"Do you know what I've just seen?" I excitedly gasped and gibbered, running up to a group of six complete strangers in the sculpture garden of Canberra's Australian National Gallery.
It was early one morning last October and I had just seen Jesus, Our Redeemer, striding confidently across the surface of the waters of nearby Lake Burley Griffin, just as in the Bible he walks on the waters of Galilee, amazing his disciples.
The strangers seemed inexplicably unmoved. Strangely still and slow-moving I took them to be a group of Tai-Chi practitioners unprepared to let anything interrupt their oriental ritual.
"What's WRONG with you people?" I raged at them.
"I bring you thrilling news about Jesus' second coming and you just stand there like crash test dummies!"
Exasperated I ran up to one of the strangers and shirtfronted him. The lapels of his shirt had a strangely metallic feel.
"Excuse me grandad," a sculpture garden security guard intervened, "please don't touch the sculptures."
And it emerged that the group of strangers were not Tai-Chi enthusiasts but Rodin's famous bronze Burghers of Calais. My imperfect eyes, awaiting the corrections of cataract surgery had played yet another trick on me.
Suspicious now about my earlier vision I went back to the lake shore to check on my Jesus. It turned out that he, far closer to me now and more easily discerned, was in fact just a bearded mortal man. He was not walking on water but only shuffling across the waters standing upright on a hired paddle board.
"I'm glad my cataract surgery is happening soon," I confided to an indistinct woman I was fairly sure was my wife after I arrived home from my morning's embarrassing adventures.
I've since had cataract surgery, splendidly restoring hawk-eyed accuracy to my vision. It is something to be grateful for and to rejoice over. And yet.
Between rejoicings I find myself half-missing some of the delusions, mirages and hallucinations that wonky vision gave me. I'm reminded of James Thurber's amusing memoir The Admiral on the Wheel in which Thurber (already with wonky vision) tells of adventures he suffered/enjoyed after breaking his glasses and having a long wait for new ones.
Waiting for his glasses he saw, or seemed to see, wondrous things.
"I saw the Cuban flag flying over a national bank, I saw a gay old lady with a grey parasol walk right through the side of a truck, I saw a cat roll across a street in a small striped barrel, I saw bridges rise lazily into the air, like balloons."
Thurber enjoyed seeing these sorts of things and came to realise: "With perfect vision, one is inextricably trapped in the workaday world, a prisoner of reality. For the hawk-eyed person life has none of those soft edges which for me blur into fantasy."
I strongly identify with Thurber in all this, although overall I am very glad to have had my eyesight corrected since poor eyesight did cause me some embarrassments.
There was the time when I put on the first undies I could find in the laundry basket, my wife's, and got very funny looks later that day in the men's locker room at my gym.
Then there was that time at my local shops when, not seeing the shopfronts clearly, I went into the bakery, mistaking it for the chemist's and handed the woman behind the counter my doctor's prescription for a well-known medication pertaining to my sexual health. Now I am too embarrassed to go there again; a shame, since its lamingtons are the best in Australia.
But so many of my visual mistakes, like dear Thurber's, had a magic about them that I miss now that surgery has put me back into prison with the hawk-eyed.
Between rejoicings [of successful cataract surgery] I find myself half-missing some of the delusions, mirages and hallucinations that wonky vision gave me.
I miss how at the Yarralumla off-leash dog park my dog always seemed to be playing not with mere dogs but with mythical creatures galore, including unicorns and hippogriffs. Once I threw a ball for a bunyip and it, now with a pixie riding on its back, brought it back to me.
I miss, now, the flying things (like albatrosses, pterodactyls and airborne superheroes, like Batman) that used to come down to and gather around my garden's birdbath.
An art buff, back in perfect eyesight's prison now I miss some of the things I seemed to see in the great paintings reproduced in my coffee-table books.
Where, now, is the mystery object (depending on the state of the light in my study either an iPad, a souvenir snowdome of St Basil's Cathedral or a miniature Schnauzer dog) that always seemed to be there in the lap of Whistler's Mother? Today, hawk-eyed now, all I can find in her lap are the frilly cuffs (reminiscent of the frills on the undergarment I once blush-makingly wore to my gym) of her long-sleeved garment where it meets her folded hands.
And, now that I see so pragmatically I can no longer find the lamingtons (perhaps bought from my shopping centre's noble bakery) that always seemed to be there on the table in Leonardo da Vinci's painting The Last Supper.
Nor, in the same masterpiece, is Judas any longer holding in his right hand what I always believed before my surgery was either a lamington or a mobile phone. Disappointingly hawk-eyed now, I can see it is, predictably, just a bag of coins.
Cataract surgery, so magical in every medical way, has taken everyday magic from my every day.