On Monday, I wrote about a man who talked to someone only he could see.
Last night, as I sat at the dinner table, I saw something that only I could see.
A curved, squiggled line in my vision. At first it looked the remnants of too-bright of light that hit my eye. You know the kind that leaves an impression of glow in your eyes for a few minutes. That’s how it started. And I thought nothing of it. That is, until the squiggle flashed like a neon sign. Red. Yellow. Green. Blue. The squiggle widened. The flashing included geometric shapes within.
I looked at my daughter’s face, only seeing half of it.
My peripheral vision ceased to work.
What was to follow would be nothing less than a skull crushing migraine. It didn’t hurt yet. But I knew that the pain was coming.
I took migraine pills (really, just glorified ibuprofen with caffeine in it) and ate some semi-sweet chocolate chips (serves to curb the blind spot). Then, off to bed I went.
Within moments, I could see again. Just in time for the pain. Just in time for the me to will myself to sleep through the worst of it.
The strange thing, though, is how absolutely beautiful it all begins with the flashing lights. My daughter asked if it was like fireworks in my head. A little. Just a little. When these flashing blind spots come, they are usually like the fuzz of an out of service television channel. But every once in awhile, they come as a beautiful, growing and glowing shape. Full of color and movement. Almost entertaining.
A few weeks ago I watched a TED Talk by a neurologist who discussed the hallucinations that come with different forms of blindness. Last year, I read a book by the lovely Patti Hill (called “Seeing Things”. BUY it HERE ) about a woman who hallucinates due to macular degeneration. Both the neurologist and Patti’s character describe the hallucinations as intriguing. Perhaps even enjoyable.
I can understand how that can be.
At least until the hallucinations became terrifying. But, I suspect, that’s a different thing altogether.
I really have no deep philosophical platform here. I don’t even have anything intelligent to say. I’m afraid that I’ve struggled to even write this much (my head still hurts badly).
I guess just this; sometimes beauty and pain and loss join together. Sometimes they come in one bundled package. We just need to learn how to see them.