By Blaney Pridgen
All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.
I recently had a very successful cataract surgery. Perhaps I have recovered the eyesight I enjoyed forty years ago! There’s a ton of stuff about forty years ago I do not want to return, but this I like. Blues and greens are richer. Everything is sharper. If all goes well, I may not need glasses anymore, except for reading, and not much of a magnification at that.
My left eye was worked on first and then the right. The period between surgeries allowed me to check out the difference. Wow! My left eye had the qualities noted above. My right eye had a muddy brownish cast like looking though a Coke bottle darkly. The difference was at first disconcerting, until I began to enjoy it as a metaphor of life. We can see things as they are, or we can see things as perhaps they are not. We can enjoy life with the crispness of youth discerning sharp differences in things or we can muddle along through the muddiness age brings. I definitely prefer crisp for my eyes, but do I want the return of crisp for my attitudes, beliefs, reactions and responses? I think there was a time in my life when crisp was the goal and discernment was cleaner and clearer. With age came a haziness with just about everything. I began to develop a brown odiferous outlook. Vivid greens grew pastel. Blue lost its depth. I became a person rejecting the questions I used to ask. Somewhere along the way I started saying, “it is what it is” as though that was wisdom, but it is not. Now, I am very happy that both eyes are seeing better, seeing younger. Now, if only my attitudes, beliefs, reactions and responses might see better, see younger. I wonder what that might “look like” at 73.
Aside from my musings, one matter (like matter in the eye) is not so good about successful cataract surgery. Not wearing glasses will make me look less professorial, less wise. I won’t be able to take them off and chew on their stems as though I am in deep reflection. However, most of the time when I did that, I was only giving my nose a rest and thinking about supper. Also, a clear visage of my old self in the bathroom mirror without glasses is like the study of a prune or rotting tomato. Is this what I really look like? New crispness in vision uncovers no crispness in facial features or any other features for that matter. The recovery of youth is a very limited enterprise. I’ll probably continue to think through a glass darkly and see a lot of brown out there.
But here’s a shout out for Dr. Greer and Aiken Ophthalmology. And here’s a good and hopefully godly hope that we all try to see things a bit more clearly, as they are, and shout out for that too.