Saturday, August 30, 2014

Reconciling The Visible And The Invisible

A Hot Pants, Motorcycles And K Street excerpt

I lost my eyesight sixteen years ago yesterday in 1998, the Friday before Labor Day.

The following day, which corresponds to today, I surrendered to the reality of my plight. I don’t recall being frightened.

Was that submission an act of bravery, practicality or foolhardiness?

I still have no clear answer to date. I do know, however, that my approach to handling the situation entailed what some would call “spiritual bypassing,” the intent or practice of attributing spiritual solutions to earth plane difficulties. It did work for me. 

That’s how come I am able to celebrate both my eyesight and my life this Labor Day weekend! And, be able to write this unfolding memoir of mine, Hot Pants, Motorcycles And K Street, at long last. 

No other way of thinking occurred to me in that moment that I accepted the certainty of my plight. Nor did any other ever surface, although medical care was, of course, to be central to all that would follow.

Ascribing a spiritual way of thinking to what might be considered a catastrophe has nothing much to commend in me. I had, after all, been expecting to be blind since a junior in college, many decades ago. Blindness, since that early diagnosis had, from then forward, become the cloud hovering over my head thereafter. So I believe I had, long ago, prepared myself for it somewhat.

Now it was here, my long expected blindness, without any guarantees I would ever see again. To make my troubles more dire, I had been unable to reach my ophthalmologist. After all it was Labor Day weekend and most people, including him, were gone for the holiday.

I had, fortunately, been able to get a prescription at a nearby pharmacy through his on-call associate. The potential for remedy from these eye drops, unfortunately, had quickly gone by the wayside. The tale of that ordeal is for another time. 

Today I seek only to mark this day’s importance for me. Today I celebrate the eyesight I have regained and the beautiful life I am living. Add that to the many projects the “new” New Horizons and myself are producing.

Today I am celebrating my miracles!

Knowing the circumstances of my eye disease, keratoconus, and my long history with it, I knew, full well, that restored vision would be a far off possibility, if conceivable at all.  I had already had four corneal transplant rejections to date. I would not be an easy candidate for more, the most probable treatment for what would likely be the matter with my eyes.

With that discouraging fact in mind, I succumbed to my situation and slowly made my way to the deck of my home. I wanted to sit out in the sun that I could feel but did not expect to see.
Situating myself in my favorite lounge chair, I discovered I could look directly into the bright rays of the sun! I could even see a hint of its brilliance, muted as if through a waxed paper veil.  Gratefully, I realized, I was not in total black blindness!

Thus, I sat down to talk to that miraculous Source of all life that some call G-d.

“Ok, G-d,” I said, humbling myself.

“I thought you meant for me to publish my research and clinical treatment strategies for treating relationship and personality addictions. Isn’t that why you brought me that delicious Random House book contract with such a hefty advance for a formerly unpublished author?

“Am I not to have a broader impact for my expertise in this area than I have had so far? And, isn’t it in your plans that I can, thus, also be taken seriously enough in my family to help heal the dysfunction there? Have I been reading my destiny and your plans for me wrong all this time?”

“How could I have been so off?”  I was perplexed!

“I don’t get it G-d,” I said.

“The three books I’ve been working on for ten long, demanding years are still not yet completely revised and edited for publication. There is no way they can come out, if I can’t see.  How could they get edited, if I would even have the energy for it in these circumstances?”

“So what now?”

“Did I get my assignment all wrong?”

“Well not exactly,” I heard G-d answer.

“It’s not about your books. The point is that I am not quite finished with you, as is, right now.”

You are not yet ready to publish. And, it’s not about the writing. Book writing and publishing can wait. You and I have other work to do. Trust me and you’ll “see” what I mean.”

With those words, strange as it seems, I immediately relaxed and humbled myself. I would follow  directions all the way from that Labor Day weekend, 1998, until this one.

And come to believe that it just might be true that --
“Only those who can see the invisible will dare to reach for the impossible.” 
That’s the philosophy I’ve been living on since Labor Day, 1998. 

And so far I have not been disappointed. Besides what else do I have? 

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