It was my first night outside my house in one year and eight months due to the pandemic. We had some work outside the city and decided to make a holiday of it, staying in a fancy hotel for a night. Our room was on a high floor, and the floor-to-ceiling windows gave us a bird’s eye view of the suburban landscape, with the national highway going past.
It was raining. I awoke for some reason around midnight, and went to the window. Cars sped by on the highway and lights twinkled. But I could not see the view to my heart’s content. Due to a retina problem in one eye, there are blind spots.
After standing for a few minutes, staring through the wet window pane, I began to cry. A sense of deep sadness welled up in me, and the fear of losing my vision burst forth, a fear that I had suppressed within me for the past eight months.
I sat down to chant and to have a heart-to-heart with God.
During the second wave, it was mom I was afraid of losing. Now she is okay, but I am afraid of losing my vision. I feel like I am going through a continuous fear of loss. Why is this happening? I asked.
Everyone goes through loss, so will you, came the answer. And there are worse losses.
What if I lose more of my vision?
You are guaranteed to lose ALL of your vision one day, along with ALL your sense organs, and your entire body in fact. You are guaranteed to lose ALL your relationships, your loved ones. Each person in your life will be lost to you after a point. You will lose yourself too: you will die and this identity too will be lost.
You aren’t making me feel any better.
That’s not my job.
My entire life depends on my ability to see. My reading, my writing, my books, my magazine… Why did you choose to take this of all things?
You wouldn’t be here talking to me if you’d lost a toenail or a hair strand.
You’re an attention-seeker, aren’t you?
But you don’t need to do this to get my attention. I am so grateful for my blessings. I do your work for me. I pray and love you. Why, then?
So that you are more grateful for your blessings, So that you do more of my work. So that you pray more and love me more.
But you’re taking away my sight — the thing most precious to me. I thought you loved me.
Is this your love?
Close your body’s eyes and activate your mind’s eye. Then you will know my love.
Yes, you have ensured that things are clearer with my eyes closed.
Stop moping. Start celebrating.
Celebrating what? 30% vision loss?
I don’t feel like travelling anymore if I can’t enjoy the sights.
You have a husband who can, children who can, parents who can. Be there for them.
So what do you want me to do now?
Simple. I want you to learn to see.
I went back to bed after a long while that night. A week later, the internal dialogue continues.