Friday, November 10, 2006

"Sad eyes, you are the only whose blue skies are grey..."

University life is to blame for foisting upon me one of those addictions that has cost much expense ever since, while also inflicting a fair degree of pain and discomfort.

Then again, it did get me just at my most vulnerable, as an all-too-fresh Fresher. I saw other people doing it - people who looked instantly cooler, more confident, more attractive to the opposite sex. Knowing one of the secret foundations of their apparent assurance didn't lessen its appeal, only made those expensive accoutrements all the more inviting, all the more exciting.

So, one day, after much hovering and havering, I finally plucked up my courage and indulged. Finally, I became one of those really adult adults who were actually doing it, from the first glimmering snap of dawn to the last shrug of nightfall, youthfully reckless of the consequences either later in life or the sticky sensations of the next morning...

Yes, I became one of them. I, too, started... wearing contact lenses.

Okay, it took a little while to get the knack of transporting contact lens from point A, the tip of my index finger, to point B, my actual eye.

The optician below stairs in the Guild building certainly had his patience sorely tried, as he repeatedly insisted he couldn't let me toddle off without having managed the transaction at least once, but each and every time, as my eyes slapped shut at the last split-second as that fragile little bowl of transparent gloop approached a little too close, he let slip the merest of sighs before gently encouraging me to try again...

... only to eventually, eyes on the end-of-the-working-day clockface, encourage me: "Well, keep practicing at home, good luck..." and ushering me out, a pack of several months' and bottle of lotion clutched proudly in hand...

And I did, a whole Saturday and most of Sunday screwing up my face in my 15h floor mirror and those of my contact-lens tutors on the sixth floor - failing all too many times, until finally - Eureka! - finding myself with perfect vision through my right eye, and after that magical moment, managing to slip them in and out and in and out with arrogant ease.

And I could see again. No need to squint quite so often at the lecture-room overhead projections, nor whip out a glasses case quite so guiltily and surreptitiously between car door and steering wheel...

Of course, they sometimes go astray. Several times a too-energetic rub of my bleary eyes has resulted in that little soft-plastic disc taking a detour up into my forehead, only making its way back home at great, frustrating length.

Catherine was once delayed in making her way downstairs for the trek into campus, having inexplicably stabbed a contact lense into the eye into which she'd only just prodded the other.

And then, after veering between daily, fortnightly and monthly treatments, I was abruptly told by an optician I needed to stop wearing contacts "like, yesterday". At which point - probably the stolid airless, garish-lighted ambience of the consulting room was to blame - I must admit taking a bit of a totter, the once-a-year-or-so flash of blue and black lights smudging across my sights and leaving me with nothing in mind but the overwhelming desire to collapse and lie sprawled across the floor (a tip: try to avoid such sensations occurring when doorstepping people you want to interview, and who really don't want to be interviewed by you, on a rather sensitive but newsworthy subject... A tale for another day, maybe...)

Still, despite the red blood cells apparently too quick to rise too close to the surface of my eyes, and the thinly-rimmed, top-half-slightly-blackened specs I've been forced to wear much of the time, I stick in a couple of contacts for as many social occasions as I can, out of a useless and in-vain vanity that refuses to see the bespectacled me as the real me, somehow...

The bloodshot eyes have been a little more in evidence recently, since I'm down to my last pair of emergency contacts while waiting for the latest batch of refresheners due in September, and on complaint, the substitute batch apparently posted out last week. No, no sign...

Maybe it's for the best. I just dislike shaving with these restricted-vision-scan glasses on, I always miss a bit...

Still, at least I have my eyes still. I've been starting to think about investing in laser surgery, once seeming a too-distant too-extravagant dream, but now apparently down to about £400 per eye. A colleague had both his done for free, on the promise of writing a puff piece about the procedure at some later date. Huh. I could do that job...

But still, £800 doesn't sound too exorbitant, for all the hassle and cost it might magically wipe out for, well, a little while. One to look into (arf) in the New Year, perhaps...

Ah, but. I was wincing tears this evening when stopping home to see my mum, who in the midst of perhaps the worst week of our lives for other reasons, today had to have several injections and then stitches in and around her left eye for the removal of a skin cancer tumour. And now lies, understandably woebegone, on the living-room sofa, squinting at EastEnders through an angry-blood-streaked slash, a bludgeon of purple bruises.

As the necessary eyedrops were administered, her's weren't the only ones welling up...
But I had it lucky, I know.

Lasers, lenses - luxury...


Anonymous said...


You have a riveting web log
and undoubtedly must have
atypical & quiescent potential
for your intended readership.
May I suggest that you do
everything in your power to
honor your encyclopedic/omniscient
Designer/Architect as well
as your revering audience.
As soon as we acknowledge
this Supreme Designer/Architect,
Who has erected the beauteous
fabric of the universe, our minds
must necessarily be ravished with
wonder at His infinate goodness,
wisdom and power.

Please remember to never
restrict anyone's opportunities
for ascertaining uninterrupted
existence for their quintessence.

There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity
under heaven. A time to be
born and a time to die. A
time to plant and a time to
harvest. A time to kill and
a time to heal. A time to
tear down and a time to
rebuild. A time to cry and
a time to laugh. A time to
grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones
and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a
time to turn away. A time to
search and a time to lose.
A time to keep and a time to
throw away. A time to tear
and a time to mend. A time
to be quiet and a time to
speak up. A time to love
and a time to hate. A time
for war and a time for peace.

Here's what remarkable men
have asseverated about the
world's bestseller:

"I believe the Bible is the best gift
God has ever given to man. All
the good from the Savior of the
world is communicated to us
through this book."
-- President Abraham Lincoln

"For we must consider that we shall
be as a City upon a hill. The eyes of
all people are upon us. So that if we
shall deal falsely with our God in this
work we have undertaken, and so
cause Him to withdraw his present
help from us, we shall be made a
story and a byword throughout the
world." --John Winthrop, Governor
of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1630

"It is impossible to rightly govern the
world without God and the Bible."
- President George Washington

"The Bible is no mere book, but a Living
Creature, with a power that conquers
all that oppose it." - Napoleon

"That Book accounts for the supremacy
of England." - Queen Victoria

"If there is anything in my thought or
style to commend, the credit is due my
parents for instilling in me an early
love of the Scriptures. If we abide by
the principals taught in the Bible, our
country will go on prospering and to
prosper; but if we and our posterity
neglect its instructions and authority,
no man can tell how sudden a
catastrophe may overwhelm us and
bury all our glory in profound obscurity."
- Daniel Webster (Founding Father)

"The Bible is worth all other books which
have ever been printed." - Patrick Henry
(original member of the Continental Congress)

"The Bible is the anchor of our liberties."
- President U.S. Grant

"It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially
a Bible-reading people. The principals of the
Bible are the groundwork of human freedom."
- Horace Greeley (Editor)

"That Book is the rock on which our Republic
rests." - President Andrew Jackson

"In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible
has never failed to give me light and strength."
- Gen. Robert E. Lee

"Bible reading is an education in itself."
- Lord Tennyson (Poet)

"So great is my veneration for the Bible that the
earlier my children begin to read it the more
confident will be my hope that they will prove
useful citizens of their country and respectable
members of society. I have formany years made
it a practice to read through the Bible once
every year." - President John Quincy Adams

"The existence of the Bible, as a Book for the
people, is the greatest benefit which the human
race has ever experienced. Every attempt to
belittle it is a crime against humanity."
- Immanuel Kant (Philosopher)

"The New Testament is the very best Book that
ever or ever will be known in the world."
- Charles Dickens (Author)

"All human discoveries seem to be made only
for the purpose of confirming more and more
strongly the truths contained in the Sacred
Scriptures." - Sir William Herschel (Astronomer)

"There are more sure marks of authenticity
in the Bible than in any profane history."
- Sir Isaac Newton (Scientist)

"Let mental culture go on advancing,
let the natural sciences progress in
even greater extent and depth, and
the human mind widen itself as much
as it desires; beyond the elevation
and moral culture of Christianity, as
it shines forth in the Gospels, it will
not go." - Goethe (Author)

"I have known ninety-five of the world's
great men in my time, and of these eight-
seven were followers of the Bible. The
Bible is stamped with a Specialty of Origin,
and an immeasurable distance separates
it from all competitors."
- W.E. Gladstone (Prime Minister)

"Whatever merit there is in anything that
I have written is simply due to the fact that
when I was a chile my mother daily read
me a part of the Bible and daily made me
learn a part of it by heart." - John Ruskin
(art critic and social commentator)

"The Bible has been the Magna Charta of the
poor and oppressed. The human race is not
in a position to dispense with it." - Thomas
Huxley (Author & Scientist)

"The whole hope of human progress is
suspended on the ever growing influence
of the Bible." - W.H. Seward (Secretary of State)

"America was born a Christian nation. America
was born to exemplify that devotion to the
elements of righteousness, which are derived
from the revelations of Holy Scriptures. Part
of the destiny of Americans lies in their daily
perusal of this great book of revelations.
That if they would see America free and
pure they will make their own spirits free
and pure by this baptism of the Holy Spirit."
--President Woodrow Wilson

For Christians, the life and death of Jesus
are the ultimate expressions of love, and
the supreme demonstrations of God's
mercy, faithfulness, and redemption.
Since Christ's miraculous Resurrection
on Easter, more than 2,000 years ago,
Christians have expressed joy and
gratitude for this wondrous sacrifice
and for God's promise of freedom for
the oppressed, healing for the broken -
hearted, and salvation. --President
George W. Bush

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly
or too often that this great nation was
founded, not by religionists, but by
Christians; not on religions, but on
the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this
very reason peoples of other faiths
have been afforded asylum, prosperity,
and freedom of worship here."
--Patrick Henry (original member
of the Continental Congress)

God designed humans to want to
believe in something. That's the
image of God that is in us. But as
G. K. Chesterton famously put it,
when we reject the God of the
Bible, we don't believe in nothing;
we believe in everything -- including
Little Green Men. - - Chuck Colson

I am trying here to prevent anyone from
saying the really foolish thing that people
often say about Jesus Christ: "I'm ready
to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher,
but I don't accept His claim to be God."

That is the one thing we must not say.
A man who was merely a man and said
the sort of things Jesus said would not be
a great moral teacher. He would either be
a lunatic -- on a level with a man who says
he is a poached egg -- or else he would be
the Devil of Hell.

You must make your choice. Either this Man
was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman
or something worse .... You can shut Him up
for fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a
demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him
Lord and God. But let us not come up with any
patronizing nonsense about His being a great
human teacher. He has not left that option
open to us. He did not intend to. -- From
Case for Christianity, by C.S. Lewis

"Let every student be plainly instructed and
earnestly pressed to consider well the main
end of his life and studies is to know God
and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John
17:3)." - - - The Laws and Statutes of
Harvard College in 1643

"All scholars shall live religious, godly,
and blameless lives according to the rules
of God's Word, diligently reading the Holy
Scriptures, the fountain of light and truth;
and constantly attend upon all the duties
of religion, both in public and secret."
- - - Two central requirements in Yale
College 1745 charter

If you stop believing what your professor
told you had to be true and if you start
thinking for yourself you may come to some
conclusions you hadn't expected. You may
find the Bible makes more sense than you
thought or were told to think. Allow yourself
to be ruined, ruined with regard to what you
always thought could be true. Can you believe
what you don't understand? You and I believe
everyday what we don't understand unless it
comes to the issue of salvation.
- - - Dr. Woodrow Kroll

There is simply no historic foundation for the
position that the Framers intended to build the
'wall of separation' that was constitutionalized
in Everson. The 'wall of separation between
church and state' is a metaphor based on bad
history, a metaphor which has proved useless
as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and
explicitly abandoned. - - - Chief Justice of
the US Supreme Court, William Rehnquist

In 1796 the US Supreme Court issued this
ruling, "By our form of government, the
Christian religion is the established religion,
and all sects and denominations of Christians
are placed on equal footing." Some 57 years
later, after Congress was petitioned to separate
Christian principles from government, in 1853
the House Judiciary Committee issued their
formal report, including these words: "In this
age there is no substitute for Christianity.
This was the religion of the founders of the
republic, and they expected it to be the
religion of their dependents. The great vital,
conservative elements in our system is the
belief of our people in the pure doctrines
and divine truths of the gospel of Jesus
Christ." - - - Dr. Gerald Beavan

"It is the duty of nations, as well as of men,
to own their dependence upon the overruling
power of God and to recognize the sublime
truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and
proven by all history, that those nations only
are blessed whose God is the Lord."
-- President Abraham Lincoln

Trust in yourself and you are doomed to
disappointment; trust in money and you
may have it taken from you; but trust in
God, and you are never to be confounded
in time or eternity. - D.L. Moody

Faith and love are apt to be spasmodic
in the best of minds. Men and women live
on the brink of mysteries and harmonies
into which they never enter and with their
hand on the doorlatch they die outside.
- - GK Chesterton

Best wishes for continued ascendancy,
Dr. Whoami

P.S. Here's some blogs that I found
of interest
as I negotiated my way
through cyberspace:

Every Student
Religion Comparison
Around the Well
Danish Cartoons
Arabic Cartoons
Muhammad or Jesus???
Answering Islam
Is Jesus God?
A Short Look At Six World Religions
God's Word in different languages...
How to become a Christian
Who Is Jesus?
See The Word
Watch The Jesus Movie
Spanish Cartoons
German Cartoons
Chinese Cartoons
Italian Cartoons
Greek Cartoons
Japanese Cartoons
Portuguese Cartoons
French Cartoons
Hindi Cartoons
Russian Cartoons
'Thought & Humor'

Only one of these is amalgamated with me -
can you determine which one??? Tell me
sometime what your thoughts are about
all this:O)

Aidan said...

Not today, thanks, I'm experimenting with Wicca. At least I might get a couple of baskets out of it.

Thanks a lot Doctor, if you really are a doctor - see what depths you've driven me too...
Please don't do that again.