I Can See Clearly

I Can See

The Maxwell School was only a couple of blocks away from our house on the same street. Three things I remember about my school days in Spokane.


My teacher sent home a note to my folks to say that I was having problems keeping up in class. In her observations, she suspected that I was not able to read what she wrote on the blackboard, and advised taking me to an eye doctor.


This my mom dutifully did. And I hated every minute of it. More so when the finding came back that I was near-sighted and needed glasses.


The battle royale ensued when I returned for a fitting. I would not allow the doctor to place those things on my head for the necessary adjustments. The doc stood nervously by while my mom pleaded with me to cooperate. I stubbornly refused. Out of frustration she offered up the ultimate capitulation. If I would just allow him this once, I would never again have to put them on if I didn’t want to.


I acquiesced and when departing I triumphantly jammed the devices into my pants pocket.


We had taken a bus to the doctor’s office and had to wait at the bus-stop for our return. I don’t know what prompted me. Perhaps I was just looking across the street. I took out the glasses and put them on.


“Momma, I can see the Payless sign!” And I could actually read the words up on the street signs. Even the colors of everything seemed¬†brighter, more vibrant. And my mother was happier too.


Another note came home. This time with the announcement of a time release program from classes once a week to attend a Bible class. I assume other faiths were included and with their own venue. I only know that I went to the Protestant one.


The class was held in an old downtown building, probably in something akin to a Masonic hall is my guess. (The Masonic meeting scene from Peggy Sue Got Married resonates at this point).


The vestibule was high-ceilinged and paneled in dark wood and wainscoting. A heaviness and dullness permeated everything. We were assembled in an auditorium and there received our instruction. And we each received little pamphlet size books of the Gospel of Luke. I don’t remember a single thing. The birds of the air were no doubt busy, for I am sure that seed was scattered, but for me it probably never hit the ground.


It would be years before I saw clearly.


In the words of the other song I was blind but now I see.


 Stay tuned for the third thing.