Snow clings to the south and windward side of the trees as the wind blows against it and around it. The black trunks contrast with their snowy outlines in the foreground and the blue and fluffy gray dance of clouds and sky in the background. My window on the world is very high. It captures the scene from an elevation beginning thirty feet above the ground. The treetops are invisible, having risen beyond the field of vision. Only the antics of squirrels and birds are available for observation. Just as well really, bipeds are quite often disappointing to watch.
Life is presenting its usual vicissitudes.
The down-side is a rather short list. Report cards one wishes one had not seen, bills one wishes one had not generated, and the occasional social kerfuffel in which one wishes not to participate. The third item on the list refers to a rash of arsons in "The Neighborhood" that have unsettled our peace of mind and interrupted our sleep. Someone is throwing lighted gas cans into the yards as we sleep, burning down sheds and other personal property. So far, there has been no loss of home or life. The police have not apprehended the arson(s) yet but the investigation continues.
The up-side is a longer list, perhaps less newsworthy than the down-side, but much more nourishing to the soul. I can read again! After spending the last year squinting and then finally sporting a decorative magnifying glass, I can simply don my eyeglasses and cast my gaze at will upon the world. Shapes and designs yield their complex beauty without coaxing. Good health is a freedom that usually remains unappreciated until it is lost. Perhaps it was my good fortune to have suffered mildly from loss of vision. My eyeglasses are not rose colored but they might as well be for all the pleasant sensations they provide.
These eyeglasses have an added feature that the optometrist did not mention. They amuse the whole family. The lenses are not only bifocal; they are progressive bifocal lenses. This means that there is a gradual gradation of lens strength from the top to the bottom. It sounded like quite a wonderful thing in the store. In reality, what the lenses in my glasses provide are small pinholes of focus for most distances. To see anything clearly, one must find the exact small location of the lens where vision is enhanced. To his great amusement, Attila found me sitting in the easy chair with my head nodding up and down rhythmically. I look like one of those little plastic dogs whose heads bob up and down in the back dashes of cars.
I was attempting to transcribe data from the Census copies on the table beside me to the laptop database. Finding a focus point for both was proving to be a challenge. The first few days my eyes burned and watered so severely that I could not continue to work. Not deterred, I took a break for a few days to rest my eyes then started anew. Limiting myself to fifteen-minute sessions and taking thirty-minute breaks between sessions has facilitated a slow learning process. I imagine it is a skill and that, like many other skills, it will require a great deal of time and effort to develop.
It remains to be seen whether choosing progressive bifocal lenses was a mistake. It if was a mistake, it is one I will have to live with for a few years. However, whatever the challenges, new eyeglasses are definitely on my up-side list.
In the meantime, I will not be stealing serendipitous glances or giving anything a sideways look.
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