ON GOING BLIND AT 40 - michael d. joyce

In this bleak topography I saw now composed only of shades of grey and smears of nonsense I reached out and painted lines of black and white, etching out borders and shapes and making the ethereal tangible. I traced the outlines of mountains and the boundaries of rivers and the bricks of castles and with this self-created, self-practiced cartography I am able to explore and claim and conquer.

Sometimes when I explore this world I think I am just conquering myself. Why? Because making sense out of nonsense is the human condition. Because I'm human. Because I can't see the colors and shapes that others do. Because all the world that is, is within the human mind, and I will exert my will--my will for you--over our collective castles in the air. Because intertwined with the physical stuff that makes humans beings are the arbitrary concepts of reality--there, beneath and around and embedded in the sinews and veins and all of them crisscrossing our bodies is what it means to be alive. Because inside you I know we humans, capable of higher thought, are equal part reality and equal part imaginary.

Michael D. Joyce
American Skin
Don De Grazia