the majority of folks out there take for granted. To me, seeing in 3D is magical. I'd love to see that magic a whole lot more in my life. 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Johnny Depp

Who is watching the trial? I have watched a huge chunk of it. I don’t have great Internet at home and I don’t have cable TV. So I am watching what I can, when I can. 

I saw a portion this week that was Johnny Depp talking about his left eye. He said most people’s eyes are spherical in shape. Depp said his left eye was not spherical but rather oblong. Because of this, he said his brain never learned to use his left eye. He said he is legally blind in his left eye.
[Photo, courtesy of Vanity FairShows Johnny Fox on the witness stand in the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia. Johnny is wearing pink rimmed glasses with blue lenses that match the knot of his blue tie.]

I see him put on his light blue glasses. I know I have always closed my right eye so I don’t see double when I am reading. But when I type, I tend to shut my left eye. 

I guess I was expecting to see Depp shut his left eye when reading the computer monitor, but he doesn’t. I guess he just doesn’t see out of it. It’s fascinating to me how many different eye issues people have. We all do our own quirks with these vision and eye issues. I have trouble seeing out of my left eye, and I do the flickering eyesightwhich overwhelms me with information and forces my brain to block out large portions of what I am taking in both visually and auditory.

He is an extraordinary actor. I have been a fan of his Mad Hatter character and his character in 21 Jump Street, and of course his Captain Jack Sparrow character for years. I wasn’t aware of all the other movies he was in, though. I have seen him in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He did a great job, but I wasn’t a fan of that version of the movie. I also wasn’t a fan of the Sweeney Todd, Demon of Seville movie. 

It’s an interesting thing, when your eyes don’t work like “everyone else’s.” It makes you look at the world differently, laugh at different kinds of humor, find creativity everywhere you look. 

Regarding the trial, and I am treading carefully here, I have learned that too many people are abusers, and too many people have been victims of abuse. I believe any gender can be abused, and I believe any gender can be the abuser. 

It breaks my heart to see a victim tell the truth, even if it means bringing out their own skeletons from their own closet, and to see the abuser sit there on the stand, lying and believing they are getting away with something. 

May true justice prevail. 

Monday, February 28, 2022

Wiggle Our Toes

One of my vision issues is that I don’t like to read. Now, I thought I did like to read. But it turns out it makes my eyes hurt, and I skip over words. I try to get the gist of what I am reading without reading all of it. And if I go back and read every word, I am likely to tangle up the letters and mis-read it anyway. The whole thing is a chore and a nightmare for me. 

I have learned that I love listening to books on Audible. I mean, I love books. I love stories. I love learning things. And Audible works for me so well. I can be washing the dishes, keeping my hands busy, and read a book. I have listened to books while I take a road trip from the east coast to the mid-west. 

Recently, I have been listening to a book on called “A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD,” by Sari Solden MS and Michelle Frank, PsyD. 

Yes, I have ADHD too, because of course I do. I didn’t have enough initials of things I have with C-PTSD, PTSD, Afib and SVT. Sigh. 

Today, she brought up Proprioception. My ears perked up. My mind was wandering during part of the book, because it does this. Thank you, ADHD. 

The authors talked about how people with ADHD are distant from their body, not paying attention to things. Constantly distracted. And how bringing them back to a sense of their body by working on proprioception can bring them awareness and help them focus. Be here now. 

The author gave us an exercise that started with wiggling our toes. I was driving my car. A friend of mine taught me to use my cruise control on long drives. And I had it going. And I was able to wiggle my toes as I listened to the author and as I drove through the Shenandoah Mountains. 

She said we should bring awareness to our toes. Feel ourselves down there, in our toes. I am not there yet, feeling like I exist down there in my toes. But it was sure worth a try. I definitely feel like I am in my head, my brain, all the time. I excessively think and overthink everything. I can’t shut it off. It’s constantly going and going and switching topics and losing focus and hyper focusing. It’s exhausting. 

But I wiggled my toes. She said to move up to our body and move our ankles. I was wiggling my toes and moving my ankles. And my ankles got tired. As a former ballerina, I was sad to realize how tired my ankles got from minimal movement. I have some work to do. 

She had the reader move on up their body to their knees, thighs, hips and shoulders and neck …. And I was still just trying to wiggle my toes and feel an awareness of myself down there. 

I like the idea that I can practice proprioception in this new way, and I wanted to share it. I will never be a circus acrobat. But hopefully as I approach my 50s, I will get more fit and more aware of my body than I have been. 

My son tells me that if we used to be athletic, our body remembers how to do it, so it comes back easily. I am hoping this is true for me. I’ll let you know how it goes. 

Monday, February 21, 2022

Proprioception and Alegria

 So, let’s talk a little about proprioception, shall we? 

I learned about this word in vision therapy. It’s a word I am still figuring out. 

It means “perception or awareness of position or movement of the body.” 

A cartoon Jodi is wearing a black and red plaid shirt, dark blue pants, black hockey skates. She has on blue hockey gloves and is holding a hockey stick in the “check” position (the end of the stick is raised above her shoulder). 

Gosh, I have so many different things I want to share about this. Either this will need to be 3 blog posts, or I can figure out how to make it interesting as one and not too long. 

I am suddenly reminded of Cirque du Soleil’s “Alegria” show. It’s a beautiful show, full of storybook characters and bird characters that walk around, dance, jump and do amazing acrobatics. It has a beautiful princess character in a white dress who sings the most beautiful songs with her extraordinary alto voice. There is a character opposite her - who wears all black and sings the harmonies. Their performances are so extraordinary that they can both do both characters. In fact, they alternate. The black-dressed character doesn’t sing as much as the white-dressed character. So they alternate nights, to give their throats a rest from doing the whole show, every night. I just find that fascinating. 

I watched a show of them, behind the scenes. I can’t remember what it’s called now. But the casting director is talking to the whole cast. She has an issue with their performance. That’s the thing about Cirque du Soliel - from what I have experienced of it (and at last count, I had seen 20 of their shows, and some of them I have seen so many times I can’t even count how many times), I love the way that everyone there strives to improve their performance for every single show. The creative director is constantly watching every show to make sure it is as spectacular or even more so than every previous show. It’s amazing.

In the tv show I watched about Alegria, I remember the casting director looking at the strong man of the show and saying to him, “Andre, in the first act, your arms are….” And he burst out, “the biggest!” 

It wasn’t what she was aiming for, but it brought a good laugh. She was trying to make sure everyone on the stage during the first act held their arms in a certain wing-like formation. She wanted everyone to be in this position the entire time they were performing a certain section of the opening act. 

Another part of the show, I think a narration of the scene I have just described, talked about how aware every single performer was in their body. Their entire being was wrapped up in every motion their body was making. 

They were centered in their body. It got me thinking. I have been thinking about this for probably 15 years or more now, and it still gets me - how aware every single circus performer is and has to be, about where their body is. 

Some circus acts are incredibly dangerous. Dangerous beyond belief. One missed beat could mean the difference between life and death. I have seen Cirque du Soleil shows and other circus shows and clowns doing incredible, breath-taking things that I would need a book to describe them. Things that no ordinary person like me could dream of doing. Acrobatics, flips, diving, silk dancing, kinetic movement beyond description. 

While I’m at it, I am just going to say - go see the resident show in Las Vegas called “KA.” It’s a Cirque du Soleil production that has things there are impossible to do. I sat there and watched and said out loud, “that’s impossible.” And yet, the performers did everything flawlessly. Like a seamless ballet. It takes my breath away just to think about scenes in that show. 

The whole idea of a stage performer being completely aware of their body. Wow. 

I grew up as a fourth generation Christian Scientist. Christian Science, for anyone who doesn’t know, doesn’t believe that the material body exists. They don’t. If you can see, hear, feel, taste or smell it, it’s not real. Anything that is real is something that is eternal - like kindness, compassion, creativity, gentleness. These qualities can’t be destroyed. But a table or even a human body can be destroyed. This is what makes them “unreal” - they can be destroyed, thus, they are unreal as far as Christian Science is concerned. 

I didn’t take biology in school. I didn’t take family life classes or whatever it’s called these days. I didn’t take the classes about drugs or alcohol or anatomy. I was exempted from all of those classes. There is so much about the human body that I didn’t learn in school. I was a faithful, fervent-believing Christian Scientist. I was determined to be the best Christian Scientist ever. I was determined to heal the way Christ Jesus did. (This is what Christian Scientists believe - that they can heal the way Jesus did. And part of doing the healing work is believing that the real qualities of God can never be destroyed.)

Growing up in Christian Science, I turned my whole back on my material body. I didn’t eat right and I didn’t exercise. Let me tell you what it’s done to me now, at the age of 49. I am no longer fit. I am no longer the athlete I used to be. I used to run track, dance ballet, snow ski, canoe, rock climb, go caving. I could do just about any sport I wanted to do. I took about 5 golf lessons and did really well with that too. I played on the roller hockey intermural team in college, too. What a rough sport. It was men and women on the team. Mostly men. And they didn’t care who they were running into. It hurt like crazy and I loved every moment of it. 

I have been out of Christian Science now about 7-8 years. I have been working very hard to realize my human body is real. It’s been quite the learning curve. 

One of the things I had to come to terms with was the fact that I have heart problems. I have supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and atrial-Fibbrilation. One of these things means that the left and right side of my heart don’t talk well to each other. They forget it’s a dance between 2 sides and sometimes just pump on one side of my heart. This can be a lethal thing for the person who experiences it. I am lucky to be alive, frankly. I am so grateful to still be here. I feel like I have so much to share with the world and I am just getting started. The other heart problem is that my heart can beat too fast. It beats way too fast and makes me feel dizzy, like I want to pass out. I have had heart surgery and thankfully, where I am now is that even if my heart feels weird and crazy, it’s not going to kill me. Also, I take a daily heart medicine now that also keeps it more in check. 

I haven’t exercised in something like 20 years. Probably more like 30-35 years. I exercised in Physical Education class in school, all the way through college. And I also did ballet and track, like I said. I was active and enjoyed being athletic. I was fit and gave all the glory to God. It wasn’t my body doing these things, it was me expressing my Maker, God. 

Life took some twists and turns and I ended up on the couch. For 20 years. Marrying, having babies, giving up all the things I used to love, and putting my children and marriage first, ahead of any human or material needs I would have wanted. I thought it was the right thing to do. 

And now I am 49, coming up quickly on 50. I will turn 50 this year. And I am in the worst shape of my life. It’s so hard to go from couch-sitting to heart problems to staying in bed due to anxiety, heart problems and a fear of leaving the house due to my own vision issues (yes, I have blogged about how my vision issues are related to me being afraid to leave the house - click on the link in the sidebar for Dissociation - and read how it’s all related).  

I want to be fit. I want to be able to snow ski again. I live in the Shenandoah Mountains now. I live 8 miles from a ski resort. I live next to the Shenandoah River, too. I used to love canoeing. I want to be able to do that too. I love being on the water. I love being on the snow. 

Proprioception. Awareness of where your body is, and how it’s moving in space. I want more of that. Proprioception. I did snow angels on the carpet (okay, they are actually called carpet angels) when I started vision therapy. I sat in a spinning swing or a rolling office chair and spun in place very slowly. I learned how to reach out and touch objects in space. All of these different activities were attempting to teach me to connect with my body - give my brain new patterns and wiring. Literally rewiring my brain.

I did so much work learning where my body is in space, learning about proprioception in vision therapy. And I feel like I have only just begun to say what I wanted to say when I started this blog post. But it feels long enough now. 

So more about this topic will come along in a future post. Thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate having you here. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Seeing Double

My son’s and my vision therapists have a card in their office that has some vision issues on it. 

This is quite similar to how I see out of only my left eye. I have discerned that I see double out of my left eye only. It’s a thing. My vision therapist says it’s not a thing unless your cornea has been split in two. But - it’s truly how I see things. I haven’t spent time with my right eye to see how it sees. 

It takes effort and endurance to be able to look at something for a long time to see how I see it, and then to be able to figure it out in words. 

Anyway, I wish I could take photos of what I actually see. I can’t. But this shows what I see, in a way others can interpret.

My double vision is so similar to this - here’s how mine is different. (My right eye has a whole host of other issues, so this is really about my left eye.) 

I see the main, dark part. The text (shown here also, as the dark text.) Then I see below it and wider than it, the blurred words too. It’s slightly below and wider than the text of what I see. 

It’s exhausting and confusing and tiring and makes me need to take naps. I walk around all day, seeing this way. 

This is just ONE of my many many many vision issues. I have wanted to figure out how to create this graphic and couldn’t quite get to the place where I could create this using tools I already have. I am so glad the vision therapy office created this. It helps me share, and helps others learn that “not everyone sees the way I see.” 

Thought I would share. 

Sunday, January 9, 2022

New Year

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful December season. 

I took much needed time off from my blog here. I grieved the loss of my Bella. And I have rescued 2 dogs who needed to be rescued and need to be loved. 

I rescued Jasper from San Antonio, Tx, thanks to God’s Dogs Rescue. He is a black American Cocker Spaniel. He is only 2 years old and if I count his breeder, I realized that from his perspective, I am his 7th owner. He is only 2 years old and has spent most of his life in a shelter. It’s so sad! He is a love bug and he is so happy to live with me now! He does not want to go anywhere else. He is home.

And I rescued a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He was found walking the streets in Northern Virginia. The shelter he was taken to tried to give the owner time to come get him. But no one did. 

The shelter got him very good medical care and the vet said he is probably about 10 years old. He has a heart problem (typical of the breed) and kidney issues. He has to eat special kidney diet food. He also has hock joint issues. My vet said those are a nuisance but not life-threatening. He also has horrible teeth and a collapsing esophagus. The collapsing esophagus is also not life-threatening, but it makes him “cough.” Loudly at times. 

But he is a sweetheart and I am so happy to have his Cavalier self brightening up my days. 

This is Sparky.

They have become buddies. I am so glad to have both of them in my life and my boys love them so much, too. 

I hope you’re having a wonderful start to your new year!

Flickering Eyesight

So, I have known for a long time that my eyes don’t work together. It has taken me almost 50 years to be able to describe what I see to peop...