"A tale of my one eyed view of the world…"
I have never known what it is like to view the world out of both eyes.
Since I have been dependent on one eye since birth, I didn’t even know anything was ‘wrong’ until I was 10 or 11 years old when I performed poorly on a routine eye exam at school. I was told that my right eye was severely ‘lazy’ at the time and that it was impossible to fix properly. And so, I was fitted for (some really ugly) glasses that only had a super strong prescription in one of the lenses and told that if I just wore my glasses diligently that I would one day encourage my super ‘lazy’ eye to ‘work’ properly.
Vision out of my right eye is nearly non-existent. If I close my left eye and try to use my right eye to view things, I can just barely make out blurry shapes and all light is scattered.
After seeing a variety of optometrists over the years who all seemed to have different explanations for what they thought was wrong with my vision and after a really harrowing semester in Microbiology Lab where I had numerous issues using the binocular microscopes (amusingly, this was also my favorite class despite the issues), I finally went to an ophthalmologist to get to the bottom of things. My ophthalmologist shook her head when I explained about all of woes with wearing glasses for years (massive headaches despite having the right prescription). She ended up explaining after a lengthy exam (and I will simplify the explanation here) that my brain just does not utilize my right eye properly and that no amount of wishful thinking and powerful lenses would ‘convince’ my right eye to magically start working.
And so, the other night when a bug flew into my good eye (the left one) while I was in Brooklyn and proceeded to move around and scratch my cornea before I got it out of my eye, I was very, very lucky to be with my boyfriend because not only was it ridiculously painful to deal with but having to hold my good eye closed while tears streamed down my face from both eyes due to the trauma nearly rendered me incapable of getting around since I couldn’t see anything at all. I also have him to thank for not only getting me to the emergency room at Beth Israel in one piece but also cracking jokes while we waited which made me panic less since all I could think about were the worst case scenarios (and for finding a pharmacy open at 5 in the morning and leading me there when I was beyond blind so I could get the antibiotic eye-drops I needed).
My eye is nearly healed after a pretty scary weekend that consisted of a lot of sleeping, listening to music and podcasts in the dark (I had extreme sensitivity to light). I was shocked to read in the various comment threads on my Facebook and on my Google Plus over the past few days about how many people also view the world out of only one eye.
I do find it really interesting that I tend to pose with my good eye showing in self-portraits and in photos taken of me by other people. I never noticed I did this until recently when I shot a whole batch of self-portraits and realized that I seemed to favor angling myself with my good eye showing (the image in this post was a throw-away from that batch and amusingly features my good eye).
I also don’t really know how my one-eyed view of the world affects my photography. I think about it from time to time though and it is interesting to ponder but I guess I will never know how my photography would have progressed differently if I could see out of both of my eyes.
I do know that I am seriously considering wearing a protective suit the next time I go outside…;)
View this photo larger and on black on my Google Plus page