So much of the language I habitually use is ‘visual’
I catch myself saying “let’s see how it sounds” even, when I am teaching a new piece of music.
What an incredible organ the eye is and sight, such a miracle, the way the brain learns how to interpret the billions of stimuli coming through the optic nerve.
I am trying to make sense of a recent ‘incident’ within my eye which produced a sharply defined black spot. It moved swiftly around as I swiveled my eye to get a better look and then swiftly became a wiry tangle that looked a little like a moth wing which then settled in the lower left hand corner. This also swung around though, as I moved the eye. Pretty little flashing specks like stars and a sickle shaped bright band also appeared.
I took some advice. This led me to the eye clinic via a long wait in A & E for a rather grueling examination. A stinging anaesthetic, followed by pupil dilatation and a few more drops of stinging stuff.
Then a long wait while the drops took effect.
I sat in the fuzzy eye clinic waiting room with fuzzy people to whom I must have looked very fuzzy too. The doors had helpfully enormous numbers on them. Their outlines doubled and trebled.
Then from a chin rest and head band to keep things steady I had a dazzling bright white/yellow/prismatic colours beam shone into the back of my eyes with requests to “look up, look up to the right, look up to the left ” etc.
Strong eye movements have always made me slightly nauseous. I asked if anyone ever threw up. “Sometimes people pass out” was the reply.
Finally my curiosity about a silver coloured thimble-thingy sitting on the table was satisfied. It looked a bit like a tiny bucket with a flattened antenna extruding from the top. More anaesthetic.
With a finger inside the bucket the last part of the proceedings consisted of the flat probe being placed against the surface of my left eye and the Doctor then used it to press firmly against each segment of the eye in turn whilst the dazzling lights blazed in again.
The purpose was to shunt the eyeball from a spherical shape to a squished sphere, in order to get a really good wide angle pan of the back of the eye.
The vitreous humour (the jelly-like fluid that sits behind the lens and fills the hollow ‘ball’ as well as keeping the retina pressed back onto the inside surface) has pulled away a bit, causing a visible, large ‘floater’ which I was told, would soon disappear; the brain gets fed up with having to register it. ” Anxious people probably notice it more. ” “it is a very common part of the agreeing process”
“Come back for a follow up appointment. If there any more symptoms or new floaters or especially, flashing lights, come back immediately, it is an eye emergency”
At the follow up on Monday this week, I was discharged after a short, less strenuous eye check and things were a bit fuzzy again for a short while.
I have been wondering how to view (more visual language) all this.
It is scary. I spent most of the day before the appointment gazing at the clouds from a white plastic sun lounger on the beach at Paignton. It was so incredibly beautiful just to lie there and watch the exquisite wisps, fraying and shape-shifting. The brilliance of the sun from behind the fuller stiff whipped cream clouds.
I did cry quite a lot.
The comparison in a recent talk of the Transfiguration beside the very inverse event of Hiroshima ( 6 th of August being the date for this)
and my thoughts of late Beethoven as he is quoted ” come come take me away to the transfiguration ” writing about his late works.
Light. Dazzling, blinding, transformative light. Healing or laying waste.
I am observing the shadows. Inner, outer and the new ones that swing around now in my eye. I don’t like it. It is a nuisance when I’m reading music for one. More, it is a continual reminder that it could all change again and what will that mean?
I am also very sad that my beautiful eyes aren’t quite the same any more.
I have been talking with dear friends about how we can begin to meet our lengthening years with grace and humility. Whether it is possible to experience joy in letting go gradually of some of the impossible expectations.
It is a wake up call for me certainly. I am trying to push away the space between myself and old age and keep it at arm’s length. All that resistance directed at the inevitable.
And then there is my super strong, tough, fit, creative ego grisling in case. . . . . in case what??
In case I lose face or image or something? In case I am incapacitated, however slightly.
It all fits.
So I am indulging in musing out loud, with my specs right on the end of my nose! Even the expression ‘perhaps I have a bit of a blind spot’ has added poignance.
If you have persevered this far, thank you for keeping me company.