Refractive Simulacrum

Refractive Simulacrum

Prisms merge, dance in a semi-
transparent semi-circle, peripheral
sensation, kaleidoscopic aura
with its own volition. Sending,
not calling, message unknown.

Left, alone, with no companion
on the right side of anything,
it fades and swells, a pulsing
wave in a brief window of time,
a distraction with no direction.

I was able to take some nice photos while hiking at Painted Rock Conservation Area last Monday. The next day, while editing some of those photos, I experienced an ocular migraine that lasted about one half-hour. There was no headache, but I did have an aura, a prismatic band of light in an arc that stayed at the far left of my vision, no matter where my eyes tracked. When these occur, it’s hard to concentrate or get anything done; they’re just so fascinating. They seem more apparent if I keep my gaze fixed. Of course, I have to start all over again when I try to glance at them, because they’re always peripheral and move when my eyes move. BUT, the aura stays, no matter which eye I cover. Yes, fascinating.
Photo (pre-edit) taken at Painted Rock Conservation Area, Missouri, 05 November 2019
(right click on image for larger view in new tab)


I’m also linking this to Thankfulness… at Open Link night/dVerse.

38 thoughts on “Refractive Simulacrum

  1. Intriguing condition … I almost wish I could “try that on” … far more interesting than the floaters that sometimes clutter my vision. Thank you for turning the experience artfully. Most fascinating to me is that it was both of your eyes, but in both cases on the left. Our bodies can do amazing things.
    And you do amazing things with words … magically stringing syllables … “semi-transparent
    semi-circle, peripheral sensation, kaleidoscopic aura” teasing my brain. Gorgeous image, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. it fades – it swells – it pulses…..these words alone describe a migraine so well. I have maybe 2 or 3 a year….used to have many more before rejuvenation (never say retirement). I’ve only once had the aura you mention….it is an odd thing….your description here is apt. For me it was like a halo on one side of my peripheral vision.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope it wasn’t too bad for you. My migraines usually are caused by trying to ride out a sinus headache without medication. A dull sinus headache is not unusual for me, but if I get pain in my left eye I know I’ll need to address it. When my right eye starts to hurt, it requires immediate attention or it will become debilitating. Sudafed and ibuprofen work, but take a half-hour to kick in, so I need to take it before it gets to my right eye. Once it’s an all-out migraine I could end up vomiting and barely able to stand. I usually can sleep it off with a two hour nap.
      Fortunately, for me, an ocular migraine seems to be a separate event with no headache.


  3. Ken I know exactly what you’re talking about. Sometimes do they have patterns in them? I used to get them fairly often when I was still working when I had the fluorescent under cabinet light on in my cubicle and was tired. Dang, between the tinnitus and this, you’re body is giving you a multi-sensory show.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the way you linked the photos to the migraine, Ken. I haven’t had any migraines in a while, just the odd painful headache, but I’ve experienced aura in the past. I like the internal and end rhyme in this poem (sensation, volition, companion, distraction and direction), which emulates the aura, tracking through the stanzas.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I experienced what I can only surmise was an ocular migraine about two months ago! It is interesting that you view it as fascinating…it was my first experience and it brought me fear. But looking back after reading your words, I can see that it was, indeed, fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is fascinating Ken. I can’t even imagine what it’s like–but you are a true artist to turn your experience into a poem (and add the image to your photo, too). I’m glad this is more interesting than painful.
    I get those sinus headaches that turn into something more, too, that you describe above where I vomit or feel like I’m going to. Though I really hardly get them anymore, I think mine were also hormonal. And the Sudafed and ibuprofen help–and coffee, too– as you say if you take them before it starts, but the problem is when you wake in the morning with one because I can’t take that on an empty stomach. . . Anyway, hope you’re feeling well! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Merril. I know what you mean about the morning. Most times I’d assume those were caffeine related, and they usually were. I’m definitely a coffee person – pouring cold brew for our first-of-the-day, making a carafe of French-press for my day and my wife’s morning-at-work thermal mug, and an evening carafe of decaf drip that I stretch over two late afternoons/evenings. For several months, cold brew and press have been 50-50, and I think I’ve just completed the transition to decaf this past week. Now that I think about it, that aura was on my second full decaf day. Yeah, a lot of coffee.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Peripheral vision is so interesting. I get transparencies and overlapping images sometimes. I always thought it was fatigue. It’s there but you can’t quite catch it.
    I like the way you incorporated it into the photo too. (K)


  8. Pingback: Prismatic Pragmatism | rivrvlogr

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