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December 26, 2010

Clear True

"They discontinued that line of contacts" said the optometrist, "so we're going to have to find another brand that suits."

There's a lot more to contact lenses than magnification strength. Among other considerations, there's axis, diameter, and the fine balance between how much the "bottom" of the contact is weighted and how the lens floats on the cornea. It can be tricky, especially for an eye with astigmatism.

"Better here, or here? Okay there, or there? Now here, or here."

Doc alternately flips pairs of here's and there's until the two of us are sitting there silently waiting for an answer. He's not up for a debate and I'm just really not sure I see a difference.

"Can I see the last there's again?"

Sometimes the best you can do is arrive by questions and end with questions.

I've worn the new contacts for almost a month now. They're both better and worse than the contacts I've worn for the last ten or twenty years. My vision seems a little sharper than before, and it's like that most of the time. But if my eyes get a little dry, the balance of weight and glide is thrown off and things are hazy.

This transition of contacts has made me a little more in touch with reality. I notice previously unseen structural details. But more than that, I'm highly aware of eye hydration status. At times, the clarity of my vision is an objective barometer of my heart.

It happens during a point of clarity from a message or set of lyrics in church. Suddenly the lights come into sharp focus. The hallelujah chorus comes blaring from my old basement TV. It catches me for a few moments and the image appears high-def. I lay flat on the floor in the dark quiet, staring up into the center of our rag-tag, kid decorated Christmas tree. I see lights and individual pine needles deep in the center.

I notice these small changes now because the world hasn't always appeared that way to me.

It's not a full on cry fest, okay? Uh, not that there would be anything wrong with that. Just. Thinking. Nothing. Don't bother me right now. Why is even "good" emotion so painful for guys?

The new contacts have illustrated the fact that emotion does count for something. Emotion changes how I see the world. It brings perspective and understanding and literal clarity about the finer things in this life. You can't deny emotion or write it off with TLC and Star Magazine. You can't scientifically extract and examine a person's "emotional intelligence" without consideration to the whole person.

I'm not changing the new contacts, mostly because I don't feel like bothering with more fine tuning. I'll carry a picture of my grandparents in case of blurry vision. Or maybe think of Old Yeller. A zip-lock bag of sliced onions would be less painful for sharp vision, but not for clarity.

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1 comment:

David Rupert said...

My vision is slowly blurred, a pixel at a time

Interesting how you brought your contact lens into the a spiritual equation!