Poem: Camera Settings

Camera Settings

You tend to see things as a series of still lifes.
Vignettes. Captures of places and people,
like photographs. Romantic ones mostly,
soft around the edges, light better
than it actually is. Colors 26% more vibrant
than the rest of the world sees them.

The one eye you have works overtime.
A bit of the painter, that eye. No sense of depth,
triangulating to see and move through a world
made for people who see more, who see
with both eyes.

Seeing comes easier for them. It is automatic.
For you, it is a conscious act
and you have never understood
if that is a good thing or a bad thing.
You have never known any different.
You had no idea to tell someone.
After all, no one told you people used both eyes
and what a surprise it was for you to find they do.

About this poem

I really am blind in one eye. It changes more than you realize. No depth perception. A narrower field of vision. And too, I really do see color differently. When my camera takes pictures, I have a blanket setting in my software to make the image 26% more saturated than the image is recorded. I have to do that to make it look like I see it. And I do tend to “see” differently, as if my eye is a camera, even when I do not have my camera, seeing details and images to capture, rather than letting them all flow over me like life does, and should.

But poetry is never about one thing, and this one is more about emotions, and growing up in a household where they were discouraged, and the trauma of middle age that made feeling hard, and the path back. Work worth doing.

It’s a beautiful day. I am loved. And I love. And best of all, I can feel it. Unless you’ve lost it, it’s hard to imagine the miracle of finding it again.


PS: The picture is of an Argus C3 camera. My first “real” film camera.


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