Monday, June 26, 2017

The Limited Vision of a Typical American

Yesterday in this space I wrote about the loss of my favorite pair of eyeglasses, a situation causing me great bereavement. In fact, by last night I was reduced to a sobbing wretch, and not only because I couldn't see very well all weekend but because the carelessness involved in losing my glasses might very well be an indication of a far greater loss, that of brain function: Could this be an early sign of Alzheimer's after all? ("Oh, woe is me, woe is me," she cries out, collapsing on bed and burying head in hands.)

Then this morning, over coffee and oatmeal and some delightful strawberries from the Sunday morning farmer's market, while sitting in my lovely house on our two acres of Maine woods, I read about a landslide in China that swept through a remote mountain village and completely buried 62 homes. So far, rescuers have confirmed that 10 people are dead and 93 are missing. Despite the fact that authorities said "there was little chance of finding any survivors, citing the depth of the layer of fallen rock," an additional 15 people have been found alive.

Now, consider for a moment the plight of those 15 people: They have lost their homes and everything in them. Everything they ever owned or cared about is gone. Their friends and neighbors, and very likely some family members, are all dead. Their entire village, obliterated. Now that's what I call loss.

As for my glasses? What a fool I must be to care for even one second about something so piddling, superficial, and most of all, replaceable. How did I get to be this way? And how can I stop being this way? I must start immediately, lest I die while in this profoundly selfish state and go straight to Hell for Eternity, if there are such things.

Oh, and BTW -- I found my glasses.

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