This morning, I snapped my glasses in half.
Actually, a snap would have been far more satisfying. Rather, my glasses disintegrated. I was cleaning them properly – for once – complete with a little lens cleaner and a lens cloth. Perhaps it was a bit of a vigourous cleaning, but no more than what they should have been able to handle. The next think I knew, they lay in two pieces in my hand, snapped cleanly down the centre, an eye for each leg. For a moment, all I could do was stare at them.
Then, I was filled with this odd sort of terror. Two weeks ago, my last left contact lens split in half in my eye, so I had thrown them out and resigned myself to wearing glasses for a couple months until I could find the time and desire to get to an eye doctor. But here were my glasses, split down the middle, unwearable. What did that leave me?
Would I even be able to get down the street to the Hakim Optical on my own to see what they could do to help after M went to work? Would I be able to distinguish the various blurs around me enough to even walk into the right store? The thought of stepping out into a world of indistinguishable people and faces scared me.
I can handle a lot without my glasses. I can navigate around obstacles, even in unfamiliar places. I can appear to focus on a person’s face, even if I can’t see a single feature. I can even read, kind of, for a short time, if the book is held centimeters from my face (and yes, I mean centimeters… not inches). But ultimately, I can’t function. I would not have been able to get on the right bus this morning to get to work. I would not have been able to write or review any of my work. And if I had stayed home today? No practicing piano, no watching movies (except to listen), certainly no reading, no beading, no messaging friends.
Like I said. Useless.
So there I was, standing in the bathroom with two halves of my glasses in hand on the brink of panic. Then, M said, “Would my spare glasses help you?”
I almost laughed. His prescription is about a quarter of mine. He can function well enough without them that he took the dog for a walk this morning before putting them on his face. They might sharpen things up a bit for me, but the change would be almost negligible.
And then, I remembered them. The round, kind of rusty, kind of discoloured, very bent glasses of my youth. I had organized our bathroom shelf a few weeks ago and found them crushed at the bottom of a basket, functioning and sound. I went after them, sorting through hair supplies and make-up until I found them, exactly where they belonged at the bottom of a basket. These things were with me for 10 years before I replaced them, solid frames that never break, never snap, never even lose screws (probably because they’re rusted in…). They’re two prescriptions behind me, but as everything jumped into a more-or-less kind of focus, relief washed over me. I would be OK.
It was an odd experience, being a non-functioning person, even just for a moment. It made me pause and remember to be thankful for simple things like glasses. It seems like everything is going so well for us lately, but this morning was a reminder that it can be gone in a second. But. It seems like God always provides a back-up plan, doesn’t he?
The world is a bit blurred today, but at least I can keep going.