Saturday, August 31, 2013


I'm not sure what I actually see in this photo. When I look out my living room window, I see this grouping of trees but there, in the distance, is this oak tree that has formed this weird, circular area in the very middle of it. It seems odd to me...not just that there is something missing in the center but that for some reason, the entire center has formed this perfect circle...a portal of sorts. But to where exactly? And why? And do I actually see it...this "empty" space or are my eyes fooling me? After all...I realize that we each can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different. Everything is up to personal interpretation.

And then there is the recent problem with my eyesight that plagues me. I have had diabetes for awhile now and even though I take very good care of myself and exercise and eat properly, there is always that nagging thought in the back of my mind "that some day I might lose my eyesight". I have seen it happen to other people that I know who are diabetics and it is not an easy thing to have happen to you, especially when you consider yourself an artist and need your eyes for so many things. We all need our eyes but it seems like a cruel joke for an artist to lose eyesight. Or a gardener who loves to pull weeds!!

I first noticed that there was something wrong with my eye a few months ago but I passed it off as just some blurry vision or dry eyes. I even thought that maybe I just needed a new prescription in my glasses. Maybe that was all it was. But then one day while driving up the freeway, I noticed that if I shut my left eye and just used my right eye exclusively, the entire fast lane of the freeway disappeared, including the cars that were there if I opened up my left eye. Back and forth, open and close, until I was sure that there was some "blank spot" in my vision. A scary thought, to be sure. I thought I might be experiencing macular degeneration or something more serious. So, I made an appointment with a specialist and he diagnosed me with a condition called Common Serous Retinopathy, which is basically a water bubble in my retina and it is brought on by stress produced from the hormone know...that nasty hormone that makes your mid-section larger.

So, I have been slowly trying to eliminate stress in my life but it seems like it just keeps following me around. I can't seem to leave it in the background unfortunately. My Mom has been in the hospital two times in the last couple of months and she continues to lose weight and require more care than she did previously. What is that term...the Sandwich Generation? That's exactly where I seem to be at the present time...caught the middle. get back to my "portal". I imagine, when I look at this, that it is a place that I can go or that something else can come through. And that it was sent here just for me to use. I have never seen anything like this before anywhere that I have been. I used to lay in my claw-foot bathtub in my previous home and stare out at the trees and I always saw a myriad of things in those trees. There were faces looking back at me. I saw complete heads and American Indian headdresses. Men with long hair and beards. I even started taking my sketch pad in the bathtub with me so that when the faces "appeared" as I gazed out the window, that I could just pick up my pencil and jot down what I saw. And always they appeared in exactly the same place every time. Sometimes when the seasons would change the faces would take on a different appearance because the leaves would fall off. But I could always make out some sort of picture from what was in my vision of the trees outside my window.

I wonder if other people have this happen to them when they gaze outside their windows? When I was in high school I used to lay outside on the lawn or on the deck and see faces or animals in the clouds. Lots of people have done this, I'm sure. I also used to concentrate on breaking up the clouds that would appear in the sky. I would focus on a single cloud as it was travelling in the sky and I would squint my eyes and think to myself "dissolve" and invariably the cloud would totally disappear. Now, maybe it was going to dissipate anyway but it felt exciting to think that I just might have the power to blast a cloud into thin air. You know what they say don't you? THE POSSIBILITIESARE ENDLESS!

And so...each day when I sit in my recliner in the living room and I'm facing the window with the view of the trees, I imagine the possibilities of the places I could travel if I stepped into the portal and transported to another realm. On the other side I could be anyone I wanted to be. I could be any place that I wanted to be. I could time travel to another galaxy if I wanted. Most days I am happy to just dream about where I would like to be. But some days I close my eyes (I don't think I fall asleep!) and I am another life altogether, in a different body, carefree!

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself,
Any direction you choose.

You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy
Who'll decide where to go."

                 Dr. Seuss

"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple".     Dr. Seuss


  1. sorry about your mom...hoping that run of hospital visits is over for you...its funny as a kid we used to go hiking and we had a similar spot in the woods we thought a portal, almost as if we had gone back in time....because there was no where from there you could view civilization...

  2. Teri, this is a very interesting blog post. I think that you should trust yourself, trust what you get and know that it is a message for you.