SEEing Requires Visual Interest in the Environment

I read something interesting in “Relearning to See” by Thomas R Quackenbush:   A person who is not visually interested in nor curious about the environment will not really SEE it in a normal, visually connected way, and will have blurred vision.  Vision is an active process.  “If you want to see, see.  See actively all day long, but never with effort.  This is normal and natural.”  (aka Use It or Lose It)


In another post I wrote about how I’ve not been visually interested in my environment.   Lack of interest leading to (but not being the sole cause of) blur is an interesting concept that seems to fit with my personal experience.  I listen to people talk about the kinds of things they see in their environment, and they’re usually talking about concrete things using concrete visual system, heh.  None of that interests me.  It’s always been that I’ve needed to see just enough of what’s going on in my environment to be able to maneuver around obstacles, as well as to give me clues of what’s going on IN my environment.  Actions of people, of animals, of objects.  Who/what’s moving where and is there a chance of collision or correlation.  I’ve always looked for information  regarding the internal aspects of the object, including its potential in various aspects and such, but never about its external aspects.  I’ve always found those aspects boring.


So, then, I run into a problem.  In order to improve my eyesight, WHAT do I want from it?  What in my environment do I find interesting enough to be willing/able to see it?

  • Close work reading and object identity within a range of 6 feet or so without strain and without glasses.  I would love to be able to work on the computer, play video games on computer/tv, watch tv, read books, clean my home, see the faces of the people to whom I’m talking with, etc.  Without squinting nor straining to see, and without requiring glasses.  6 foot range seems like a pretty good range, especially considering I’m at about a 1 foot range right now.  If 6 feet around me was clear enough to do all the above, then beyond that would be clear enough to function in.
  • As for distance vision beyond 6 feet, texture is about the only thing else that interests me.  Well, outline and texture I guess.  Like I love to look out and see the trees or clouds and such and not only see the shapes they are in, the lines that they make, but the texture of them as well.  I don’t find flowers themselves all that beautiful, but I do, however, like to see the overall color effects and shapes of the flower/plant.
  • I don’t mind wearing glasses for driving purposes.  And while it would be nice not to need them for that, I’m not sure that I’d be visually interested enough in my environment to get to that state of vision.

I think that the above is doable, and satisfies a minimal requirement of interest in the environment.  I’ve already noticed that I get pretty excited when I’m scanning an item like a tree or even the cat post, and my mind starts perceiving the texture of it.  To see the direction and shapes of a clump of grass.  To see the lines that the ropes make as it wraps around the post.  I don’t need to see the actual details of the rope itself, but it’s nice to see that fairly regular pattern of texture that the rope’s lines make.  I’ve also been amazed when I’m looking at what initially looks like a hibernating leafless tree, scanning the individual branches and beginning to notice the spaces and shapes between those branches, and then my brain picking up that there is something different at the ends of those branches, scanning back and forth until my brain suddenly notices that the tops are purplish, and then directing my vision to scanning the tops and finally realizing that there are purplish buds near the ends of the branches signifying that the tree is waking up and spring is near.  From there it’s a delight to see the differences in the colors between the tips and the branches and the texture that the angle I’m looking at it creates.  It’s kind of like seeing a painting where the artist did simple brushwork to show the subject, without doing the line and detail work to make it realistic.  THIS stuff interests me.


So, now I know what parts of my environment are interesting to me, and what parts I would like to see of it, and thus, what my goals are and how I will know that I’ve reached a goal that is right for me at this time of my life.


What do YOU find interesting in YOUR environment?


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