Seeing (or not seeing) the World in a New Light

Life seems to be accelerating these days. I recently celebrated another year on this earth, underwent an intense medical procedure and just this week watched my beloved dog quickly lose his vision. The past month hasn’t been easy for me personally but it has been heartbreakingly more difficult to watch my dog lose the ability to see his world before him along with the ability to communicate with us visually. His world has changed and as a result, so has mine.

As a visual artist, the assumption of sight is established in the very definition of my profession. Art is meant to define the world the way it is perceived and understood by the artist. As a result, I spend a lot of time looking and thinking in visual terms before I put any marks to the canvas. The creative process involves exploring those various ideas that arise via the application of thought, memory and meaning that eventually culminates (I hope) in a tableaux of visual expression. All the senses contribute to the end result of a finished work but the one that reigns supreme over all is the ability to see. And therein lies my own sense of loss for a little friend who can no longer see the world he lives in, or the ones who love him most.

If we learned anything in 2020 it would be the world can, and does, change very quickly. Too quickly at times. And as my wife so cogently stated, in the midst of a crisis, the world seems to stop. It’s an all too familiar experience we have encountered over the past 10 years or so. And here we are again as the world has stopped for our little family as we adjust to having a blind dog in our home.

As we all adjust to this new development in our lives I cannot help but be grateful for the sight I have and the ability to utilize it to my advantage. I believe we have all collectively learned during the time of COVID, we really don’t (maybe even can’t) appreciate all that we have until it is taken from us. After a year of adjusting to the world we all now live in, once again I find I want to live my life a little bit differently and resolve to be increasingly more mindful of the moment I find myself in and the work I do. Life is too short not to. 

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