Eye and Mind: Visual and Cognitive Lenses

One of a series. Charing Cross Bridge. Monet

Scientists at Stanford University, California, studied Claude Monet’s vision—the gradual clouding of the lenses of his eyes caused by cataracts—and how that effected his sense of color and detail.  His work reflected these visual changes as he kept painting.

Doesn’t altered health, abilities, energy or cognitive perspective all affect what we do and how we do it?

When my mind is most rested and sharp I enjoy working on challenging projects. When I’m tired—that is, when my sharpness of mind is dulled by “cataract” of fatigue, I may be only able to jot down thoughts and take sensory notes “impressionistically”.

An early draft may hold up with only slight revisions, or it may be quite transformed as my “vision” changes.

Either way, it is what it is.  Like Monet, it’s about keeping on—doing and being.

Practicing an art as a means of observing with open heart and mind can help one find their adaptive cognitive lenses.  It can allow one to accept things (and self) as they are, even while looking at possibilities for change.

Accepting how one is, while still hoping for some improvement, makes the hope more kind and patient.  It’s like accepting the change of light on the landscape as you prepare your paint or camera.  An unexpected cloud may dull the scene as you had planned it, but if you accept it, it may reveal something else, either visually. . . or internally.

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