We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
The Eyes Have It
Without my glasses, I am a middle-aged (if I live to 104) female version of Mr Magoo. I’m clinging on to my driver’s license with every rod and cone left to me and finding innovative ways to say “I see” when, in fact, I don’t.
The positives of failing vision are clear (snort):
* When I look in the mirror without my glasses, I see a gauzy vision of youth and vitality: no lines, creases, sags, odd shifts of body mass or red hair that is deciding whether or not it can be bothered to cough up a grey strand or two. I only wear glasses when driving my car (rest easy – I only drive very short distances) or golf cart and the rare times that I watch television for I have been informed that I must “exercise” my eyes by eschewing my visual crutches when I can.
* I can wander through WalMart and see no acne, folds of flab overhanging tiny shorts like bread dough rising in a restricting container or scowls of chronic discontent.
* My best friend of 40 plus years, Rachel, looks the same to me now as she did at university. I can, in all truth, say, “Lovey, you haven’t changed at all!”
* A tree/river/ocean/etc. is not a mass of details: it is an impression. I tend to think that this leaves me with a vision that may be slightly closer to the truth of something for I am less derailed by intrusive minutiae than others.
* When speaking with someone I hear them: their facial hair, make-up, features or other unimportant factors do not divert my thoughts.
* I know that sooner-rather-than-later I will lose my driver’s license. In that I live in a town where most things are within golf-cart distance, this is more a psychological issue than a life-style one. I adore driving (preferably in a standard – or stick shift — language thing there – car). I also remember, all too clearly, the day that my father lost his license due to his failing health and how that deeply bruised his spirit and pride. But I am a “girl” (and a fairly intrepid one at that) so I shall just forge on.
* I order books and, when they arrive, I tear open the package only to find that the print is too small for me to decipher. (“Large print” is abhorrent to me at this point for it is like listening to someone…read…very…very…slowly…but I know that it’s looming in my future).
* I pass people by on the street and later hear that I “cold-shouldered” them. No – I just didn’t see you.
* Sooner or later I will be forced to purchase a 52″ computer screen (and this will require rather innovative re-decorating on my part).
* Watching television is a melange of sensory inputs: what I can make out on the screen, the dialogue and my husband’s reactions (he’s good that way).
* When not perched on my nose, my glasses reside in one of three places: a shelf in the kitchen, my bedside table or on my desk. Last night they were not in any of those places and minor panic set in as I wandered the house for over an hour, patting surfaces with my hands to try to locate them. I had just (for the sake of my own sanity) given up and collapsed in a chair to read when my husband said, “Oh, here they are!” They were – and had been all along – tucked in his shirt pocket. (That is either the downside of having to rely on glasses, the downside of being married to an, occasionally, absent-minded man or a combination of both).
So…given all of that:
* If I pass you by on the street without acknowledging you, please understand that I just didn’t realize that you were there.
* If you point to something and say, “Look at that!” and I reply “What?” it does not, then, require you to shout, “Look at that!” directly into my ear. I don’t need bellowed repetition; I need you to clarify what it is that I’m supposed to be looking at.
* If you’re seeking a ride to the airport, please don’t ask me to drive you there – for both our sakes. I cannot see highway signs and people tend to find it disconcerting if I stop the car on I-95, get out, walk up to the sign and peer at it. (Some people are funny about such things).
Soon I may write about petit mal epilepsy (hint: never, ever even think about shoving a chair-leg into someone’s mouth while they’re having a seizure. It’s useless, unnecessary and, while it may be satisfying to you – if you particularly loathe the epileptic in question – it’s a bit disconcerting for those of us who simply wish to survive the episode).
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
When you get interested in painting you naturally look around to see what others who got this bug have done. Finding out what painters are doing in the U.S. today is like listening to rock on the radio. You have to wade through a lot of “forgettables” before you hear one that will be an “oldie” in ten years. Museums show oldies. Most of their collections have been filtered. The forgettables have been thrown out. On this painting journey you will run across an opinion that painting is dead, irrelevant, old paradigm. You can ignore that, and be sure you will en Read on →
Summary: Liberal America does not perceive well the nature of the force that's taken over the right. Not perceiving what we're up against has enormous consequences, because understanding one's foe - its nature, its way of working, the disposition of its forces - has enormous implications for devising the best strategy for defeating it. Providing a good understanding of what it is we are up against is one of the central purposes of this "Press the Battle" series. *******I've undertaken to present this "Press the Battle" series because, believing it might make an important contribution, I feel a moral obligation Read on →
One wryly fascinating aspect of achieving "seniority" is that my senses have become more adept at finding free entertainment. Locating alternative sources of amusement has become almost a necessity these days. Daytime television remains abominable, cable TV is objectionally priced (probably by those same pirates who sell inkjet print cartridges) and the ransom one has to give up for seats to professional sporting events is unconscionable. Also, our local news daily, though not unreasonably priced is but a shell of its former self. It is no longer a joy to read. One amusing activity, I find, involves no equipment, no cover cha Read on →
The Confederate flags are now gone from around the incumbent marble Robert E. Lee, at eternal rest with his riding boots on in the innermost sanctuary of Lee Chapel in Lexington, Va. That is as it should be, for many reasons. One is historical. Our campus was a sanctuary of recovery from the Civil War, where “the sun falls through the ruined boughs of locusts/ Up to the president’s office.” That president was Lee, “in a dark civilian suit who walks,/ An outlaw fumbling for the latch, a voice/ Commanding in a dream where no flag flies.” These are lines from “Lee in the Moun Read on →