Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jinxing Myself

I guess it's all a matter of what we pay attention to, but I keep noticing that this blog jinxes me. In December 2009, I wrote about how the moon on New Years Eve would not only be full but a blue moon. I wondered aloud if it was an omen. Two days later I was lying on my back in the emergency room, cradling a fractured ankle.

This past week I wrote an article about eyes, particularly the beauty of pupils. Today I'm sitting on the couch dealing with eye pain. I woke up on Monday morning with pain. I've had it on and off since I cut my eye in March. But the pain on Monday didn't go away like it normally does. So I went back to the eye doctor (third time since January) and he diagnosed the pain. Apparently my cut had never healed properly and I was doing regular damage to my cornea. He fitted me with a bandage contact lens and sent me home with antibiotics. I'll be wearing the lens for about a month.

The contact might be worse than the pain I was having before but I'm trying to be good. It's only been 28 hours I keep telling myself. But my lovely iris is covered and a tad cloudy behind the contact. The rest of my eye is bright red. And I just want it to stop being irritated. I'm whiny and unproductive. Poor Jeff has had to deal with me whining about my eyes since March. And so far it doesn't seem to be going away. But I guess I should count my blessings. It could be worse. But I'm not going to say how...just in case.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Eyes Have It

In the last year I found a collection of photographs by Suren Manvelyan of animal eyes. These incredible macro shots showed both the incredibly diversity of eyes but more fascinating to me, the structure of the iris. I've always taken for granted that the iris was simply a solid color. But as I looked at the images I realized that there are gaps in the iris, there are color changes. Honestly there is nothing solid about them. 

Chimpanzee eye (very close to a human eye)

Since then I've become fascinated with my eyes. I've started checking out Jeff's eyes. I would be fascinated with other people's eyes but they might find it disconcerting when I get close enough to examine their irises in detail. And although I don't have the skills that Manvelyan has with macro shots, I've taken some images of both Jeff and my irises. 

These are mine. Note the gaps on the left side of the iris. Note the way each strand of iris goes into the dark pupil in the middle. It looks more like a hole than any solid structure.

This is Jeff's eye. Notice the color changes. Jeff has eyes that fluctuate between blue and green (at least in my mind). I love the center green surrounded by the light blue. I didn't do any color touching for this photo. 

This photo was something fun. I took a horrible shot of Jeff's eye. The flash was still on and the photo was too bright to be useful. Until I started playing with it in iPhoto. I changed the contrasts and what I have is more artistic. But even more interesting it really shows those gaps in the iris. They now show up as pure black against the white of the iris. And I love the odd color of the pupil 

Make sure you check out the rest of Suren Manvelyan's gallery here. I promise you these will be some of the most interesting and beautiful photographs that you'll see all week. I guarantee that you've never seen eyes like those photos before. They made me rethink how eyes work. I loved these last two the most (gecko above and llama below). 

Monday, May 20, 2013


I'm sitting on the couch with my feet up, sinking further into the cushions. I'm surprised that I have the energy to type with how tired I am tonight. I'm feeling the exhaustion of a long productive day. My Mondays have become busy. And today was one of the busier ones.

Back in March I started volunteering with our main city library. My mother had found an ad in the local paper requesting volunteers and I contacted them about working on Mondays. On my day off, I go in at noon and work until 5. On my work Mondays I go in after work until close. I may only work one night a week but the volunteer position has made a marked difference in my stress levels. I'm feeling far more relaxed than I have in months. The librarians seem to like the work I do and I'm even starting to contribute some ideas of my own. I feel like I make a difference and I love the fact that I'm working in a library. The only downside is the busyness.

I worked my regular nine hours at my day job and then headed over the library right after work. The library is preparing for a major book sale and I've been working for many weeks to get things ready. Tonight I shifted at least four full book trucks worth of books. I also went through the children's collection to pull out certain subjects. I handled stacks and stacks of books. I left feeling exhausted, a little dizzy, and hungry (I hadn't had dinner). And proud.

So the exhaustion I feel is a good thing. My time on the couch seems like a reward for a job well done. I feel more proud of the 2 hours and 45 minutes I spent at the library, then I do for the nine hours I worked at my day job. I feel like I contributed more. And for me that is making all the difference. It may be another night away from home during the week but this type of busyness is right up my alley.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

April Showers Bring...May Snow?

It snowed all day Thursday and Friday, May 2nd and 3rd. I've never seen snow in May. In all my years I don't remember a single day in May that had snow. Except this year. Most of the midwest got hit with snow. My poor brother and his family got socked with a full foot of snow. They lost their tree. For the first day it hardly collected. And the next day it wouldn't stop.

I covered my strawberries in the hope that they would survive the snow and cold, which they did. In fact they look better than I've ever seen them, big and tall and ready to send out berries. I improvised on the covering, (an old storage box) which worked beautifully. It was windy enough to blow the container away so I placed a frozen bottle of water on top for some added weight.

When the snow came I loved the way the grass looked. The bright green grass and the pure white snow was lovely. So I took pictures. And didn't mind the snow on Thursday. It was Friday that bothered me. I saw the results of a head-on collision on my way to the office that morning. Someone had been going too fast and wasn't able to keep traction on the curve. Both cars suffered but thankfully there didn't appear to be injuries.

It was slick going in that day. The pretty green grass was gone, under a blanket of white. The snow continued all day. The ground was slick and slushy, the snow was often intense, and the wind never let up the whole day. It was cold and horrible. And I just kept thinking how it was May, and it shouldn't be snowing. I called Jeff on my way home from work on Friday to complain, but he was in too good a mood for that. He laughed and told me he "made me something". But he wouldn't tell me what it was. It was only when I pulled in that I found this guy.

I guess it was perfect packing snow. It took Jeff 20 minutes to make him. I love the frown on his face. As soon as I saw him I lit up. I couldn't stop smiling. The embodiment of winter in the middle of May. He was gone by mid-day today. The rain has brought him low. But for a moment I was smiling and happy in the middle of the spring chill. Clearly Mr. Snowman was not.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Poetry Friday

Apparently I forgot that I had a blog. Sorry about that. My world has been a bit busy lately. Hopefully it will slow down soon. But for today, a poem. I found this on one of the other blogs I read. I have to read more of this man's work. Half-poem, half zen koan, I read this and am at peace. Now to find some woods.

The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Barry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.