In A Mirror, Darkly

In 1 Corinthians 13:12, when Paul tries to express the imperfection of mortal understanding, he compares our earthly vision to the dim and wavery view reflected by a typical Roman-era polished bronze mirror.

When people ask me how much vision I’ve lost, I find it’s easier to explain what I can see rather than what I can’t.

A person with normal healthy vision sees a wide vista, a field wider than it is tall. (Go ahead, test it out. Stare forward and try to find the four edges of your vision with your hands.)

You see a wide rectangle, I see a circle in a square.


Glaucoma has taken all of my left peripheral vision and most of my right; cataracts are blocking my view of the ground in front of me and the sky above. The edges of the remaining square are blurred, half obscured by cataracts or their shadows – leaving me a tiny circle of (contact-lens-corrected) 20/20 vision.

If I am looking right at you, I can probably see you better than you see me. Take one step to the right or left, and you disappear!

Staring through this hole has allowed me the pretend I was “normal” and ignore the facts that glaucoma has no cure and I ran out of medications that work to maintain it long ago.

I can procrastinate no more. I have to start learning how to get along without my vision while I still have the ability to peek.


One response to this post.

  1. […] I’ve been looking through a circle in a square so long, the increase in left/right vision feels like I traded my old beat-up peepers in for some snazzy Widescreen Eyeballs. […]


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