Eyes on the Prize

Bioluminescent eyes
Post-surgery bioluminescent-inspired eye drawings with one eye. Yasmin Hernandez Art 2020.

A whole five months just flew by, without a post. Months of settling in after a move, catching up on projects, adjusting to working while supporting children through virtual learning. Months of emergency eye surgery and recovery. I am still recovering. Still dealing with scary medications. Still trying to recover vision fully. Still awaiting more treatment.

Nothing to bring all necessary truths to light than having your sight threatened. Forces you to see all. As fast as you can, as much as you can, not knowing what time will bring, what operations and incisions will bring, what healing will bring. Forces you to see even with your eyes closed, as we have seen all along, even though we may not be paying attention.

Three months post-op, I have aged. Laugh lines carved deeply in lament after two weeks of required full-time face-down positioning and two months of sleeping face down. Gravity is a helluva force. Medical science is a wonder. But nothing is more amazing than the body itself and the hurdles it will push through, the pain and fear it will withstand while still carrying your spirit forward in this crazy ass lifetime. Even with more wrinkles, anxiety-induced white hairs and scars—all tiger stripes of your primal self, emerging from battle.

Yaz eyes in sunlight
Morning meditation welcoming sun energy into my eyes.

As for painting, writing, and all things paused for recovery, the mind races, spins, catapults itself into other realms, free to soar, liberated from day-to-day chores. Refocuses on all the shit that flashed before your eyes literally. Months of flashes still happening. Flashes that come in the day, come at night. With eyes open or with them closed and dark.

You see your life and work in those flashes, together with the dreams still waiting to manifest and the mission still left to fulfill. I liken these to a towering inferno type torch lit beneath your ass in these pandemic times of exponential loss, of losses still looming from government neglect. Of eyes threatened by quarantine, seldom breathing in daylight, seldom squinting at soaring hawks and clouds. Glued to the nearsighted-inducing numbness of devices and small screens. Tired eye muscles long scrolling with your newsfeed.

Liberation never looked so lovely, so necessary.

This page and so many other things born from these eyes will undergo a restructuring. You can’t come back from such a battle and settle into the same place comfortably. You’ve been shifted and all else must shift with you.

I live my seventh year in Borikén. Even as an eye patient with no health insurance. Even while forced to travel two hours one way to see my surgeon to ask the simple question of “why is my eye red again?” Even with medical specialists spread thin, too many patients in too many municipios to fully entertain my fears and questions. Even while unable to drive and move in these times. I live eternally grateful to live in this place and still be able to see it. Seeing its colors, its skies and seas, flora and fauna, are medicine to me.

Today more than ever, I continue committed to these lands and their people, to nurturing those of us returning, answering an ancestral call, to assist those of looking us to uncross the charco. I continue committed to liberation as a life and spirit mission for all.
Stay tuned…

Yasmin with Puerto Rican flags and sea
Wearing glasses, UV blockers with our flags at the Aguada shore.

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