Attachment-1-7Cataract: 1. a large waterfall 2. a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision.

Had the ‘waterfall’ in my right eye removed on monday, 17 July with surgery done on West 23rd Street, 7th floor.

The white paper on which I’m writing today (two days after the operation) is whiter than anything I’ve become used to seeing. I return to my mother’s kitchen in my childhood: there were comparable whites on the table, in the sink, on the shelves. And those whites of paper and porcelain and enamel contained a promise which this white paper today recalls.

Let’s be clear about the implication of what I’m saying. Clearly, during many decades after my childhood, I saw sheets of white paper as white as this one. But gradually the whiteness dimmed. And this afternoon what’s happened is not that I realize this with my intelligence, but that the whiteness of the paper rushes toward my eyes, and my eyes embrace the whiteness like a long lost friend.[From – ‘Cataract’ by John Berger with drawings by Selçuk*]

My sister led me out of the o.r. after the surgery, then into a taxi. There was a covering over my right eye. It was eerie to need to hang onto someone that much to get in and out of a taxi, up my elevator. I did not like it but my sister made it as painless as possible.

I needed two Advil’s in the night.

On 18 July, a tuesday, I began the aftercare:  Ciprofloxacin hydrochloride-solution/drops 0.3%. 3 times a day. Shake well. Prednisolone acetate ophthalmic suspension 1%. One drop in operated eye 4 times a day. Shake well.  Bromisite ophthalmic solution 0.075%. Use one drop in operated eye once a day. Shake well. ALL DROPS 5 MINUTES APART.

Not hard to keep them straight. But … forget to shake well.


Doctor, my eyes

Doctor, my eyes have seen the years
And the slow parade of fears without crying
Now I want to understand

I have done all that I could
To see the evil and the good without hiding
You must help me if you can

Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what is wrong
Was I unwise to leave them open for so long

‘Cause I have wandered through this world
And as each moment has unfurled
I’ve been waiting to awaken from these dreams

People go just where they will
I never noticed them until I got this feeling
That it’s later than it seems

Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what you see
I hear their cries
Just say if it’s too late for me

Doctor, my eyes
Cannot see the sky
Is this the prize
For having learned how not to cry

[Written by Jackson Browne • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group]
On 19 July I bent down to retrieve my shoes. I’d forgotten that I’m not to bend. But I’ve remembered not to lift. Not to get water in my eyes. Not to have sexual activity. Not to drive. Have ignored information from friends and/or neighbors, especially urban legends. I am elated by the success of my right eye so far – the pure blue, the white-white – and shocked (when I shut my right eye and look at the world with only the left eye) by the sad layer of yellow shellack that has been covering the world.
The removal of the cataract is comparable with the removal of a particular form of forgetfulness. Your eyes begin to re=remember first times.And it is in this sense that what they experience after the intervention resembles a kind of visual renaissance. [also from John Berger’s ‘Cataract’ – Notting Hill Editions* UK]
All true for my right eye. On 8/8 the cataract in my left eye will be removed.
[*Notting Hill Editions will publish my new non-fiction in Autumn of 2017. Information pending. Keep at least one eye pealed for updates]