Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...



In Word Painting, Rebecca McClanahan opens a chapter with this account:

While giving birth to her second child, my sister contracted a bacterial infection that blinded her. At the time, we didn't know the blindness would be temporary. The family wept, we walked the halls of Intensive Care, we muttered the strange dialect people mutter at such times - half curse, half prayer. We made promises we'd never keep. I offered up (to God, the universe or anyone who might be listening) my own eyes in exchange for my sister's. After all, she was a photographer, though a lapsed one. I was a writer. What did I need with eyes?

When my sister finally woke to light, she could not stop blinking, could not stop staring - at the hospital bed, the ceiling, her new son, the back of her own hand. "Bring me my camera," she said. That was ten years ago. Today her walls are filled with pictures her eyes have taken. She claims the world is brighter than it used to be, the outlines more defined.

There's a lot to draw out of that little tale, a lot that has made me pause in squint-eyed, forehead-scrunching recognition and go, "hmmm." I've thought about the helpless void that woman found herself in, the lonely and bitter certainty that must have unraveled her spirit in spite of every effort to hold the very fabric of her life together. I've also thought about the restoration of vision, that exuberant and unblushing reunion with the world around her. If eyes are a window to the soul, what a view it must have been to look both without and within! I even wonder if her eyes gained, in a sense, the ability to sense what her other senses do - touch, taste, feel, smell. A strange thought, but one that makes me ponder even more what it is to know such loss and restoration.

Aaahhh, but do I not know an even greater loss, and an even greater restoration? And should I not beyold the world through eyes that see things more brightly, more clearly defined? I wonder about that, I do.

posted by Bolo | 2:24 AM
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