“Light scatter from the microscope,” the eye surgeon said. “Your own personal light show.”
During outpatient surgery today, vivid shapes—morphing from teal blue to chartreuse—resembled photos I’ve taken of water, at dusk.
my chronic, distorted vision
and escalating dread …
glimpses of Beauty.
Had I ever sat so still?
I froze in the molded beige chair: chin propped, forehead pressed against the top of the machine, the kindly attendant steadying the back of my skull.
“One sharp click accompanies each shot,” the surgeon warned. “We call this procedure the YAG Laser Capsulotomy.”
My worst moment?
The beginning, when the surgeon forced the giant, goopy, plastic lens over my eyeball—with no warning. It separated my lids to prevent blinking—ultimately a good thing, albeit uncomfortable—like most healing measures.
Years ago, post-cataract surgery, I had assumed my peepers were good to go.
Turns out lens implants often need further care as the posterior capsule holding them in place gradually clouds over, smudging vision. Some call them after-cataracts.
Like the spiritual life, occasionally, our clarity dims.
We long to perceive the Light but find ourselves peering through the equivalent of waxed paper. Night driving produces halos—and not the heavenly kind. Even our reading suffers.
A friend, empathizing with my worry, suggested I imagine Jesus lovingly spitting in my eye (See John 9:6-7).
Wondrous, how mirth dispels fear. Lets in light. After we finished laughing, she prayed for me.
A few hours after my surgery, when I could see again, I viewed several similar procedures on youtube. Carefully aimed laser micro-pulses burst through clouded capsules. It looked like someone taking potshots at jellyfish.
Or small meteors, erupting in space.
So at day’s end, my pupils nearly their normal size, Elizabeth Jennings’ poem becomes my prayerful ideal: poetry plus faith meeting science.
Now about these erratic horseflies arcing through my peripheral vision: “New floaters,” my surgeon said. “They’re just procedural debris that should settle in time.”
So like our ongoing issues. Head-turning, annoying, but what a great cue to pray for someone in need, each time a pesky black shape whizzes by.
I aim to practice contemplative light scatter: “the phenomenon by which a beam of light is redirected in many different directions …”