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.


Aimee said...

I just spent a fair amount of time
Writing a response to this beautiful post which got deleted when I hit the wrong button. Suffice it to say, this entry made me think of Henri Matisse and Claude Monet, both of whom lost their visual acuity in later years and both of whom responded by inventing new styles of
Painting that were to change the course of art history. Also, that I too have terrible vision partly genetic and partly because of stupidity in seventh grade science class involving hydrochloride acid. I had no depth perception at all until I was fifteen, which made me very clumsy. But I remember lying face up under the Christmas tree, looking up through all the branches and lights, and feeling blessed by the beauty. Thanks for your post. It was wonderful.

Greenpa said...

:-) Thanks, Aimee.

knutty knitter said...

I have that too but it is sunsets that I like to see - even the most drab become whirlpools of colour without my specs. (And they wonder why I use large blocks of colour that vibrate against each other in my art!)


Anonymous said...

A beautiful thought, to appreciate the softer edges.

Unknown said...

Wow. I know painting tought me to see detail lost to others. Your writing tells me I can get lost in the detail and lose the beauty. Maybe spending too much time on the internet does the same thing. I seem to be hounded by, stories of a flat earth, conspiracies, and warning that hell will break out when they try and take my guns. I think I'll spent some time laying under my pine trees watching the clouds going by.