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…by Keith, Oct the 14 ’16
We’ve written a bit about the events that brought us here to an unplanned, extended stay in Hampton, VA. Of course, life is often composed of the unplanned, and indeed many of our most significant experiences are a result of going off-script, whether intentionally or forced by circumstances. And so it is with us.
The short update is that my brush with blindness in my right eye has – like our encounter with Hurricane Matthew – been only a brush. The emergency surgury to re-attach a detached retina was successful, I have full light sensitivity again, and we wait now for the after-effects of the procedure to dissipate and restore normal function to the eye.
We wait, impatiently. Going into the operating room was all a rush and blur, with little enough time to calm frayed nerves, much less ask all the questions and digest all the answers. So it’s understandable that we’d miss the part about ultimate recovery time following the operation. Turns out that a return to a functional level of vision is expected to take about 6 weeks, and totally “normal” vision may take as long as a year…
Or not. I have a long history of healing faster than expected, often confounding the expectations of the few doctors I’ve worked with, so I remain optimistic that we can continue our travels sooner, rather than later. But in the mean time I’m beginning to feel – and probably act – like a caged lion.
The biggest factor in my impatience is not – as you might expect – my eagerness to continue our cruising. That’s a little of it, but only a little.
No, the real issue for me is lack.
Lack of silence. Lack of darkness. Lack of wildlife. Lack of motion.
You see, we’re in a marina that’s located just downstream of a highway bridge that’s 24 feet above the water, so there’s almost no boat traffic and no wave action. We may as well be living in an apartment in town for all the “boat motion” our floating home exhibits.
By the same token, we’re parked in downtown Hampton, VA. Street lights, traffic sounds, car horns, and the conversations of passing pedestrians are all a constant presence, always in the background, sometimes in the foreground. Rarely we hear a single call of a gull or a heron, but frequently we hear the trucks going through all 13 gears as they climb the grade to the bridge.
And light? True darkness is a memory. If you wake in the night, you have no idea – from the light level – whether dawn is breaking or still hours away, and there will be no sound of morning birds to help you decide.
I’m most appreciative of the place to be while we work out my vision issues, but I’ve realized that I’m not sleeping well, not resting, not comfortable in this very urban environment. It provides shelter, but no solace. A place to be, but not to live.
A cage, but not a home.