Beauty is in the Eye…

You’re just dying to finish that sentence, aren’t you?

Or maybe you already did.

optomac retinal exam beauty is in the eye of the beholder cardio elliptical interval training
Right eye optomap. A new way of considering “beauty?” Of thinking about the word “universe?”

I was completely hypnotized when I saw the images from the Optomap. It’s like looking at another universe. I never thought of veins, vessels, and arteries as beautiful. Makes me think about my internal biology differently.  Madeleine L’Engle was the first author I ever read who created a (science)-fictionalized idea of life inside the body. While I always hated her version of Mickey-Mouse-like ferandolae within mitochondria, dancing in some hippie-dippie-doodle need to “deepen” in order to restore balance and save the life of their host,”Charles Wallace”, I’ve lately been thinking frequently about the balance of organisms within my own body, and attributing sentient qualities to them.

I’ve never been big on visualization and imagery for a healthier state of mind. (For the type of writing I do, it’s much more creative to enjoy fatalistic vision and encourage a masochistic perspective.) But with fitness and physical well-being, I have begun using the idea of an interior universe as a way to curb my unhealthy eating. I imagine a choice: empower the “good guys” or arm the “bad guys.”

Hey, whatever works, right?

optomac retinal exam beauty is in the eye of the beholder cardio elliptical interval training
Can you find my lattice degeneration in this photo? (Neither could I, until the doctor pointed it out to me.)

While you ponder these two images of my eyes from the perspective of an Optomap (which to me look oddly similar to medical imaging of breasts), I am pondering what I find beautiful at the gym. While I was doing my hour of elliptical today with interval sets, an older man got on the elliptical in front of me. He was pretty fit, so it didn’t surprise me that while I was fighting a heart rate climbing to 190 on my meager stride rate that alternated between the mid 80s and the mid 140s, I watched this fella crank it up so hard that literally, [no exaggeration here] literally sweat was flinging off his elbows as he strode faster and faster. His shirt was soaked and without even seeing his face I thought he was the most attractive person in the gym.

I once thought of the gym as just a meat market, with a lot of stupid people in beautiful bodies preening and posturing and trying to hook up. I’m sure that occurs, but I don’t notice those people any longer. The more I look, the more I see the truly attractive people, who are focused on working hard, sweating hard and I can see complete satisfaction in their eyes when they finish.


Love, Marla

P.S. In case you’re wondering, I look like a roasted piglet when I’m done working out, but I’m okay with that!

optomac retinal exam beauty is in the eye of the beholder cardio elliptical interval training
Unhappy? No way. Just physically too exhausted to smile. (Seriously, each time I tried to raise my lips in a smile, they twitched and collapsed.)


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