I saw the most beautiful thing the other day. I was at the eye doctor because my eyes were up to no good. My right eye, especially, was offending me. The eye doctor had me put my chin on a thing with a pile of little tissues on it and my forehead against another thing with more tissues and she shone this light into my eyes, one at a time, and looked at whatever she looked at. While she was doing this, the light reflected around inside my eyeball in such a way that I could see the inside of my eye. Or the blood vessel system, rather. This dark brown/black network of blood vessels on a bright, light sepia background, growing finer and more branched as they moved from the outside towards the center, which I suppose was the pupil, where there were no more blood vessels.

When I had gotten out of bed that morning, the insides of my eyeballs had not been on my list of concerns. They came as a total surprise. Thanks, life.

7 responses to “Introspection

  1. that is pretty neato. the magic’s in the little things.

  2. cj

    Now you’ve seen one of the many reasons I do what I do… I got to cut up a leg the other day… it had a bunch of inscriptions all over it, one of them was “Bye Leggy”. I found something inside that the radiologist couldn’t see and the surgeon could only suspect. How cool is that? That’s when staying late at work pays off.

  3. i was going to say something about eyes, but having read that last comment, i’m now a little worried about legs, and what sorts of things happen to them which i’d never even thought about.

  4. flerdle

    Because I used to be on the other side of the thing with a pile of little tissues on it, I know its name and why it happens but that is nowhere near as beautiful or intersting as the thing itself. My favourite eyeball illusion is the blue arcs phenomenon. It’s an old friend, and the most mysterious of all.

  5. flerdle

    Actually it’s not an illusion. Call it a phenomenomenon.

  6. mig

    i’ll try to figure out a way to check that out. one thing i enjoyed as a kid was pressing against the eyes and watching the patterns. something i noticed a few days ago was if i squint my eyes shut tight when i wake up, in the dark, and then open them quickly, i can see bluish rings near the center of my field of vision, one per eye.

  7. flerdle

    I used to do the same thing, mig! endless entertainment.

    For the arcs, ideally you want one of those old digital bedside clocks, the ones with red LED numbers. A single red LED isn’t usually bright or big enough, but you might be lucky. Turn the lights out and don’t quite look at the numbers – go just a little bit to the side. Over a few seconds to perhaps half a minute you should start seeing blue or bluish-violet arcs from the light to where your blind spot(s) are (two arcs per eye, one arching over and one under, like the outline of a giant almond), and probably a bluish glow around the red numbers. Close one eye and that side’s will go away, of course. Eventually they will fade, but blinking will refresh them until then.