Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Glasses Off

Hi, Folks.  It's not that I have nothing new to say about mass shootings.  It's that I've already said 90% of it; here, and here; and what little new I might say is not going to change anything,  I may say it, eventually, but if you're like me, the pain and embarrassment of belonging to our species is just a bit much to handle at the moment.

So - here is an Autumn thing I'd been getting ready to write about for several days now.  I was reminded of this odd little quirk when I was inside sitting down and acquiring a bit more caffeine in the middle of the day; and I took my glasses off.  This is what I saw out my window:

Actually took quite a bit of work with the camera to get it blurred approximately right.  Last time I asked the optometrist what my uncorrected vision was nowadays, the answer was "Oh, around 20/230 at this point. "  That's beyond legally blind. I've had glasses since the 3rd grade; so, used to it.

In general when people see an image like this, the first impulse is to "fix it" - and put it back in focus.  But the world looks like this to me any time my glasses are off; so - I still look.  Is there something to see?  The impressionist blurred fall leaves out my window looked quite lovely to me.  A little more than the camera can capture, because there was always a little movement from light wind.  Very nice.

So of course I put my glasses back on, to see what it really looked like - and it looked like nothing at all; the gorgeous display vanished into some sharp separate bits that just did not have any impact.  At all.

Yeah, there's probably a metaphor floating around here somewhere...

I took the glasses back off, and just settled back and enjoyed the Monet/Van Gogh Autumn.  That view is lovely - highly evocative of the season, for me, and "enough", all by itself.  Coffee and - perspective; this is reality too.  Comfy.  Move around a little for a different view and - the whole woods is a landscape out of a museum.

This made me recall that I have long felt sorry for people with normal vision- because they can't take their glasses off, and see this way.  That first struck me when I was quite young, probably in the first year I had glasses.  We were putting up the Christmas tree; and I was given the job of crawling under it to adjust the stand a bit- and a wayward branch took my glasses off.

Looking up through the tree, the world opened up, and the magic expanded manyfold.  The tree lights changed into fantasy stars, with scintillating points; the ornaments now reflected the lights with about 50 times the shimmer.  I stayed under the tree; on my back, glasses off - until the family started to wonder if I was ok.  Then I did have the fun of telling my sister, also a glasses wearer, about the phenomenon.  She crawled under, after a lot of convincing; and had the same epiphany.  "Ohmylord.  It's so much more beautiful!"  My brothers - don't wear glasses, and could not understand.

I've climbed under every Christmas tree, every year, and repeated and recaptured.  It's a very durable joy.  Normally sighted people can kind of replicate it by squinting so that the eyelashes obscure most of the world - but the squinting part is an effort and intrusive.  Us legally blind folk are the lucky ones here.

Sometimes - the world looks better with your glasses off.  It's still the world, and reality - but maybe a little easier on us than all the hard edges.  I recommend it.

If you're in the mood for a little more escape- and a little more Autumn; these two posts have been popular for a good while -

The Turn Of The Year

Zen Firewood

The world still turns.