Actual happiness for no apparent reason
My mother was so visually sensitive
that if a painting was off kilter on the wall, she felt ill. Certain shades of taupe left her nauseated. She was an abstract painter and an art teacher and tried to convey this uneasiness to nearly everyone in her life. Was it to try to prevent so many awful visual mishaps in her world? Was it to get our sympathies? Was it to enlist our help in fixing the terribleness all around? I was her daughter. I was baffled. Irritated. And then amused.
But I understood, more and more, that this was not just someone objecting. She really did feel ill. She really got anxious. There was no filter of distraction between the seer and the seen, and no filter between the seen and the felt. The body was an instrument of the eye.
And here I sit, still her daughter, and I am completely in the throes of joy at looking at a quilt folded up on a white table in the light. She never told me there were perks to this affliction.