The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association lists one symptom of depression as, “the loss of pleasure in former activities.” If that means stuff like books, movies and the visual arts, then the DSM has hit on a no-brainer. To me at least, books I can’t read, movies I can’t watch and paintings I can’t see puts the kibosh on art appreciation.
Fortunately for folks like me, there’s audio books and descriptive videos. Books keep getting better and better, both in selection and format. I carry around forty or so books and magazines in a gizmo the size of a deck of cards. Movies are getting better, too. Descriptive videos make me part of the action. As for TV, there’s a new law that will make more shows than Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and National Geographic accessible. Regarding National Geographic – do I really need animals eating other animals described to me?
All in all, I’d still rather have my vision back. I like to see things for myself. Audio stuff is good, but lacking. Here’s what I mean: Grandpa was a factory worker who stopped at the tavern for a shot and a beer with his buddies on his way home. Grandma said, “Ivar, I’ll pour you a shot and a beer here at home. Why not come home and relax?” And grandpa replied, “T’anks, Gerda, but it just ain’t the same.”
I used to love going to the Art Institute. I was impressed with Impressionism. I’d lean against the lions and people-watch. I miss that. But I remain interested in art. I want someone to position me in front of the life-sized painting by George Seurat, the one with the Sunday strollers along the Seine River. What I used to see, now I wish to feel. I want to know if I can feel the energy radiating from that painting. It ain’t the same as seeing it, but, hey, it’s art.