night blindness, or how i learned to see

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.)

but please note: i am not conflating ‘seeing’ with ‘esp’–i am talking about form, & shape & balance  & color & space that conspire to be pleasing or not.

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.

i am just someone who can see in the night the light of life, of beauty, of sadness & of death (there’s beauty there too.)


2 Responses to “night blindness, or how i learned to see”

  1. 1 Harvest
    March 27, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Strangely enough, some of the best pictures I think I shot when I was in Silver City, NM, almost two years ago, were at night. I couldn’t explain why they came out so well, because I had never really done much night photography, but they did. Of course it was in the little town, so I did have some light from the street lights to help, but still, with my little camera, I was amazed.

    I know what you mean about seeing beyond the mundane — the innate knowledge that is not “survival sight”, but dare I say transcendental seeing? Yeah, it’s seeing design and balance and composition every where! 🙂 You are indeed blessed with sight.

    P.S. I hope you don’t care much about spelling, cause I think I am used to spellcheck.

  2. 2 robtpatrick
    March 27, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Thank you for the kind words!

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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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