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Sunday 9 February 2020

Looking for the light

My chin rests on the moulded plastic support, and I gaze straight ahead. In less than a second, I’m floating weightlessly in an infinite sea of pure white with only a single black dot in the centre to anchor me. I settle onto the stool and feel my shoulders drop ever so slightly. I’m instantly transported to an art installation in MASS MoCA, and a smile creeps across my heart. With the remote control firmly in the grasp of my right hand, I let the memory dissipate and exhale. For a moment, there’s nothing; just me in the vastness of blank space.
Flash - the tiniest point of illumination grabs my attention just to the right of centre. Click - I push the button and wait. Flash - another one, this time bottom left. Click – my focus moves around, spotting and catching the momentary flashes that appear and disappear in a playful dance.
Just as I’m beginning to enjoy the solitude of this game, I switch eyes and get lost once again.
As the Optometrist talks me through the results of my almost perfect peripheral vision, my mind begins to race. I think about everything that’s happened over the past couple of years: the unspeakable heartbreak, the nurturing hope of new love, all of which, I never saw coming.
Even with working vision, there will always be some things that slip past our periphery. I can’t help but feel the secret is in the softening of our gaze, to place our attention a little closer to home and rest on that space within.
And as I gently close my eyes to the world, everything suddenly shifts into focus.