Personal Journeys with Gramma

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.

Cataract Clarity

Sometimes our bodies teach us lessons. We all know or should know that exercise is one. Use it or lose it is a truth. If you sit like a plant, prepare to feel kinship with an over-ripe eggplant. Food is another lesson. For most of us, what you consume matters as much as how much you eat. Garbage in, expect a biological revolt eventually. Be mean and prickly to people, and you invite your body to hate stress and develop prickly issues. Yeah, yeah. We know. But what do our eyes have to say?

Recently, I had cataract surgery on the first of my eyes. Typical aging, they tell me. (I hate that kind of talk.) I had to work harder and harder to focus on my voluminous reading and writing. I resist physical interventions as much as possible, but finally I had to surrender or accept a perpetual, exhausted headache. I refuse to succumb to having people or AI read to me. I treasure my human intelligence. I do my own reading, writing, and interpretation—even if it means I have to yield to surgery. So, one clouded lens has been removed. As my corrected eye heals, I realize new truths.

The old saying tells us we grow in wisdom as we age. Look around. Not everyone is on that train—perhaps for a reason. Just now as one eye has a fresh new windshield and the other doesn’t, I see the contrast friends told me would come. My “old” eye sees life through a filter of greenish duff. The world looks soft and antique, a little fuzzy. I’m told my old lens has yellowed over the years, so I can see why people like me yearn for kinder, gentler times when life and our very selves seemed slower and simpler. Or maybe some of us interpret the yellowing as decay. Are we clinging to that which is no longer appropriate like someone hoarding dangerously flammable stacks of jaundiced newspapers? In any case, we don’t see the world as it once appeared to us. The current world demands, “Adapt! And be quick about it!” Change is uncomfortable.

My “refreshed” eye shows me how white typical whiteness is. As in society, was whiteness always so harsh? Colors are brilliant—in-your-face bright. I’ve moved from a view like the Old Masters to glaring modern art. My vision is sharper, too. Printed words shout at me. Along with the mad pace and convoluted non-human electronic confusion of modern life, I chafe as I attempt to make my interior young self feel more at home while my exterior older self grumbles that the changes are ugly. But I will adapt—preserving the beneficial insights I’ve earned. Wisdom and kindness are never out of style. Humans see colors better than most animals because we have to deal with more complicated demands—all the problems we’ve created. In fact, we’ve survived thus far by adapting—succeeding best when we work together. When we don’t, we perish—or maybe we need to make the most of our time here because we perish, regardless. As with plants, healthy growth is meaning.

One comment on “Cataract Clarity

  1. Frances Sullivan
    April 8, 2023

    Brilliantly (pun intended) written. X

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