Eyeballing It

I went to the retinal specialist’s office this afternoon to get the latest in a series of periodic injections in my left eye, to treat the chronic condition of wet macular degeneration. As a result, my blogging activities will be somewhat subdued this evening. However, I expect to get at least one additional post up before I do the news feed.

As a matter of interest, my eye seems to be doing very well. It has been stable for the past eighteen months or so, and the horrible splotch that marred the center of my vision has receded. It’s still there, but I don’t notice it very much, and I experience “white-outs” less frequently. The overall acuity in the eye is still quite bad, but as long as it is fairly uniform, the right eye can do all the important work, and I don’t experience significant discomfort.

My condition has made me more aware of the fragility of vision, so that I tend to spend a lot of time just looking at things, soaking up the beauty of the colors and patterns while I still can.

For example, first thing this morning I went out to look at the morning glories growing over the side porch adjacent to the sun room:

I planted them there in honor of Dymphna, who used to grow them in the same location. She put them where they could grow over the lilac, one of the rose bushes, and the Fig Tree o’ Doom.

She always planted Heavenly Blues, but I prefer the multicolored variety.

Seeing the Glory

by Pattiann Rogers

Whatever enters the eye — shade of ash leaf,
Torn web dangling, movement of ice
Over the canyon edge — enters only
As the light of itself.
It travels through the clear jelly
Of the vitreo, turning once like the roll
Of a fish in deep water, causing a shimmer
In that thimbleful of cells waiting,
Then proceeds as a quiver on a dark purple thread
To pass from life into recognition.

The trick is to perceive glory
When its light enters the eye,
To recognize its penetration of the lens
Whether it comes like the sudden crack
Of glass shot or the needle in the center
Of the hailstone, whether it appears like the slow
Parting of fog by steady trees or the flashing
Of piranha at their prey.

How easily it could go unnoticed
Existing unseen as that line initiating
The distinction of all things.
It must be called by name
Whether it dives with triple wings of gold
Before the optic nerve or presses itself
In black fins against the retina
Or rises in its inversion like a fish
Breaking into sky.

Watching on this hillside tonight,
I want to know how to see
And bear witness.

6 thoughts on “Eyeballing It

  1. The poem was actually quite excellent. (I tend to skip over these things–I’m a barbarian at times.)
    I’m glad to hear about your eyesight, and I’m still amazed at the level of excellence on this site in spite of your vision problems. We’re all the beneficiaries, not just of news, but of the remarkable insights you and Dymphna had on just about everything.

  2. In May I had surgery on both eyes for cataracts. It was an awesome miracle, for weeks I was silent with admiration.

    I tried a poem.

    The eyes are happy,
    the view is bright,
    heaven white and blue,
    life is beautiful.

    (De ogen zijn blij,
    het zicht is helder,
    de hemel wit en blauw,
    het leven mooi.)

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