Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Another Portal

I have joined the dinosaurs. Today, without coersion or prompting by my wife, I used reading glasses to peruse the Wall Street Journal. I felt, well, old. My wife suggested the better word is "mature." But I felt old.

In my younger years, my 20/10 vision was a source of pride in the military. I would revel at the fact that I could always ready the line below what was required to have 20/20 vision on the eye charts. I was invincible. I was super-human because I oould "boldly read where no man has read before." Now, I'm old and need reading glasses. Sheesh.

But in another way, maybe this is a rite of passage, a great portal to the human condition. Like the birth of a child or the death of a parent, it is a universal inevitability that comes with the passing years and of growing intellectually. It is an experience like this that gives a brief glimpse into what it means to be fallible, finite, and vulnerable. It is a portal to more than just knowledge, it is a portal of empathy, a portal to an ever-so-brief encounter with wisdom.

Perhaps this is precisely why it is so scary.

-Wes

4 comments:

TBTAM said...

It happened to me the year I turned 40, but thankfully stabilized. I was in total denial for years about it.

What has been REALLY hard for me is that I don't feel comfortable driving at night off well lit city streets (It started happening after my lasik surgery...) ) Now THAT makes me feel really old, and is one good reason to live in NYC for the rest of my years....

DrWes said...

I'm feeling better, TBTAM, thanks. Hey, maybe if things get bad, we could become radiologists and sport a pair of these.

Dreaming again said...

Just isn't fair is it? It happens to others ... but not to *me*!

(I also always had the 20/10 vision) sigh

The farther away I get from that 4 ..0 ... the more I need those reading glasses.

Eric, AKA The Pragmatic Caregiver said...

I found myself in the same resort this weekend as a gathering of anesthesiologists . . . several of them were at an adjacent table, ordering beer.

The resort has an extensive beer list. One of the docs attempted to peruse the list, with obvious difficulty. His buddy suggested he put on his glasses...and the thirsty anesthesiologist did...

And I realized....

You're really old when your beer goggles are, in fact, bifocals.