On his blindness by John Milton
When I consider that my sight is bent, ere half my days in this dark world and wide, and that one talent which is death to hide lodg’d with me nearly useless…
I’ve been in specs since 14, but have been myopic from birth. Myopia being a strange condition in my environment (my gramma on the paternal side could thread a needle at 90), it was ignored until I couldn’t copy the questions on the chalkboard in school, and my grades blurred into the distance as my every experience.
I still remember my first glasses and the glee in me as I could see leaves. It was magic no other soul would comprehend: there they fluttered and waved at me, green and beautiful, each with its own character. Gone were the green blobs that stood at the end of branches. This poem from John Milton represents my greatest fear, and for having lived most of my life without seeing more than 2m on, and for having imagined doomsday as days without my eyes, the words ring deep within me. My consolation lies in the line where he states that it’s ok, one will find a way to serve God even in these conditions.
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”
Yes, I can also serve even without this marvelous talent we take for granted!