My eyes are dimming, blurring. Fog is setting in. I can no longer read comfortably, without increasing the size of the text on my screen. Even so, I fear visiting the eye doctor. Will he saddle me with bifocals again, only to have my vision change so rapidly that those bifocals are obsolete before I even receive them? That’s what happened the last time I saw the eye doc, before I knew I had Lyme disease. But is it the toxins building up in my system again? Or could it be a side effect of one of my medications? Or just plain old, old age creeping up on me? I do not know. I fear the worst, but I pray for the best.
My vision makes me not enjoy my photography so much anymore. What would happen if I could no longer see, at all? How much of my creativity could I retain without my sight? I cannot answer those questions, not unless or until I am truly faced with this issue. Still, I wonder. Would I be able to find enough joy in life with yet another limitation?
I must believe.
Vision is but one of our senses. There are five others we often take for granted. There is so much more to life than just what flashes across the television screen, or the computer screen for that matter. There is so much more than the canned sounds coming from your iPod, or if you are old-style like me, your Walkman. Life is more than what mass media tells us it is. In our running blindly around, trapped in our own busy little worlds, we miss so much.
If you were to close your eyes right now, what would be the first sensation you notice? Mine is the sound of the fan behind me. But what more could I notice about the fan? I feel an occasional, soft breeze across my right shoulder. If I listen close enough, I can hear the gentle tinkling of the shell wind chime hanging in the window. Then I hear my Tinker Belle snoring beside me in the chair. Her fur is soft and welcoming, though the added warmth of her being right next to me is a bit much on this hot day. Now I hear the door closing in the kitchen, a familiar shuffle of feet across the tile floor. I know it is my husband even before he says anything to me. I would know it was him even if he made no sounds, even without the faint muskiness of his aftershave. I would know it was him using my sixth sense. I feel it is him, feel his presence; the way you just know someone is staring at you, only in a more pleasant sense.
Now all three dogs start barking at a voice outside the window. There must be a yard sale customer, asking Ken a question. My mind drifts to what they might be interested in today. You can never tell. Some days, odd things sell well; other days, they bomb. The dogs are settling down now. Tink has left the arm of the chair. I hear her distinctive clickety click across the hardwood floors as she chooses a cooler place to nap. If I listen close enough, I can pick out each dog’s unique rhythm as they walk.
Max, our eldest Pug who is almost totally blind, brushes up against my legs. He sits for a spell below my computer tray, resting in the comfort of knowing I am there as he leans on my feet. His blindness causes him anxiety, but with encouragement, he manages just fine, and he still plays with the others. He no longer chases airplanes across the yard like he used to, preferring now just to bark at them as they fly overhead. He is limited some by his lack of sight, and he is old and rather crotchety at times, but he still finds enough joy in his life to wag and howl and dance around happily every day.
That is what I wish, not only for myself but for all of you. Find enough joy, enough pleasure in every day that you might wag and howl and dance—or in human terms, greet everyone you meet with a generous hello, enjoy a good belly laugh often, and dance like every song is your favorite.
I wish you . . . enough.