The literal art and act of seeing.
One week ago, my new glasses were ready at Costco. Social distancing meant I could pick up my glasses, but without the usual hands-on adjustments — no one to fit the frames to my face, explain anything to me, or answer my questions. Oh boy. Gulp.
A different kind of isolation — figuring out how to adjust to my new lenses on my own.
The back story: My vision had been getting bad, and I went to the eye doctor.
I wish I had asked for more details when the doctor told me I was in for a big adjustment with these new lenses. I wish now for prescience then. I wish I had known that when my glasses were ready my entire community would be socially isolating and there’d be nobody to ask — at least not in the expected ways.
Fitting the frames to my face, no problem. I have Zoom, and I know how to use it. I have a friend who was an optician for decades (thank you, Cynthia!). I have a hair dryer. Cyn taught me how to heat and bend the frames to get them to fit my face — a new skill.
This is resilience.
Big-girl panties stuff. Knowing I’m resourced, reaching out.
But my vision. Big uh-oh. For the last six days my vision — what I was actually seeing — has been radically different.
I didn’t know what was going on.
I didn’t feel resourceful, or big-girl–equipped to deal with how I was seeing.
I had a few questions. More than a few.
Were these wild vision changes normal? Was I okay? Were the glasses okay? What should I do? 😳
I was seeing in a whole new way.
- Shapes: what’s a square again? What I thought — knew! — were right-angled shapes like squares and rectangles, canvases, my iPad screen, my phone screen!, ceramic tiles — all were now looking much narrower at the bottom than at the top. Extremely trapezoidal; I felt a bit seasick.
- Depth perception: why isn’t my plate level? The food I served myself looked like it was severely sloping away from me. And the distance from hand to frying pan changed enough to make me uncertain about reaching the pan without burning myself. Seasick and queasy.
- Distance: why am I stumbling? All of a sudden, stairs were unreliably located and my balance got goofy for a bit. I didn’t fall, but I lurched around.
- And then there was driving! I drifted in my lane more than once on the freeway, and startled a couple of drivers, and myself.
Yeah, I’d call that a big adjustment. Thanks for the warning, doc.
On day three I called the eye doctor with my questions and I haven’t got a call back — they’re not working right now.
Absent any input from the eye doctor, or the optician who made the lenses, I turned to my virtual community. Back to Cynthia, and other wise friends. Everyone told me a version of this: Your brain’s got this, relax. Trust the adaptability of the design — our system’s set up to create new pathways, and it’s already on the job, getting with the new program. I’m watching it happen.
Adaptation. Adjustment. Vision. Insight.
I moved through the last six days motivated by a knowing — a core of absof*ckinglute patience with my brain and my neural pathways. I had a strong feeling — an insight — that my vision and ability to understand what I am seeing would adapt.
My vision is no longer as it was a week ago. But since I never put my old glasses on again — following my inner guidance — my old vision is irrelevant now. (Whoa, deep.) I’m seeing what and how I’m seeing and I bow in deep gratitude to my brain, my optic nerve(s), and my nimble and resilient neural pathways.
Now, on day seven, I’m noticing:
- Right angles are looking more like 90º again. When I poured paint on a 12×12 square canvas the other night, I basically ignored the not-so-squareness of what I was seeing. The paint landed in a good place. Lucky for me I don’t paint right-angles, I just follow the paint where it flows; I can do this.
- I’m still enjoying mucho streaming video, even though my iPad screen still appears distorted. My vision is adjusting bit by bit and that distortion is becoming normal.
- The table and frying pans are beginning to level out again. The queasiness is receding and I can eat without checking that things aren’t rolling away from me.
- I’m more sure-footed again. I’m still being more careful. This is no time to fall and get hurt. The medical system has enough to deal with; we all do.
- Driving’s still a bit weird but getting way more reliable.
What are you seeing during this time of challenge and change? What moments of nimble resilience have guided you through a tough AF week? Leave a comment, share you vision and insight with me.
Even better — Join me on Friday mornings* for Simplici-Tea.
You’re invited, and I’d love to hear from you. Especially if:
- You’re noticing that it’s taking more effort that usual to do your usual, and wondering why your normal productivity around what you’re up to is so f*cking off what you expect (ha ha) of yourself.
- You’re finding that you’re reaching for certain practices and techniques you’ve learned along the way, and that they’re helping you stay sane. For me it’s daily walks, taking photos, a ton of streaming video, and my Egoscue workouts. I wanna hear what’s working for you…
- You’re wondering if you really ate this much on the daily before, and you just wanna share some absurdity of this or any other nature with me and my friends…
Or for any reason you have in your heart, join me. Brew your favorite cup, and jump on Zoom. Free.
Friday morning. 9am PDT. At call time, click Zoom link for the call: https://zoom.us/j/544818025
Even if you’ve never done a Zoom call before, I promise, it’s easy. Hit the link at call time and follow the prompts. Join from a computer, phone, or tablet. Message me for more info if you’d like.
*for now 🙃…