Watercolor Vision

Nature Landscape

One of the things that has plagued me my whole life is myopia. As a child, I would pray day and night for a miracle, that I would wake up one morning and be able to see the pictures on my wall, the road signs, the faces far away — clearly, with my own eyes. I was embarrassed by my glasses. I hated them. Once I got contacts, I never wore glasses in public.

As an adult, I realized that we now have this procedure called LASIK. Corrective eye surgery? Yes, please. I don’t mind paying money. It’s still a miracle in my eyes. (No blatant pun intended.)

I’ve had several preliminary exams. Consequently, I haven’t been able to wear contacts much. I’m not embarrassed by my glasses anymore, but I’m not growing any fonder of them either. They’re fragile, uncomfortable, hopeless dirt collectors, and generally all-around annoying. And I worry about breaking them on my travels too. Having perfect vision would be wonderful!

On a beautiful day in this winter December month that refuses to act like its season, I took the cat for a walk (yes, I live with a cat that goes for walks like a dog). I took off my spectacles to rub my tired eyes, thinking, “Not much longer hopefully, and I’ll see clearly all the time.” And just before I replaced my glasses on my long, sharp nose (the other bane of my existence), I caught sight of the brilliant wash of blue sky, the splash of still-green grass, the grey smudge of creeping cat. I saw the world in a way I’ve never seen it before. It was rather beautiful. I have despised my weak eyes all my life, but suddenly, I wondered if I really wanted them fixed after all.

I mean, how many people are born with the ability to see the world like a living watercolor painting? I can change my sight at will, and step into a softer world where harshness is blurred and impressions, not details, are the important things. For the first time ever, I saw my near-sightedness not as a defect, but as a gift, and one I might not be ready to lose at that.

For every thing you gain, there is something you must give up. I suddenly have the crazy impulse to go around with my natural eyesight as much as possible, though probably not far beyond my house. I wouldn’t try to drive with watercolor vision, for example. Because if I have this surgery sometime in the near future, I will see the world just like everyone else.

All my life I’ve sought after a miracle, and now when it’s almost in my grasp, I start to question if it would make me any happier or better than I already am. Maybe I like myself this way.

I wish I could have taken a snapshot of what I saw to make me think these thoughts. But the photo would have been clear, and nothing like the work of art that I saw through these imperfect myopic eyes.

Poppies, Flowers