Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Trying to Find a New Way to See With my Brock String

I am at a place where my eyes are much more aligned due to my recent surgery and the work I have been doing in Vision Therapy, so why can't I fuse the beads on my Brock String yet? The therapist told me to shorten the normally 4-6 foot string to just a few feet and only use one bead, which has helped eliminate a lot of the confusion and makes it easier to decipher the feedback the string gives me as to where my eyes are pointing, however I am still not able to fuse the bead. Instead, I have two beads dangling centimeters away from each other.

The two beads appear to be different shades of the same color. I tell myself that the fused bead will be a compilation of the two shades and for a split second sometimes I think it flashes and I can see it, but I can't be sure. Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me or maybe my eyes are playing tricks on my mind. This new language is a tough one to learn.

The other day I realized that when I look up at the wall slightly above where the bead is supposed to fuse, I see the strings create a perfectly balanced X and the bead becoming sort of singular (although I still have yet to see the two strings going into that one bead...I can never seem to see that. Perhaps a bigger bead, although I did try ping-pong balls last year and that was too big!)

Why did the bead appear to fuse when I looked at the wall above it? The next day I tried to get the perfect X again by looking at the magic spot on the wall, but nothing happened. I blinked to try to get it and it happened again, and I realized in that split second that it wasn't the wall I was looking at, it was the air above the bead, towards the wall. My focus was on the air, not the wall! I was looking slightly above and ahead just past the middle of the X as it goes back out.

So then I wondered, why does the bead fuse when I look in the air above it? I have come to this conclusion: Maybe what I think is pointing my eyes at something is just not so. Seeing with both eyes at the same time is so foreign to me that perhaps it only felt like I was looking in the air above the bead, when in fact it was probably in that moment that I was looking at the bead with both eyes, aligned and seeing in-stereo.

I could be wrong about all this. Perhaps there is a scientific, measurable reason for this, that by looking slightly above the bead it compensates for some small misalignment I still have and I am really seeing the Brock String fuse out of my peripheral vision, I don't know. The string is so invaluable to me, as it tells me what I could never know, where my eyes are actually pointing.

In the end, this has taught me that I don't really know what using two eyes feels like. This is a great revelation to me. Perhaps the route to stereo vision will feel strange, like I am looking elsewhere, I think now that I know this, I will better be able to create a map towards it.


1 comment:

  1. Heather,

    You so eloquently wrote about something that was always difficult for my patients when I was a psychologist. How do you move yourself to a thought or feeling that you have not experienced before?

    Thanks again for writing.

    James

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