Seeing The World — and Socks — with Fresh Eyes

EyeglassesI am at my keyboard but something is missing. My eyeglasses. I’ve worn them ever since my Grade 3 teacher noticed me squinting and my mom took me to get my eyes tested.

All through the years — at least 50 of them — I’ve continued to wear glasses. Vanity rarely kept them from my face (except at my wedding and a pounding headache for most of the evening was the miserable result.) They have been my pal, helping me see the world. They have been my barrier. Made me a bit different in grade school. My glasses have been my crutch–a mask, if you will. A barrier that kept some part of my face hidden. Safe.

Cataract surgery has changed all that. And how. It all started with socks. One black sock ‘matched’ to one blue sock. It took sunlight and that oh-so-familiar Grade 3 squint for me to notice my colour errors. My vision was deteriorating, and not just getting fuzzy. Cloudy, too.

Over the years, my natural lenses aged. Not only did they become cloudy, they also cast a yellow hue over the world. With crystal clear lenses, I haveCrazy socks rediscovered colour. Never mind that I can watch television (imagine!) without glasses, I can see that red is not red-orange-ish. It is, indeed, red. Crimson. Ruby. Scarlet. Oh my. And I can see that blue socks are not black socks. And that fresh white snow is, really it is, white. Not a hint of yellow. Except where the dog has been.

I confess that the vision is not yet perfect. I’ll need glasses for reading. But my old glasses? I have another confession. Sometimes I put them back on because, well, it just feels odd not to wear them. The world is fuzzy now with my old friend perched on my nose, so I take them off. Yet I still reach up to adjust them when they aren’t there.

It’s a bit like smoking. I gave all that up in 1983, but every so often, I think maybe just if I held one in two fingers…just for a moment…raised the filtered end to my lips and…

Yup. Some habits, even when we give them up, remain part of us. So please say nothing if you see me reaching up to my face and then, blushing a bit, pretending I was just whisking an errant hair from my eyes. I am sure it has nothing to do with what used to be there.