Seeing Clearly

Because of #digiwrimo, I am trying to post at least once a day in November. That has me thinking about my eyesight-again.

About a month ago, my ophthalmologist told me I have Fuchs Dystrophy, a deterioration of the cornea. It’s a genetic issue, and one that has me somewhat concerned.

The sight in my right eye has worsened over the past few years. I thought (as did my doctors) I needed cataract surgery. The first surgery with the wrong lens was a disaster, but the second seemed to help temporarily. But, gradually, the world started to blur again. (Since then, I’ve read that cataract surgery tends to bring on Fuchs symptoms.)

I’m using special eye drops and getting checked regularly. But here’s the thing.

When I’m on the computer for any length of time, my eye aches. The easy answer is “stay off the computer.” But that’s not so easy for me.

I write, I read, and I do most of my thinking on my laptop. I’m not blaming #digiwrimo for any increased computer use, but it is one more thing.

When I’m not online, my life includes hiking and attending plays at Arena Stage. I paint (sort of), and I’m having to cook more often, too:)

But I’m thinking I need to rest my eyes more than I have. Blink, blink.

At least I have an answer now as to why I haven’t been able to correct my sight with glasses. And I’ll be reading the latest research on all of this as well and posting it here periodically.

Perhaps it will be useful to someone else.


image credit




A Crush

Brene Brown speaks to me. She opens her mouth, and I nod. Sigh. Smile.

I’ve read all her books, and I’ve downloaded her recent Daring Greatly to my kindle. She makes her research approachable, inviting, and meaningful.

This interview with Jonathan Fields from The GoodLife Project touches on so many important ideas: vulnerability, writing, parenting, teaching, and what makes a good life. It’s worth watching.


A Dead End

In my worst nightmare, I am 5 or 6, riding in the back seat of my family’s car. My dad is driving up a steep mountain, around and around, almost like a child’s cylinder cone I used to play with. Suddenly, we stop. As we look out the front window, we realize the road has ended, as if it has fallen away.
A dead end.
I was thinking about this today when I read a piece about an artist’s need to balance control and risk. So often we find ourselves at a dead end, a place that seems to have no way out. A poem fails. A character loses authenticity. A sentence forces itself. We stop.
Our culture tells us failure means loss, an emptiness, a lack of worthiness. And yet, isn’t it in that space we often find ourselves?
This poem has failed at least five times:

I glimpse a second of your life
as the train barrels past Philadelphia and then south.
Smokey clouds pulse to rhythmic clacking
The toddler, too long in one place, runs up and down,

bumping into books and food, saying “Mama, Mama, Mama”
a thousand times.
And we ride along, managing our own stories

But, something in the telling makes me want to rewrite it again. I may finally pluck only the first line. But the poem will not have failed.
In my dream, my heroic dad manages to turn the car around inch by inch, until we are heading back down the mountain to safety.

I’d like to think I can turn this poem around as well.