The Vanishing Point

perspective-drawing-001Around the time of Socrates a lesser known philosopher wrote, “perspective is the ability to visualize two points on any horizontal line with a third point elevated in the distance allowing parallel lines to be drawn intersecting at the ‘vanishing point’ beyond which nothing is seen.”

An example of this occurs when vision is focused on a point along the horizon driving an automobile on a flat desert highway with cactus and sand on either side. Then, its noticed that the road in the distance disappears and becomes a dot. If the path has been traveled before, familiarity with what one expects to find is reinforced with confidence about what still lies hidden as memory saturates the event.ajackarnoldtarantuladvdreviewpdvd_013

Artists of all sorts such as painters, sculpture’s and architects write using perspective in various ways to stimulate imagination  suggesting, “what lies beyond can be perceived with a little bit of flexibility surrounded by rational thought reflecting that which  is not visible,” recognizing it as a place where the hypothetical becomes tangible.

If the gaze is fixed and the horizon moves, a cause could be myodeopsia, a condition characterized by the appearance of spider’s web thread like spots moving as the field of vision shifts. Floaters as they are known in ophthalmology are small pieces of hardening vitreous structures that break off within the eye and move freely in the fluid causing shadows to be cast on the retina.

floatersEven though they are common and considered more an  annoyance than anything seriously wrong with one’s visual capabilities, an exam by an ophthalmologist once a year is advisable.

Floaters are often a result of aging, a corneal abrasion or an infection. Some think they are  optical illusions  which are perceptual effects that arise from interpretations of an image by the brain rather then an entoptic phenomenon. Others may consider them a figment of science fiction but only those who have them know for sure.