Light is Right Joe Campbell

Light is Right Joe Campbell

My vision began changing in 2009. Not my mental vision. I can still see what’s wrong with the world. My physical vision. I can no longer see what’s wrong with my wardrobe. Which is a bit of a blessing. What’s not a blessing is that, thanks to macular degeneration, my central vision deteriorated rather abruptly.

Despite treatment, including injections of unpronounceable drugs into unappreciative eyes, my ability to see continued to decline in the years that followed. My vision in 2019 is markedly worse than my 2009 vision.

Next year, however, I expect a major change for the better. Believe me, I’m eagerly looking forward to my 2020 vision.

My hearing began changing in…. I’m not sure when it began, as it happened so gradually. I think I know what caused it, though. I believe it was a penetratingly loud music soundtrack that accompanied a sleight-of-hand wizard at our summer fair.

Sleight-of-hand tricks fascinate me, even when I know how they’re done. I virtually swoon when talented sleight-of-hand artists go through their routines, on stage or off. So when I learned that one was to perform at the fair, I simply had to go and I took my wife with me.

The music and the magic started together, the one prompting us to flee, the other enticing us to stay. When, in quick succession, the performer pulled a cascade of playing cards out of thin air, I couldn’t resist voicing my approval. Hear! Hear! I shouted repeatedly. But it was to no avail. He didn’t acknowledge my strident approval, no doubt because his ear-splitting soundtrack had long since deafened him.

When I realized this, I hoped fervently that he couldn’t lip read. To congratulate the deaf with Hear! Hear! is unforgivingly insensitive, like telling the blind to look. Bravo, it seems, is a safer alternative to praise a virtual lion of his profession. Unless, that is, the Italian bravo has the same root as the English brave, and the magician is a cowardly lion.

Anyhow, early in the performance, the music won, and my wife and I fled with ringing ears and raging disappointment. Later, I don’t know how much later, we both began losing our hearing.

That’s two senses declining out of five, or is it six. Whatever the number, I’m happy to report that my taste buds seem to be working as well as ever, and I still smell. As for my sense of touch, the longer I live, the better it responds. In joints and other body parts that I used to be barely conscious of, I can feel pain more acutely than ever.

So much for the physical. As for the mental, common sense and nonsense, I pray that I continue to be blessed with both. Common sense is about being in touch with reality and judging accordingly. Although not as common as it used to be, it thrives where humility flourishes and withers where pride prevails.

Nonsense is not a mere lack of sense but a surprising omission. As a result, it produces an unexpected incongruity that induces amusement. What I like most about nonsense is that it can’t exist without sense. If it did, it would be like starlight existing without stars.

As to whether we have a sixth sense, intuition, I’m not qualified to say. No sooner did I look into it, than I discovered that authorities on such matters propose up to 33, ranging from acceleration to vibration. That’s all very well, but reflecting on their inevitable decline provokes a 34th, a sense of foreboding. Little wonder the authorities overlooked a sense of humour.