MY BIG GREEN windows to my soul don’t feel like they’re mine anymore.
For months now, my vision has been strained and unfocused. I have always enjoyed excellent eyesight, but that has changed. I am 45 years old, which I thought was still kind of young. But it seems gobs of people in my age bracket experience gradually deteriorating vision. So it’s my age, then, and it’s perfectly normal.
But this troubles me, as John Cage would lament in Ally McBeal. Remember him?
It’s normal that our hair thins and grays as we get older and that many of us begin to suffer from arthritis — and we sag and droop and wrinkle up like prunes. And then we die. I get all that. But I’m just not ready to acquiesce to this new normal of failing eyesight, and do what everyone else does and go to the doctor and pay for a bunch of tests I can’t afford, and then enslave myself to eyeball crutches for the rest of my life.
On the dark side of that silver moon, maybe I’m experiencing symptoms of something more serious that a pair of snazzy new eyeglasses can’t fix, like diabetes or glaucoma. Or a side effect from that erectile dysfunction drug I’ve been taking.
Haha, no. Breathe, mother.
I’ve done the research, folks. There’s a range of scary possibilities at play here. But before I pursue a formal diagnosis and spend money I don’t have, I’m going to engage in a whole other batch of research and turn myself into an eyeball warrior guinea pig.
Which is fancy talk for stepping up and attempting to manage my own soul windows, sans the usual threesome of western medicine machismo: Medicate (eyeglasses)! Annihilate (surgery)! But never ever educate (no, not that)!!
And now I’m going to enter a poetry slam contest and spend my winnings on an almond milk cow.
So I’m mapping out a daily plan of attack with eye exercises and Tetris. Did you know Tetris can repair lazy eyes? Okay, I probably don’t have a lazy eye problem, but I love Tetris. Some Starbucks now and then, maybe some nuts for protein, clean water, and Tetris. Good survival supplies.
And I’m going to save up for some optically correct, polarized sunglasses with glass lenses. Glass is important. I’ve been wearing cheap plastic ones from the hardware store where my husband works. With his discount they’re usually no more than five dollars, and they block 100% of all UV rays. I’m pretty certain they do, anyway. You’ve seen the 60 Minutes exposé on this?
The problem is the optical clarity and quality. That was kind of redundant. Anyway, these sunglasses were a compromise — the best option I could afford (stupid Starbucks) — and they probably haven’t done my vision any favors. I’ve been wearing five dollar sunglasses for a few years now. My eyes aren’t happy about that. And two and a half years ago we relocated to an insanely hot and bright area — so painfully bright for my autistic eyes that on our first day here in October, I couldn’t drive without a hat and sunglasses and the visors pulled down. And even then my eyes were still feeling sunburned and strained.
I struggle with this every single day.
Most doctors I’ve had the displeasure of interacting with over the years are fond of saying stuff like, “Well, that’s just how it goes as you get older.” And we totally buy into this pre-programmed (read: medical school induced) thinking. So we scrounge up the money and pay a couple hundred dollars for prescription eyeglasses, and more for prescription sunglasses, and we use doctor-recommended eyedrops that contain ingredients you really don’t want in your eyes, and we have surgical procedures done.
I’m hardly qualified to caution anyone against these standard fare protocols. But despite my discomfort, this is not something I’m going to hand over to western trained doctors just yet. First, I’d like to see what I can accomplish on my own. If the symptoms noticeably worsen, or new symptoms arise that suggest a more serious problem, that’s when I’ll consider involving the eyeball cavalry.
But for now, I’m going to put on some warrior paint and see if I can figure this out on my own.
A BARN OWL whispered in my ear last week and said, “Go for a walk in the woods, pick some wildflowers, bake some cookies. And turn off your computer — just for a day.”
And so that’s what I did. For a few days, actually. But not entirely. Well, mostly anyway, kind of.
Now and then I may need to step back and go do something else instead of posting a new essay. I’m dusting off some mangy characters for a book that has been waiting to be written for over 20 years now. I’m pitching my first freelance story this week, with others to follow. And I have those cookies to bake.
But Moose Notes is a true friend of mine and a constant reminder that I’m not a dabbler of a writer who occasionally jots down a few notes. Nope. I’m a swashbuckling, sword swinging, gun flinging, full monty clothes on the floor master of words. I really am. I don’t just write notes; I sling words against walls and let them pile up and collect together and pour themselves into this oddball blabbery I’m fond of referring to as essays.
There are things I don’t understand in this world of ours. Such as the deer I literally just witnessed chasing a bunny rabbit outside. Or the teeny frog that takes refuge at the base of a soapstone owl on a tree stump, or the clump of four fluffy birds that sleep wing to wing to wing to wing on the same darn branch every single night.
But I do know this: Carla the Moose is a writer, and a writer is as a writer does.
And by golly it’s time I get that gosh darned book done. If my mother Carole Price, who has cancer and has to take chemo pills, can sit down at her desk, every day no matter what, and produce yet another book in her Shakespeare in the Vineyard Mystery Series, then I can sure as heck round up the furballs and get my own book written.
You’ll know what I mean by furballs once I’ve been published and you can see my book for yourself.
ON THE SCHEDULE for next Sunday is an honest to goodness piano essay — pretty much, anyway.
My piano progress is slow, but relative to whom? Lang Lang? Specific to me and my little moose kingdom and my crunchy, old dame of a piano, with its termite damage and missing parts, I’d say I’m knocking Bach and his first invention out of the solar system, thank you very much.
And so on that last, wee bitty note, I bid you a good day and will see you — for reals and without an inkling of a doubt — next Sunday morning.
Peace and glad tidings, folks!