Gratitude Sunday: I Can See Clearly Now

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

Sunday Haiku
Blue sky stranded by
wisp’d mats of water vapor
halo naked trees.

Sunday Musings
I had the eye part of my head examined this week. I thought it had been a couple years. Even though I write medical events on my calendar, I’d lost track, and it had been three and a half years.

I’ve always had more than my fair share of headaches but they’ve been getting worse, and since I hadn’t replaced my lens at the last exam my lens are more like six years old. I suspected the vision was part of the pain issue. Lately it’s just been easier to take my glasses off and get my eyes as close as I need to see whatever I need to see. It was time.

I try to think when I don’t use my eyes. I work with a computer all day and with patrons in a customer service capacity. You have to look people in the face, they don’t like it much if you close your eyes all the time you are serving them. Though maybe I don’t really know that. I’ve never really tried serving people with my eyes closed. I write when I’m at home, and I read voraciously. I love documentaries and well-crafted movies. I cook, I walk, I drive, I clean my house. Gotta see.

I don’t use my eyes when I sleep. Sleep is dicey these days. Am I really sleeping or am I looking at the backs of my eyelids?

I can probably shower or bathe with my eyes closed. I’ve been washing the same body for 55 years or so, pretty well know all the creases and crevasses. And I’ve been using the same shower for 14 years now so I don’t think I even need to see the soap dish. My shampoo and hair conditioner are the same size, shape, and color of bottle, so I’d have to tell by the feel of the material. The trick is to put them back in the same place every time.

I could easily do my water workout at the pool with my eyes closed. It’s a confined space. If I fall in the water it doesn’t hurt much. I’ve been doing the same routine for seven years; it’s total muscle memory. The only risk is getting too relaxed from moving all the muscles, and the gentle calming pressure of the water surrounding my body, and that luscious feeling of weightlessness, and feeling so warm and good I could fall asleep. But like I say, if I fall asleep, I wouldn’t fall far and it would be a soft fall. The lifeguards would see me sooner or later.

Like your teeth, you only get one set of eyes. I’ve worn corrective lenses since I was eight years old, so I’m very familiar with the eye exam process. I got my first glasses not long after I got my first silver-mercury amalgam fillings and according to the modern medical paradigm there’s no math there. In my childhood cedar jewelry box lies that first pair of tiny pink glasses, pretty princess eyeglasses for a pretty little girl. I keep a picture of Mom and me on my desk; I’m wearing those glasses. The mercury fillings I still carry in my teeth, in my head, just under my eyes and brain; they’re in the picture too.

Fortunately my eye concerns were of little consequence: the black floater I randomly see is part of the aging process where the liquid gel-like vitreous part of the eye starts to harden a bit; the annoying itchy spot in the inside corner of my left eye is a few of my lovely long eyelashes that have been trapped under the lid, and they can easily be epilated, or pulled out, under sterile conditions; the tired, sandy feeling is plain old “dry eye”, another aging condition, to be solved with artificial tears, hot compresses at night, gentle circular massage in the morning shower, and adding cod liver oil to my food regimen.

A few other concerns related to aging popped up. Beginning cataracts in both eyes, eye pressure a tiny bit higher than they like to see, and a degradation of the edges of the skin of the eyelid. Nothing too concerning at this point, but they’ll be watching me now the aging process has reared its inevitable head. The good news was they could see no diabetic changes in my eyes, or any other health issues. Really good incentive to keep eating the delicious foods I’ve changed to over the last ten years and continuing my daily exercise.

So I shall make more lifestyle changes. That’s what I do as I learn. Remember, change is the only constant and my body continues to change. I massage my eyes in the shower in the morning. I’ll put the drops in my eyes three or four times a day (grrr, it’s so much like taking “medicine”). I’ll put hot packs on my eyes at night in bed before I sleep. I’ll take a teaspoon of cod liver oil at night before bed, and remember doing the same thing as a child when Mom would line up the four of us children and dose us each with a teaspoon of the stuff and then after watching us swallow it she’d follow us into the bathroom for teeth brushing. I will follow mine now with a small piece of rich very dark chocolate. Because I can. I shall be epilated next month. Looking forward to the pain to alleviate the constant annoyance in the corner of my eye. The changes can’t hurt and might help me age as gracefully as possible. Hwell, my eyes at least.

You use your eyes for EVERYTHING. You can make love and hate and war and compassion with your eyes. You learn with your eyes, you yearn with your eyes, you plead with your eyes, you teach with your eyes, and you preach with your eyes. Me? My eyes are how I suck up information and entertainment. It is interesting as my eyes and body age how I see so much more, in nature, in relationships, in myself.

And now? I get to go shopping for a new pair of eyeglass frames as I’ve never been able to wear contacts. Maybe some gaudy purply sparkly things in honor of aging. And I might seek a nap as often as I can get away with it. To rest my eyes.

Color Watch/Flower Watch – blooming attractions in my neighborhoods this week – this feature is suspended until further notice.

I Love Old Birdhouses

I Love Old Birdhouses

Currently Reading – The Good Death: The New American Search to Reshape the End of Life (sociology) by Marilyn Webb; The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives (sociology and politics) by Sasha Abramsky; Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown (global economics) by David Wiedemer and Robert A Wiedemer; Hanging Out the Wash: And Other Ways to Find More in Less (simplifying life) by Adair Lara; How to See Yourself as You Really Are (enlightenment) by the Dalai Lama. Yes, concurrently.

Another month before the Winter Classic choice and so again here are the Winter Classic Reading rules:
1. You must never have read the book before.
2. The book must be recognized as a classic, and can be contemporary.
* Extra points if you’ve never read the author before, if the author is female, or if the title or author have won a Pulitzer or Nobel Prize.

Winter Classic Reading choices as of today:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte; I’ve never read this author.
The Stranger by Albert Camus; I’ve never read this author.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne; I’ve read House of the Seven Gables.
So Big by Edna Ferber; I’ve never read this author.
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray; I’ve never read this author.
Something by Anthony Trollope, suggested by the co-worker; neither of us have read this author.

**Can you suggest any others? Do you want to read a Winter Classic you’ve never read before? I read a Winter Classic between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox. The point of reading a Winter Classic during those dark cold days of winter before spring breaks the spell is to choose something you might not ever otherwise choose; something to slow you down because the language use or the setting is unfamiliar, the plot or non-plot is unusual, or to read yourself into a different time, world, and culture. We’ll decide by the winter solstice. Or maybe I’ll decide, I haven’t decided yet if I want to be the decider since it’s my tradition or if I want to share. And if I decide on a title and you want to join in with your own choice, have fun with that, too. I’d like to hear what you are reading.**

This week I have been grateful for:

  • Realizing last month that I will be cooking for Thanksgiving. So I have time to clean house, plan, shop, and prep. Early enough to get a smallish turkey which they never have at the last minute.
  • My new Dyson vacuum. Best investment ever when you have kids and/or pets.
  • Having a few dollars in my pocket to buy my Veteran’s Day poppy.
  • All the members of my family who have been veterans.
  • My niece and her husband who celebrate their anniversary on Veteran’s Day. They have created a beautiful family. Happy Anniversary!
  • Reading, writing, walking, driving, learning, cooking, and all the other tasks I do while taking my eyes for granted.
  • Being able to perceive and discern the vast range of COLOR nature provides and all the man-made colors too.
  • My three/two ranch. Tacky but mine, and I haven’t had to move for 14 years. Stability is such a luxury. And the roof doesn’t leak.
  • Artificial summer inside a late autumn home.
  • How fresh and clean the air outside has felt this last week.
  • Several friends, acquaintances, and cybernet pals who have recently had physical challenges in their lives and are now recuperating. The joys of aging, my friends, it only gets better. Then on to that good death.
  • Prayer works, no matter what form of it you use.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

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2 Responses to Gratitude Sunday: I Can See Clearly Now

  1. Mary Ann Cauthen says:

    I enjoy & look forward to your writings. I am older (69 yrs.), but I relate to many of your thoughts. I would love to hear more about what you eat. You are so right about changes we made to stay healthy as we age. I always enjoy your reading list also. I just finished the Holocaust book – “Night” by Elie Wiesel (a newe translation done by his wife). Most sobering read. Thanks for sharing yourself. Mary Ann


    • sassykas says:

      I am so happy you enjoy my work. I hope it resonates with people of all ages. I remember being horrified when I read “Diary of Anne Frank” in jr high school, and “Night” as an adult many years later. Frightening. A few years ago I read “64735:From a Name to a Number” by Alter Wiener and met the author at a reading. He allowed me to give him a hug and we cried in each other’s arms that people would treat each other like that and thanked all the powers that be the stories can still be told. The power of the written word, eh?


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