For my “light” (haha) summer reading, I’m reading Dante’s Inferno for the first time, fabulously translated by Robert Pinsky. Pinsky’s translation illustrates Dante’s reactions to some of the people he encounters along his journey through the circles of the underworld. The traveler recognizes people he knew from above, and knowing their sins, he feels their judgment and resulting punishment is just. Yet, at the same time, seeing their eternal torments, he feels compassion on them for the torturous pain they must endure.
This morning, my older daughter left for camp. She’d worked all weekend getting her clothes and other things together, and come 5:00 this morning when her Daddy was ready to roll out to take her to church, she got into the car, raring to go. Then from my warm, snugly bed, I heard the front door open and close again. Then suddenly, lights. Bathroom light turning on. My daughter’s lamp turning on. The lit screen of hubby’s cell phone sweeping around the room. What in the world??? My daughter. Had lost. Her glasses. It would be deucedly hard for her to hit that coveted archery target if she can’t see it.
Finally, it was time for them to leave – the absolute latest moment they could still make it to church, so she had to go without her glasses. At around 5:05 (yes, in the morning), she’d asked me where her old pair of glasses were. I had no idea. We promised we’d overnight them to her if we found them (STILL no luck in that department).
My daughter’s sweet, myopic self was off to camp, sans glasses. Because of their delay in leaving, they couldn’t stop at Walmart to get her a disposable waterproof camera as she’d hoped. Being sight-limited is going to make camp less fun than she’d hoped, less fun that she’d anticipated.
She’s reaping the consequences of choosing not to be responsible for keeping up with her glasses, just like the “shades” in Dante’s Divine Comedy are reaping the consequences of their choices in life. Like Dante, I feel compassion for my daughter, sad that she’s having to go through this ordeal. Unlike the “shades,” though, she has the opportunity to learn from this experience and make better choices when she comes home. It’s hard watching this, but we’ll both be OK – and maybe the glasses will turn up tomorrow. We can hope.