A Different Perspective – Friday Fictioneers.

“At least, you’re consistent at something,” her husband smiled. “Even when you photographed your shoes, the horizon’s drunk.”

“Huh?” Julie sat up, peering over her book.

“Look at the angle on those books. They’re completely out of kilter and that urn’s about to commit suicide.”

As much as she started to fume, he was right. No matter how much she jiggled the camera, she couldn’t get that damned horizon straight. Still, she posted the photo on eBay. After all, she was selling the shoes, not the books.

That’s when the penny dropped.

“Hey, Dave. I can’t touch my nose…”


This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and thank you to © Magaly Guerrero  for this week’s photo prompt. I highly recommend you check out the wide diversity of responses to the prompt. It’s more than interesting. It will open your eyes. Here’s the link

My take on this prompt is personal. I was born with a dormant form of hydrocephalus, which was largely asymptomatic until my mid-20’s when it pushed the accelerator to full throttle and I was thrown into a dreadful chaos from within. The horizon bounced up and down as I walked. I fell over a lot and the room used to spin. I also lost my short-term memory. Thinking it was stress, I moved to Western Australia and when I came home for Christmas, I went back to the GP who’d been treating me since I was 11 and I couldn’t touch my nose in what was a basic neurological exam. I had a battery of tests includes a brain scan, which showed what I refer to as “the harbour in my head”. I flew back to Perth and deteriorated very rapidly and had a VP shunt inserted 6 months later. That put an end to me living in Western Australia and I moved back to my parents’ place in Sydney and underwent intensive rehab for six months. It was a long road back with many stop starts. I have largely recovered from it, unless I’m under a lot of stress and I can’t really multitask or manage time well.

Despite being good at photography, I have great trouble getting the horizon straight. I don’t believe it’s related to my hydrocephalus and quite often I like a quirky angle. Yet, my husband always notices the horizon and even in a creative shot, he’ll comment on it saying: “the ocean doesn’t do that”.

On that note, I’d better get back to the real world. I don’t even have a list of what needs to get done today.

xx Rowena

12 thoughts on “A Different Perspective – Friday Fictioneers.

  1. subroto

    The explanation gives a personal touch to the story. Its funny how people don’t realise that the most valuable thing in life is good health. Nice story and hope you are doing well.

  2. Sandra

    Your footnote was equally as interesting as the story. That must be a nightmare condition. I’m a bit OCD about horizons – thankfully Picasa provides an edit function for that.

  3. gahlearner

    I can’t get the horizon straight either, or hang pictures straight… It’s a good story, even better with the footnote. I’m glad you recovered well.

  4. Rowena Post author

    Thanks very much. I’m not good with hanging things straight either. I had a really pathetic parking accident the other day. Again, it was my spatial weaknesses playing up. Hope you have a great weekend. xx Rowena

  5. Rowena Post author

    I’ll have to chase up that Picasso function. When I adjust my horizons on photoshop, it’s like adjusting the proverbial picture frame…up a little, down a little…!
    The last year before I had the shunt surgery was very strange. It was very intense, especially with the added intercranial pressure in my head, but being a writer, there’s something about the experience and it was such a bizarre thing to live through. One of the strange things was that it’s usually picked up in childhood and children have limited academic abilities, whereas I had an hon ours degree from university. Another interesting thing about it was trying to work my personality out afterwards. I am naturally an extrovert but the pressure makes you somewhat disinhibited. So, I felt someone had turned down the volume for quite awhile after the surgery.
    This is naturally such a topic to write about but it’s taking awhile to get there and I was dating someone through that who is quite private but enough time has lapsed to approach it from a different angle now and write him out of the plot.

  6. Rowena Post author

    I know what you mean. There is the curvature of the earth and it’s hard to get it precise. However, my husband must have a spirit level in his head. Actually, thinking about how I’ve seen him pack a trolley, he is definitely gifted with his spatial skills.
    BTW, the Steiner people don’t believe in right angles so you’ll never find a right angle in a Steiner school.

  7. Rowena Post author

    Thank you very much for reading and your enthusiastic response. I agree with you about your health. You can have all the money in the world but poor health, really impacts on every area of your life. I’m so grateful to be doing as well as I am. Still some ripples and always the risk of a flare but I have so much to be thankful for.

  8. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover

    Life shouldn’t be lived in straight lines. Thanks for sharing in your notes, it put a lot of perspective in your story.

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