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Wednesday 20 October 2010




Graphic showing acuity of vision in reading (during one eye stop): image by Hans-Werner34, 2008

Around the fixation point only four to five letters are seen with 100% acuity

This frees one from nagging peripheral demands for attention to insignificant details

By turning them into a blur

But narrowness of vision shouldn't be thought of as a disadvantage

When someone urges you to "Stay focused" what they are really saying is

"Concentrate on your fixation"

File:Hieronymus Bosch 052.jpg

The Magician: Hieronymus Bosch, 1475-1480 (Musée Municipal, Saint-Germain-en-Laye)


Anonymous said...

Not just a poem and a picture story, but highly useful advice (unsought for advice is often the best) that reaches me at the right time. The other day, an old friend who is about to have a birthday she's been dreading (silly but I certainly understand) mentioned that she misses the days when she was a "wide-eyed optimist". The first thing I thought of (and inconsiderately mentioned; she was just looking for some simple and basic support) was my relationship with my eyeglasses, which is always much on my mind.

I'm "totally" (as the kids often say) going to concentrate on my fixation. I can handle this and everyone's better off this way.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

In an odd manner of thinking, this made me think of mind expanding drugs: lsd, psilocybin etc.

I remember, ahem, back in the day being told that one of the ways chemically certain classes of mind expanding drugs worked was the breaking down of the filtering process, so that there would be a flood of sensory detail instead of the natural filtering our brains do in order to perform useful functional everyday tasks. Not sure if this is another example of urban myth - could very well be.

On the other side of the coin are two of the tenets from Buddha's Eightfold Path: concentration and mindfulness.

I wonder if there can be a balance between these seemingly polar opposite approaches?

Everything in moderation, including excess, perhaps?

Pardon the strange ramblings but this post sent me off in a seemingly unfocused direction.


TC said...

Curtis, Don,

I think all three of these proposed ways of approaching this (and perhaps and hopefully thirty-three other ways as well) are appropriate and thus "correct".

To be honest, though, it's a kind of joke on myself, my own nutty micro--absorptions in whatever, but even more than that, my own encroaching blindness. Even when I stack together my last several pairs of spectacles, reading is a challenge. I do it pretty much by "feel". One. Word. At. A. Time.

Robb said...

You had me and my logoi fixated

TC said...


I don't know what it is with these WV things, they're so NOT random.


Totally Monte Carlo.

aditya said...

The joy of focus!
I will have to believe that I get you when you say that the joke is on you. The self-critical (honest) modesty of a poet has always been alive at Beyond The Pale. Great post. The unsought for advice has found its way in to my heart.