Words to the Wise: Sharing Life, Lessons, and Observations

Words to the Wise is a collection of stories, observations and insight drawn from my own experience both in the past and in the present, together with my perspective on what I may have learned in the process. Occasional poetry and astrological insights will be included when appropriate. I welcome comments, suggestions and thoughts of all kinds and am happy to respond.

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Seeing Clearly


Seeing Clearly






When I was in the third grade it was determined I needed eyeglasses. It seemed I couldn't read the blackboard. Over the years but especially in my first years of wearing them, my spectacles caused me endless problems. I often misplaced them. The fragility of frames combined with the movements of an active, somewhat uncoordinated youngster often resulted in fines being levied and loss of allowance until the broken glasses were paid for. Then too my dear father often told me, "Take off your glasses and look pretty." For many years, lenses in the form of eye glasses were not my friend, though they have become so.


Now I am acquiring a new set of artificial lenses. This past week I had the first of 2 cataracts removed—the last one will be in a month. The doctor who performed the operation said he had done twelve that day, a light day. He often does up to seventeen. Cataracts and cataract operations are common. The nurse practitioner I saw afterward said, "Everybody gets them." No one ever told me anything about the symptoms. I never thought to question what was going on with my vision. Essentially, it was deteriorating.


It may be difficult to know when our vision is cloudy. When I think back, I observe that over the last few years, I have needed more and more light to see by. I have also been experiencing a diminished ability to see colors. My eyes seemed to tire easily, and blur on me when I was working on the computer at night. This evolved slowly over time, and it never occurred to me that something could be done about it or it could be taken care of. Nor did I think to mention it to my primary care physician. I was like a lobster unaware it was being boiled, because it was in a pot that only gradually grew warmer.


 My eye doctor had warned me for several years that I had a small cataract.  It only just this year grew large enough to be removed. Everyone I mentioned it to said the operation was nothing to be concerned about, so I had very little trepidation. In truth, as every person I spoke to has told me, the worst thing to be said about a cataract operation is administering the eye drops four times a day for almost a month afterward. I agree with that statement.


When the next day the doctor removed the post operation patch from my right eye, I was amazed at how bright and clear everything appeared. Now I look forward to seeing the same brightness with both eyes. In addition, as a result of this I've come to a new understanding:  Clarity of inner vision is equally as important as clarity of outer vision. Our prejudices often prevent us from seeing clearly. They cloud the viewing lens of our minds like a cataract. There are no surgeons who remove this kind of cataract. I must be my own physician, checking up on my prejudices regularly to make sure I see clearly.








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Practical mystic and poet Tasha Halpert writes a column called Heartwings Love Notes for a Joyous Life, as well as a monthly astrology column for the internet. She writes a weekly perspective column for the Grafton News called Good Earthkeeping.  Her poems and essays have appeared in Quest Magazine, For the Love of Life, Heart and Wings, The Unicorn, and other publications. She is staff poet and storyteller for the Unicorn, and a regular part of Granny Moon’s Morning Feast. Her book Heartwings: Love Notes for a Joyous Life is available; She has another in preparation: Up to my Neck in Lemons, as well as a poetry chapbook: Poems and Prayers. With her writings she hopes to be of help and comfort and perhaps even entertaining.  With her husband Stephen she lives in Grafton and is the mother of 5, grandmother of 7, and great grandmother of 2.  


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