My Eyes Are Dim I Cannot See

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?

Blind.

Useless.

Helpless.

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.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “My Eyes Are Dim I Cannot See

  1. I’ve felt that terror of no being able to function. Mine snapped in half as I arrived at school for the day. Needed to move to the front row, and still couldn’t distinguish words on 3/4 of the board, so I still wound up copying (at least I can read at a reasonable distance). Made new friends, who wound up being my closest friends through university, that day! Had to scramble at lunch to find a place to buy glasses (I’d only been in Waterloo for 2 months) so that I could order a new pair since I’m not a fan of contacts for every day use.

  2. Rivikah

    The other option, of course, is tape. Possibly supported by a paperclip.

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