Monday, April 2, 2012

Eight Letters

 In my part of the world, it was 67° today, and oh, so sunny! Cool-ish. Just the way I like it. The weather can make or break my mood. Today, it was all good! Warning: Sometimes I get a little giddy on days like this.

I had an appointment this afternoon with my Ophthalmologist. While I waited in an inner room for him to come in and examine my eyes, twiddling my thumbs (there’s nothing I hate more than waiting), I surveyed the room as I have at regular intervals for about fifteen years. There are cabinets to the right, a small sink, bottles, tissues, and literature. On my left stands a strange looking machine and above it – a poster on the wall explaining the evils of age-related macular degeneration. But my eyes finally focused on an object I’ve looked at dozens of times over the years—the eye chart!

I could have 20/20 vision if I memorize the chart (giggle), I thought. It shouldn’t be too difficult. Let’s see... the line underlined in red must be 20/20. Okay... D E F P O T E C – yeah, I can memorize that! I’ll bet a lot of people do. But then, I looked at the line above it – the one I usually read...

F E L O P Z D – and my eyes wandered on up the chart. It struck me that there aren’t very many different letters on this chart that I should know like the back of my hand. Eight to be exact! Why have I never noticed that before?

It’s odd the things we take for granted. Some things are just there, day in and day out. We never question them or take them apart and analyze them—we just accept them.

When the doctor came in and said, “How’re you today?” I said, “Just fine physically, but I’m worried about my intellect.” Looking at me strangely, he said, “Why’s that?” I explained that in all these years, I’d just discovered that there are only eight different letters on his eye chart. He said, “Don’t let that bother you. I doubt if many people take the time to count them.” I wondered if he was just humoring me until his young assistant raised her eyebrows and said, “Eight?” To which the doctor replied, “See. She didn’t even know and she’s here every day!”

I felt better.

In case you’re wondering, I couldn’t bring myself to cheat. When he handed me the plastic thing-a-ma-jig and said, cover your left eye and read as far down as you can on the chart, I read F E L O P Z D – the line I always read.

I guess 20/25 is not so bad. At least I learned something today.

I wonder how many things we look at all of our lives without really seeing them.

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.

                                       ~ Michelangelo Buonarroti


Jim said...

You are so right. We just go along not really looking at things don't we?? I didn't know there were only 8 different letters either. thanx peg. Jim

Anonymous said...

Interesting post peggy.

sam said...

never thought about it but your right.we don't really pay attention to things do we? sam

Susan said...

what a great post peg. you make us think of things we never would have until you remind us. Eight letter on the eye chart. I'll never foget it now. thanks. Susan