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December 13th, 2011 | 4 Comments »

My routine every morning is pretty much the same; awaken to the sounds of my husband coming in the room and placing a steaming cup of coffee at my bedside, dropping a kiss to me, then putting up the shade before exiting. Sometimes a cat curls up next to me, paws kneading the quilt, purring hard and fast, and as my mind becomes clearer and I sip at my cup, I reach for my glasses and suddenly the world springs to life.

Since I was six, my day can’t start without placing glasses on my face. The wedge dug deep into bone on the bridge of my nose attests to a lifetime of pressure, as the prescription gets worse and the glasses become thicker. I can’t see more than half a foot in front of me without them, but without clear sight, I’ve gained other senses in compensation. Like the ability to smell far too many things that others can’t detect, or such delicate hearing that any noise in the night, even a cat sighing in contentment at my feet can waken me. Taste is sharper, touch is sensitive but knock off my glasses and I’m helpless.

Most of the time, I never think about it. Glasses are all right, even chic and fashionable. The lenses are designed to be less thick, more invisible and the styles are beautiful. And when I remove them, and gaze around me, a world opens up that only the sightless can know; shapes are undefined, colors bleed in to one another and the world hovers, dream-like and ethereal.Those with perfect vision can’t know the beauty that bursts forth in my mind when I take off my glasses.

I’ve tried though; tried to describe to someone what I see when I don’t see. But I get a puzzled look, and a smile that says they can’t possibly know. But I want them to know, that even half blind I might see better than those with 20/20. If your eyes were closed and I dropped a handful of cotton balls to your palm, would you ‘feel’ the color white?  If a searing hot pan touches your skin, do you think the color red? Do ice cubes make you understand what blue really is? This sight that’s blurred at the edges, hanging in suspension,  it’s like a secret only those of us with gouges on the bridge of our nose can understand.

The lights are my favorite thing, sans glasses. And when my face is bare, they become like colored fuzzy blobs floating around, with no anchor or connection. If I squint a bit, they dance and shimmy. Christmas lights are the best; an explosion of colors and magical shapes that evade even the wildest of descriptions. And I could never make sense of it to anyone.

But then I found this……



This….. it almost brings me to tears. Because for all these years, in trying to explain what I see, the magic in staring at tiny spectral lights that are blurred, unfocused and seemingly floating in thin air, this photo captures it all. Perfectly. I could spend hours gazing at blobby hazy lights and I never get tired of it. Like my teeth, or my ears or my hair, it’s part of who I am. This lack of good eyesight, the lifetime of fuzzy images…. it’s not a disability. Not to me. I can remove my glasses and the rest of the world slips away, and sometimes this is not a bad thing. This is my world, my life.

Because when the world is out of focus to some, it’s breathtaking in it’s clarity to someone else. I don’t need to see clearly what I know is really there; it’s perfect, just exactly as I see it. And this photo? This is enthralling, pure magic. Kind of like Christmas itself.

And now, thanks to Grace, from the website ‘Habit…. a collection of days‘, I can share this clarity with others.


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4 responses to “clarity”

  1. Charlotte says:

    I wish I could see that clearly. I could a few years ago, but now I only see clearly about an inch from my forehead. But just like you, my other senses have become sharper. My sense of hearing is uncanny and my sense of smell freaks my husband out. :oP

  2. Galit Breen says:

    Yes, I know this. The fuzzy,t he clarity, the wonder- you brought it all together here!

  3. Renee says:

    Great post. And always remember to donate old glasses to help the less fortunate be able to see.

  4. Christa says:

    Love this. I see this, too…

    Thank you.