I visited the optometrist this week and got an eye exam. The doctor told me I had the pressure of a baby. So I walked away with confidence that I’d be seeing for a while down the road.
I have been thinking about “vision.” If I have good vision, then I can watch the shimmering scales on a silverfish, its hideout exposed when I move a pile of books; I can see it as it dives for cover. I can watch the magpies circling high over the buildings to the north and the tiny sparrows flitting from wire to wire.
When my mother stayed with me, her macular degeneration fogged her world; she had no central vision and daily mistook a red tomcat on the roof of the building across the street for a magpie. I didn’t have the heart to correct her.
Vision is a powerful thing. I woke up this morning with a vision that my guest room would be stacked with boxes ready for the movers by this coming Wednesday. It’s afternoon and I am halfway there. I create a puzzle, put it together. I can see myself leaving for the airplane with 4 suitcases and two carry-ons. I can see the door closed, the walls empty. I can see the carousel in Athens, the tarmac in Paris, the car parked in Detroit. I can see the ships docking in Baltimore; the sea crate off loaded, stored and then loaded again onto a truck headed inland.
Vision is a powerful thing. Without it, I worry. I wake up in the night and it is dark. With it, I can breathe right down to my diaphragm. I can plant Italian basil and harvest its aromatic leaves some months later. I can change things, poke the universe and it moves. With it I know I am truly alone. With it I know I am completely responsible and that I can’t duck like the silverfish. I shimmer though. I can’t sail overhead like the magpies on updrafts. I sail nevertheless.
With this sort of vision, I am directing the film and yet, I’ll leave serendipity with the edits and just maybe the credits. For instance, perhaps the red tomcat over on the roof across the street will in the final cut end up a magpie. In the end, my vision has nothing to do with optometrists and everything to do with self-trust and a flit of imagination as I fly from wire to wire, task to task, and problem to problem.