Friday, August 5, 2016

August 5: Tree with the Lights, Conjunctivitis, Olympic Opening Ceremony

When her doctor took her bandages off and led her into the garden, the girl who was no longer blind saw “the tree with the lights in it.” It was for this tree I searched through the peach orchards of summer, in the forests of fall and down winter and spring for years. Then one day I was walking along Tinker creek and thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it. I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame. I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed. It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked breathless by a powerful glance. The flood of fire abated, but I’m still spending the power. Gradually the lights went out in the cedar, the colors died, the cells un-flamed and disappeared. I was still ringing. I had been my whole life a bell and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck. I have since only very rarely seen the tree with the lights in it. The vision comes and goes, mostly goes, but I live for it, for the moment the mountains open and a new light roars in spate through the crack, and the mountains slam.

Dillard is writing about a girl who was blind.  The girl underwent a surgery which restored her vision.  One of the first things she sees when the bandages are removed from her eyes is a tree "with lights in it."  The girl's perception of light and color was dependent upon her blind life, where she categorized the world in terms of every other sense besides sight.

I use this passage because it has to do with sight, and tonight I found out that my daughter has a case of conjunctivitis, or pink eye.  This comes after my wife and son were diagnosed with conjunctivitis on Thursday.  So, my whole family is walking around with crusty eyeballs.  Tomorrow, my daughter goes to the doctor in the morning to get some eye drops.

My eyes are burning, too.  Not because they are infected.  They're not.  Yet.  My eyes are burning because I just finished five hours of grading.  It feels as though my eyes are about to fall out of their sockets. 

I'm sitting in my living room, watching the Parade of Nations in the Opening Ceremony of the Rio Olympics.  Barely staying awake.  And the torch hasn't even made an appearance. 

Saint Marty is ready for his Olympic event:  sleeping.  He plans to win a gold medal.

Just because it's funny . . . If you know "Star Trek"

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