Glasses
Michael Ellis

There are certain events that crystallized in ones life. One of mine occurred about 3 years ago as I was driving over the Sierras. I was having trouble reading the map when I realized that I “gasp” needed reading glasses. I had known that this day was coming, I had been warned by numerous friends that my arms would be growing shorter, that it was only a matter of time. But I thought perhaps this part of the aging process would bypass me. I have always had excellent vision, at one time they were 20 x 15 in both eyes. I can see still in my minds eye every detail of Longs Drugs in Auburn, CA as I walked into the store. There is the eyeglass counter, a department I had never until that moment ventured to. I tried various strengths and styles until I made my decision, alone with no consultation. Back to the car and lo and behold a miracle!! I could now easily read the map. Roads that lead nowhere suddenly had definition, lakes appeared, interstates became separable from dirt roads. I kept taking the glasses on and off, on and off, marveling at the difference. The pleasure of clarity far outweighed the awareness of ageing. But at least I only needed them occasionally for reading under poor conditions. That is until recently. I soon became aware that I could not tell the difference between a Turkey Vulture and a Golden Eagle. The signs along the freeways were blurry until I was nearly upon them. Dang, the long distance vision was failing. This time I made an appointment with the optometrist. My eyes were going bad and now I wear glasses. They are around my neck all the time. I get content with the world being slightly fuzzy. I begin to think that that is way it is and then I put my glasses on. Suddenly everything comes into sharp focus. There are sharp edge where they were none, the trees become defined by leaves. But then I become weary of such a world so abrupt and I take the glasses off for hours at a time. Sometimes I leave home without them and I accept the world as fuzzy, unclear. I am still amazed when I put my glasses and everything is brought into sharpness. I don’t know that I always like it, sometimes it is good to have a little fuzziness in ones life.

This is Michael Ellis with a Perspective.

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December 1, 2010