i can’t pinpoint the exact date, but somewhere in my past it happened suddenly & without warning: i could see. now, you might say that seems not that unusual, most of us are gifted with sight, but i’m talking about really seeing, beyond just the ordinary day-to-day business of looking at things & making visceral judgments about them (hot/cold/good/bad/sweet/sour/turn/don’t turn/asshole/sweetheart.)
it could’ve been when i was walking down the sidewalk & like an owl at night stalking its prey, it swooped down upon me & its feathers stroked my eyelids/eyelashes in a magical whoosh of starlight & ambient sound (and left a trail of pixie dust, you hopeless romantic.) but i don’t think so.
you will have noticed that night is brighter than we perceive (no flash for these photos) & i think my ‘sight’ is like that, brighter/sharper/clearer. now i am not patting my back & saying “oh, robert, you’ve got it,” what i am saying is that i do have something that connects the upside down world (before the brain turns it right side up) with my gut & my brain & offers an interpretive dance (black leotards & tights for all!) of possibilities.
symmetry, asymmetry all opposites balance & harmony rules (forget them) thrown out the door. like an animal its instinctual & primal & learned (i’ve had great teachers–though they may not have known at the time that they were even in a position to have done so.)
at night, not everything is as it seems, the edge of harsh light has been removed & time/space seem much more fluid & feathered & softened by the absence of daylight (we all look the better for it–isn’t that why a bar/saloon/bistro is candlelit?)
i may not be able to tell you how i learned to see (pearl, bessie, evelyn, klaus, arnie, michael, libby, estelle, for instance but in no particular order, & god knows there are many others) but i do trust my sight (i only have one good eye — & that may account for my extra-sensory perception.)
it may be vain of me (i know you’re rolling your eyes right now) but through all these years i have had the strongest of connections with the visual. it is my connection to the past, the present & the future (it makes my heart pound, right now, as i type these words.) i am not an artist.