Lana Art, Lana Venter de Villiers, Acrylic on Canvas, Landscape Art, South African Artist, White Flowers

EYE BLOG 1: OUT OF THE BLUE

Artwork, Personal Story, UncategorizedComments (8)

MY REFLECTION ON FINDING HOPE ON THE UNCERTAIN ROAD OF LOSING AND FIGHTING FOR SIGHT

The one day I had freedom and sight and the next I was losing both. A very aggressive bacteria broke through the defenses of my eyes and started eating away at its corneas (the transparent layer at the front of the eye). Something of a nightmare that wouldn’t end for weeks and months. It affected every area of my life and made me very dependent on others.

With the help of an Ophthalmologist the right eye got stabilised and has no permanent damage. The real battle centered around the left eye. The bacteria was prevented from reaching the iris, which would have destroyed my eye completely. It got so badly scarred that only a blurry 10% of disturbed and confusing vision is what is left today.

The last chapter is yet to be written. I am consulting with a specialised Optometrist on custom made contact lenses. If that doesn’t work, then the next step will probably be a cornea transplant.

Have you ever thought about the value of your sight? If you could measure its worth in terms of money, what amount could even come close? Eyesight is simply invaluable.

WHAT IS A VISUAL ARTIST WITHOUT VISION?

Through the loss of vision, I nearly lost my inner vision too. I was able to work as my right eye is fine, but it became a battle of the heart. Personally I don’t like dark or depressing art, but here I was, facing the most depressing situation.

It all started back in February this year (2016).  I find it hard to describe what I experienced.  Something like having a stick in your eye, having it  turn slowly, pushing deeper, hitting every nerve.  I couldn’t speak for the pain was overwhelming.  The Doctor prescribed different eye drops at various times, starting with drops every half hour, day and night.  These drops decreased gradually over the course of 5 months.  The cumulative effects of a lack of sleep, incessant pain, a tremendous amount of discomfort and the loss of life as I had known it overwhelmed me.

As the situation stabilised, the process of coming to terms with my loss began.  While working on art projects I became frustrated fairly often. Being able to create visual art is so dependent on vision and fine observation.  I had to learn to live with myself and my new handicap. The question remains – what will “the end” look like? Will I ever get rid of the double & blurred vision?

CLIMBING A MOUNTAIN IN JAPAN

My boyfriend and I recently went to visit some family members in Japan. I find traveling adventures absolutely irresistible and can draw a tremendous amount of energy from looking forward to a trip like this one. It was exactly what I needed.

During our visit we climbed a dormant volcano – Mt. Kurikoma in Miyagi Province. I enjoy long distance running and haven’t been able to really pursue it the last few months. As we climbed, for the first time since the infection, I felt that exhilarating feeling and sense of accomplishment as we got closer to the top. At first it was tough as I struggled to navigate over the rocks due to my lack of depth perception (another side effect of only having good vision in one eye). Luckily one’s brain can adapt and soon it became easier. The mist came rolling in, folding over the mountain like a soft blanket. It was cold and wet and the top was out of sight and felt somewhat out of reach.

For me, climbing this volcanic mountain became symbolic of my journey with regard to my eye. The end is still unclear and an unknown distance away.

While climbing, out of the blue these pretty white flowers grew right there next to the road as though they were planted just for me. There were only a few of them, limited to that particular spot.out-of-the-blue-inspriation

The image of these flowers there, on an unfamiliar road in a foreign land, at that particular moment in time and space stayed with me. Here I am, not yet at the top, “the end” is unclear, but I can find hope where I am. I can surrender without giving up. I can stop fighting my situation and put my trust in the only place I can find rest and peace; in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ.

MORE THAN SIGHT

I still do not understand why this happened to me. I still don’t know where it all will end. I still don’t know when and if I will ever see properly again. But what I do know is that hardship lays bare exactly what you believe, what you build your life on.

There were dark moments when I cried out to God for help when I simply couldn’t deal with the pain and discomfort and lack of sleep any more. He was quiet and seemingly distant for longer than what I could bare. But deep down I knew and chose to stand on the fact that even when it does not feel like it, when it does not look like it, that God is still faithful and good. I can still trust Him. My future is in His hands because He is my Father, my Savior and my Comforter. He is the Author and Finisher of my faith.

Those who were involved in this process were incredibly gracious to me, helping me wherever they could.  For that I will remain eternally grateful.  All of you were God sent.  Thank you so much.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Art can have many layers of meaning and various interpretations. I encourage viewers to find in it their own story; their own way of relating to it. The article Out of the Blue – my reflection on finding hope on the uncertain road of losing and fighting for sight” gives some background on what led to the creation of this Artwork.

The artwork combines elements of precise lines and blurred edges, abstract and realism, palette knife strokes all the way to water colour effects. Out of the blue some white flowers grow, surrounded by a patch of small rocks and leafy greens. If you step back and ignore the flowers and plants, it can almost seem like an aerial view of sea and land masses. This artwork seems clear and unclear all at the same time.

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EYE BLOG 2: ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

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8 Responses to EYE BLOG 1: OUT OF THE BLUE

  1. Abrama says:

    Lana thank you for sharing your journey and you heart thus far. I love this painting so much. It speaks to me of the Lord’s glory. I am reminded of the words in Isaiah that talk about streams in the desert. He is making a new thing, a way in the desert. And I believe He is doing that for you too, preparing a way for you to walk in. In Isaiah 54:10 the Lord says His love for you (and all of us) is unfailing and will not be shaken, nor will His covenant of peace be removed. I declare that peace over you as you are pressing through this time of trial. The colours in this painting are significant. Yellow or gold refer to trials and purging. The trial of faith is more precious than gold and yellow is associated with fire leading to purification. And blue refers to the healing power of God. He spoke to me in these two colours very recently. (1 Peter 1:6-9). I declare today that no weapon formed against you shall prosper and that the Lord will use that which the enemy meant for evil, for good. I just love your positive attitude and wish you His richest blessings and favour. Much love Abrama. Ps I have always loved your paintings. So glad to see you carrying on and pressing forward. You are a remarkable strong woman of faith.

    • Lana says:

      Hi tannie, dis so vir my so lekker en ‘n groot seen om van tannie te hoor. Dit wat tannie vir my hier geskryf het spreek regtig tot my en my situasie. Ek is definitief in ‘n woestyn. Woestyne het sy eie soort van mooi, maar dit bly ‘n droee plek en ek smag na daai strome water. Ek sien uit om te sien hoe die Here my situasie draai in iets wat goed is. Ek wens ek kon nou vir tannie ‘n drukkie gee 🙂 Groete, L

  2. louann young says:

    What a deep honest and insightful account of your journey. May Lord bless you and keep your close to His heart! You are an inspiration. …

  3. Liesel Mienie says:

    Lana, wow… this hits home.
    Ek kan net opkyk na jou en leer by jou.
    Dankie dat jy jou hart met my gedeel het.

  4. Debbie Swinton says:

    Wow…. ek weet nie waar om te begin nie! Eerste jpu ongelooflike krag en deur sittings vermoed wat jy aan die dag gele het en nog steeds doen. Wat n voorreg vir my om *deel* te kon wees….. en ook om te sien hoe jy biekie vir biekie hierdie *berg* gekom het!
    En dan tweede jou ongelooflike manier hoe jy nie net gebeure en dit wat jy *waarneem* met jou beperkte sig, ook kan weergee in WOORDE behalwe die pragtige kunswerke wat jy kan skep nie!
    Jy is talentvol en ek glo hierdie bergtog van jou is inderaad ‘n pelgrimstog wat ons Hemel se Vader met jou stap.
    Lana-kind, bly net GLO en hou net aan met hierdie pragtige voorbeelde wat jy vir ons almal is rondom jou! Jou sukses le Juis daarin.
    Sterkte, dra jou nog steeds in my gebede. Xx

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