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Essay “The Sound of the Heart”

October , 2020

My eyesight is slowly declining, as is the norm these days.
It is natural for vision to decline in proportion to age.
But somehow, I find myself still resisting and agitating to this nature.

I used to be proud of my 20/10 vision before. I even wished I could see better.
In my school days, I was good at vision tests. Hmm? Good at it? A bit strange thing to say.
There was a skill to be good.  
Most of the time in class, all the students lined up to get the test done, and so I could watch and listen to 3 or possibly 4 of my classmates being tested before me. As I would still have both my eyes opened, I could see where the teacher was pointing at with the stick and find the part of the “missing circle”.
As the number of those circles were limited, I naturally memorized them all.
Once I ‘ve learnt them, I could guess what they were even with one of my eyes covered up with the spoon-like equipment.
I have been wondering lately how old I was when I marked 20/10 vision for the last time, but I know that I could see well with my naked eyes.

At some point of my life, my eyesight became dull.
It must be from about 10 years ago as my mother was still alive and kicking.
I needed to wear glasses when I played chamber music as we don’t memorize the score but have them with us on stage. I felt uncomfortable wearing glasses on stage. Some of my colleagues wore contact lenses but I had never in my life, put “something alien” into my eyes. Without any choice, I went on stage with my glasses on, and when I complained about it later, my mother told me off and said “Don’t act cool, put on your glasses properly and look at the score seriously, Mari-chan!”

I always recall those words of my mother.
It wasn’t just about acting cool, I argued.
I am not used to wearing glasses, so it bothers me.
When I play on stage with the glasses, they slip down and bothers me again.
The frames of the glasses make my vision narrower and bothers me.
When I play music, I sway my body to it and therefore the glasses also move and I cannot focus.
But I couldn’t keep on saying that. I have recently become more and more unable to resist my age.
The other day, I had my medical check up and had my eyesight tested.
Perfect measures were taken to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus and I didn’t have to wait in line and was called into the test room. What I found there was not a paper on the wall, but most updated devices! There were no doctors who pointed out to the little circles on the poster-like papers.
I just had to put my chin on the hollow in front of the screen and gaze.
No situations for cheating.
However, I was still able to make good guesses!
“I’ m not so sure but could it be right side?” I muttered half smiling, and the doctor also said “Oh! Yes, that’s correct, you’ve got it right.” Ahm… I am not sure if this is the right way to do it.
The vision test was over with some sense of doubt and guilt.
I got 20/20 vision for both eyes.
That wasn’t bad.

In reality, I cannot see things in small prints. It is worse in the evenings and when I am tired.
So, I did get some new glasses made.
In addition to the ones I made, I found some pretty ones in a Hundred Yen Store! These being so reasonable, I bought some and placed them everywhere around me. I can easily buy them again when they get lost.
What a relief!