My Own Impending Double Cataract Surgery

is small potatoes compared to what people of olde had to go through, so many artists (Milton, Monet) going blind. Additionally, macular hole surgery (which I had earlier this year) was not possible before the 1990s with the result that millions went blind.

Yesterday I was reading about the last part of Monet’s life and how much he suffered to try and retain his sight through the “Water Lillies” years. He endured several operations (cataract surgery was in its infancy in the first part of the 20th century) which were only slightly successful at best. He still had to wear glasses with a thick lens and lost the sight of two or more primary colors, which needless to say affected his art at the end of his life.

Fortunately, most of his great art had already been accomplished and was widely known. He had the reputation of the most popular and top Impressionist by this point. But still, for him, sight was life and beauty and he was operating at a significantly diminished capacity. Like Beethoven who was clinically deaf at the end of his career, he soldiered on and returned to his studio to continue working despite his incredibly limited circumstances.

Today, health and medical technology continue to be the best of available technology, performing daily miracles for ordinary folk. I am looking forward to increased/regained vision (and maybe no glasses since age 12) which will, doubtlessly, inspire more poetry given how much vision means, likewise, to me.

But just think of what Monet might have done, still otherwise healthy in his ’80s beyond “Water Lillies”, how far he might have carried his large splendid Turnerian experiments transcending the concrete and specific for further abstract glories to the maximum of Impressionism.

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