Dr. Simon Warner, Graham Walker & Lauren's Winking EyesThursday, October 05, 2006
Dr. David Warner was our family ophthalmologist for 15 years. When he retired in 1994 his son Simon took up his father's practice. We have been getting our eyes checked by Dr. Simon (as we call him) since. I first met Dr. Simon Warner in 1993 at the VGH Eye Centre when I was taking pictures for a CNIB (Canadian National Institute of the Blind) fund raising brochure that was designed by my soon-to-be-friend Graham Walker (far right) at KARO Design. In the course of the shooting I met Dr. Simon and that's when I found out that his father was our doctor.
The brochure that Graham Walker designed was beautiful and the best part of it was that he asked me, "What do you think would make a good cover image?" I answered that since most people identified older people with being blind, it would be interesting to feature a young girl or boy. "And," I added, "the little girl or boy should be playing with old-fashioned wooden blocks." I was thrilled to see my idea as reality, a couple of weeks later.
As a photographer I consider my eyes to be extremely valuable. I would never think of seeing anybody but a doctor to check them out and prescribe glasses. While many Canadians do not know the difference between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist I certainly do. The former is a medical doctor. Ophthalmologists are also surgeons. If someone is going to put something into my eyes (be it sharp or blunt) I want to make sure they know what they are doing.
It was thrilling (we photographers are thrilled easily!) to take Lauren Elizabeth Stewart (my 4-year-old granddaughter) for her first eye checkup. She had been blinking her eyes for a while and we were worried about her. By the time Dr. Simon checked her out the blinking had mysteriously gone and Dr. Simon told me that Lauren's were perfectly normal. Maybe not.
When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
And darkly bright are bright in dark directed.
Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
How would thy shadow's form form happy show
To the clear day with thy much clearer light,
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so!
How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made
By looking on thee in the living day,
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay!
All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.