Achilles Heel

Mary Liz Ingram —  April 9, 2014 — Leave a comment

Achilles heel, meet Mary Liz’s eye.

An artist needs her eye. My eye’s have always been in good shape. I can draw tiny things, see tiny things.

Until my eye met paper. Paper got a little too up close and personal over a week ago.

With one fell swoop, I was down for the count.

I felt incapacitated.

I sat around with my eyes closed for two and a half days. I wasn’t sick, so I wasn’t tired and didn’t want to keep sleeping. I couldn’t watch TV, read, look at much at all. When I opened my eye, it felt like glass and razor blades were in there, so I kept it closed and found my “happy place.” A reposed into a zen-like state and tried to wait it out. Heal, eye, heal!!!

It was a strange forced experiment: What can you see with your eyes shut?

You can see a lot, actually.

Eyes Closed, ink doodle

Eyes Closed, ink doodle

I knew how to walk around my house without peeking. I could eat without missing my mouth. I could find my purse in the car, rummage in the right pocket, find my gum, unwrap it, put it in my mouth, and put the trash in the right spot without looking. I could brush my teeth, I could get dressed, I could fix my hair in a bun or pony tail without opening my eyes. I knew where we were on the roads driving to and from the eye doctor. If I categorized it, the stuff I could “see” was the “boring” stuff: the routine, the normal, the everyday. But it was amazing how accurate you can be without seeing.

After a few days, the pain was a bit better thanks to the eye doctor and lots of eye drops. That’s when I started wearing my sunglasses at night…and all the time. As I write, I’m still wearing my sunglasses.  This is for two reasons: #1 so the light doesn’t bother my eye, #2 so my odd looking eye doesn’t bother your eyes.

They look a little “mismatched,” we’ll say, due to my eyedrops. The upside is I get ready quicker since I don’t put on eye make up!

Wonky, ink doodle

Wonky, ink doodle


Sunglasses at Night, ink doodle

Sunglasses at Night, ink doodle

While the healing process has been dragging on and on and on, I know and have been told it will be fine. My vision is all blurry, but my right eye is working hard to help out it’s neighbor while he (or she?) recovers. Now that I’m getting better at just using the one eye – and I’m much better at “winking” than I used to be – I drew a few doodles from the photos I’d texted to my family, showing my “eye report” for the day. Hope they don’t freak you out 😉 (that’s my squinty eye smiley).

Luckily, my eye injury will not lead to my downfall like Achilles’ heel.

Just a temporary, semi shut-down.

Still, it’s amazing what destruction one tiny corner of paper can do!

I leave you with this important lesson: DON’T EVER PAPER CUT YOUR EYE!!!

Mary Liz Ingram


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