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Seeing Architecture with a Sharper Eye

The first thing I noticed as my vision began to return after cataract surgery two weeks ago was the sharp definition of building shapes. I wasn’t looking at great architecture – it was the ice cream shop.

As I delighted in mint chocolate fudge from my friend’s car, I realized that this modest rectangle with a gable roof was emerging into view. I saw the sharp outlines through the eye shield, and I was so excited. It was the sharpness that I had been missing for the past year or so; everything had become a little cloudy and dull.

The evolving cataract made writing a little difficult; reading required tilting my head in just the right way, but examining buildings was hard. Things were fuzzy; I had to get in the right light or add light to see details.

Intellectually, I understood that this would all be corrected, but emotionally, I missed really seeing the details of buildings at a distance or in dark spaces. I reflected on how I had taken good vision and the pleasure we are afforded daily in seeing the details of high-style architecture and utilitarian buildings for granted.

Each day, the sharpness gets a little better, and like greeting old friends after absences; familiarity of and enjoyment in the ordinary buildings and landscapes are returning.

I must avoid the dusty and dank interior spaces of some favorite haunts for a while longer, but I will get back to the barns, attics and basements soon.

Honesty compels me to add that I now see peeling paint better, too. There is always work to be done… In the meantime, I am grateful for the wonders of modern ophthalmology.

Here are three images that I am enjoying the most. 

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