Existential Friday: I Contact
As some of the regular visitors to this blog may have noticed, I have been inactive for about a week on both blogs. Last Friday, Halloween day, I had cataract surgery. This was a bit eventful for a few reasons. To begin with, the surgery was on the right eye. This is my dominant eye. I have needed glasses since grade four.
I had a congenital cataract on my left eye. Through a set of circumstances, it was not detected and removed early on as it should have been – lens surgery for the left eye was only done ten years ago. All those years with a fog in left field means that, as a consequence, my brain is hardwired to take information from my right eye – hence my affinity & interest in photography, like a camera, I am a one-eyed idiot. I live in an Escher World, a construct full of optical illusions and depth perception paradoxes. True 3D is just a slight of hand rumour spread by the old View-Master toy makers and Cineplex Theatres.
Had something gone wrong with Friday’s surgery, I would be living in a blurred world with a grey fog overlaying the whole scene – Halloween indeed. So with some trepidation I awoke Friday to face our first snow blast ;
prologue to winter –
white capped jack o’lanterns –
frozen grin’s laughter.
Our clocks were flashing from the brief early morning power outages;
mocking time flickers-
seconds slide past electrons –
minute power flows.
I have had a couple of childhood accidents where eye-sight in the right eye was temporarily stopped – baseballs & soccer balls, sticks and flying projectiles of childhood homed in on my right eye like unerring primeval winged predators. I remember those stiff Halloween masks with their elastic bands that could not accommodate eye glasses, especially ones with thick lens and heavy duty plastic frames. Halloween was a place of strange shapes and shadows. The terrors of childhood wait in the shadows of old age to reminisce.
trick or treat echoes
down hospital halls – sharp lines
turn corners, quick cuts –
do you mind the intern ? Just –
insert intravenous – twice .
multiple eye drops –
stinging like hobgoblins’ laugh
in a bright doorway.
Rolling into OR in a wheelchair – the blur of doors , lights and human figures – some in masks & gowns , some in green & blue, flashing stethoscopes & blood pressure cups in darker hue – zip by. Wheels stop and the chair is parked. Next up to bat, …… charts unfurled and data crunched. Then questions – name, date, birthday, purpose of surgery -wouldn’t want to get the wrong patient on the table,……. then the extra special trick, the lens did not arrive.
“You understand what happened ?”
“Yes, the lens did not arrive in the shipment.”
“ Will you wait? Special delivery, here by noon – on broomstick.”
“In for a penny, in for pound. Come too far to turn around.”
Rolling out of OR in a wheelchair – the blur of doors , lights and human figures – some in masks & gowns , some in green & blue, flashing stethoscopes & blood pressure cups in darker hue – zip by. Wheels stop and the chair is parked. Back in the hall with my wife. Time passes. Power cuts. Lights blink. The clock strikes noon. Wheels & time turn – rolling back to OR in a wheelchair – the blur of doors , lights and human figures – some in masks & gowns , some in green & blue, flashing stethoscopes & blood pressure cups in darker hue – zip by. Wheels stop and the chair is parked, then …
on table of sleep –
process begins, sleeplessness –
wait, power cuts I –
questions voices lights action
camera lens view – close up.
The final tricks were staying alert during the twilight sleep and another power cut while being fitted with the new lens. No pain or discomfort, just very clear memories of the event. Many eye drops later, here I am. No glasses, except for sunglasses. It has been many years since grade four – I keep reaching to adjust glasses that are not there. The self is composed of experiences – the I is shaped by the inner eye.