We strabismus sufferers see lots of double images, and often find them annoying. But as I scrolled through the double exposures turned into artwork by one photographer, I found the photos to be beautiful.
Is is possible there is hidden beauty in the double vision of strabismus as well? I wondered. So I tried my own experiment. A miniature green Christmas tree with shimmering lights sits on a table across the room from me. Gifts have been opened, and underneath the tree is now a white, flat-shaped humidifier to replinish the winter dry air.
As I gazed upon the tree, I allowed my eyes to drift into double vision. The tree spread into two trees, the humidifier became snow-covered earth, and the black top of the humidifier became sleds parked beneath the trees by children at play. Floral designs on the white wallpaper became distant trees in the blur of a winter forrest. Lights reflected in the packed snow. I had my own private winter wonderland!
Many of us with strabismus have seen a little something extra in other ways as well. We’ve learned to improvise, and to swim against the current when we must. Because our eyes often make us unattractive, we know what it is like to be unfavored, and we have a special place in our hearts for others with special needs. We’ve learned to make it on our own when necessary, and to reach out to lend a hand to others so they don’t have to go it alone.
These are the gifts that come with strabismus. Strabismus is hard, so let’s not miss the hidden beauty. As we close our eyes and think of the things our strabismus is teaching us, we will begin to see a little something extra in 2007.
This photo was displayed as our featured photo for several months in 2007.
Photo credit: float; The image used on this page is one of a series of double exposure experiments by a this photographer.