Today, I visited an eye clinic.
It all started with a routine appointment for new eyeglasses and ended up at the eye clinic.
There were eyes everywhere.
Plastic, dissected eyes were carefully laid out in a glass showcase as if they were highly-prized objects of great value in a museum.
There was a poster standing out in relief depicting and explaining the various parts of the eye in great detail. Too much knowledge can be disturbing if you ask me.
The most striking piece of wall decoration was perhaps an extreme close-up image of an eye. It wasn’t a photograph but a stylized version thereof.
The image looked like a big, black, filled-in circle surrounded by slightly-separated (from it) wavy, yellow, equally spaced rays. It was like a sun with a black core. Odd, isn’t it, to think of our eyes as suns with black holes on the inside.
A big sign underneath the TV screen said:
PLEASE WEAR MASKS INSIDE THE CLINIC AT ALL TIMES. SIT 2 METERS APART. AVOID UNNECESSARY CONVERSATION IN THE WAITING AREA TO REDUCE THE SPREAD OF DROPLETS.
It would have been a sterile environment (other than the eyes everywhere) had the waiting room not depicted photographs of wild animals.
There was a hippo mother laying next to her hippo baby. They were basking in the sun.
Another shot depicted a seated male lion with front arms extended downwards, staring down fixedly at a cowering female that bared her teeth and lifted her right paw. If the image could speak, she might be saying, ‘Give me a break, will ya?’
Three cheetahs stood side by side, caught as they advanced toward the camera.
I sat quietly as I waited my turn.
A beautiful nature video played on a screen opposite from where I sat.
I became engrossed in the video as masked staff silently glided by ushering new patients to their appointed destinations. Was it the peripheral vision check? Or was it the pressure check?
I was enthralled in watching the video as I tried to determine what country was its subject. I thought it might be Canada, Finland, another Nordic country, Antarctica, or a combination thereof.
There were images of snow-capped mountains, pristine pine forests, shimmering blue lakes, bucolic waterfalls, and colorful penguins.
Watching the video helped me relax and forget the eyes.
I nevertheless thought that there was something incongruent about the images of wild animals in an eye clinic.
Wild animals didn’t belong in an eye clinic. Nature photos would have been so much more appropriate.
My eye caught someone wearing dark blue medical scrubs being guided from room to room. The person thanked whoever was showing them where to go and even apologized once for entering the wrong room.
I thought it was an intern, but it turned out to be the leading eye specialist who would examine me.
How easy it is to misjudge someone.
My turn finally came.
‘Your tests are normal and the pressure in your eyes is within normal parameters. You don’t have glaucoma.’
I breathed a sigh of relief.
The exam reminded me of the pandemic and how things can change in an instant.
I remembered that fateful day in March when it had all started. I remember blogging about it here.
Memories were flooding back about walking in nature and taking in gulps of fresh air.
There was a standing person in the nature video with arms outstretched. She wasn’t wearing a mask.
It is ironic that I was able to vicariously experience nature at the eye clinic.
Long live eye clinics and doctors who value both nature and eyes!
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Photo by v2osk on Unsplash