Wednesday, February 5, 2014


The gurney was hastily wheeled into the trauma room where the staff waited.  The caller reported – “self inflicted gunshot wound to the head - patient conscious and vital signs stable.”

And indeed, the patient, a young man was awake and talking in spite of the blood soaked bandages that encased his head and eyes.  His despair was obvious, and as we would soon learn, not entirely un-warranted.  He admitted to be being severely depressed, feeling worthless, and that he could do nothing right.  Overwhelmed by these feelings he placed a small caliber handgun to his temple and pulled the trigger.
Fortunately – or unfortunately, depending on how you looked at it – the bullet was directed anteriorly and passed in front of the brain but severed both optic nerves, causing immediate and total blindness, tragically confirming his incompetence.

Thirty years later this case still leaves me unsettled.  I often wonder what happened to the man; how could anyone ever gain a sense of self worth after such a debacle?  I have never been able to find a way to resolve this in my own mind, to understand or rationalize how anything good could possibly follow.  The irony of it is overwhelming.

Perhaps this is because as an artist I see blindness (no pun intended) as too horrific for me to deal with.

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