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With age, it is hoped, comes wisdom; what ever that is. Mental powers seem, for me, to progress in some areas, and regress in others. When facing a question, my accumulated base of life experience allows me to distinguish between what is important and not, more quickly than when I was younger. I don’t sense any lack of imagination, or creativity, but I am less interested in getting bogged down in details than I used to be. This may be in part due to increased impatience, and that I find it more difficult to hold in mind the same number of details as I could when I was younger. When I’m writing, I find specific words elude me; names of people and other things present a challenge. Imagination, creativity, intuition, perception, presciences, penetration, sharpness, are among the adjectives of vision, in the sense of how the future might be imagined.

Physically my vision — eyesight — has experienced some setbacks over the last few years. First, cataracts have been forming on my eyes, although they are not yet a serious impediment, they are becoming noticeable. Late last year, I was found to have a tear in my retina. Fortunately it was identified early enough so that it could be repaired. But tests done for that exercise showed that the pressure in my left eye was high. While the pressure is not yet across the threshold to be characterized as glaucoma, I take drops.

These events had me think about how these mental and physical changes might be visualized. I was reminded of the work of the Pictorialists of the early 20th Century, such as Alfred Stieglitz. Their works stress an interpretive, rather than purely representational approach; capturing the precise details was less important than one which was artistic and may be affective.

To recreate the atmosphere of the time with current technology, I’ve been experimenting with a pinhole attachment for my digital camera. How I see a subject, partially obscured by glaucoma, and the detail clouded by cataracts, is paralleled in the image above by the subject, partially hidden by a tree, clouded by the limited ability to resolve of the pinhole lens.



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