Monday, June 19, 2017

Learning to See Again

Learning to See Again

When I was a little boy I lost the ability to walk. Perhaps you have read that story. It was due to a strange accident that no one witnessed. Eventually I relearned how to crawl, stand, walk and run.

My eyes were different. It was no accident unseen. It was a gradual change that made reading painful. My vision was as normal, as far I knew.  I had always had good visual acuity.  I had no problems with my cones or rods. My depth perception was as it should be.  The issue was a matter of focus, but only gradually, over years and years.

During high school I rode the bus an hour each way from home to school, plenty of time to read. I devoured books. I breathed them. I wanted to read so much that I learned to speed-read. Speed reading was for assigned, not pleasure reading. Speed reading was for homework and assigned material. At some time, off in the future, I began getting headaches brought on by my reading. I did not choose to cut back on the reading, the displeasure made it a matter of survival. Eventually I only read what I had to read.

At some point, hearing me sigh about a favorite book I hadn't read in decades, a friend suggested I try reading glasses. I did and the transformation was fantastic. I could read pain free. Buying reading glasses was as easy as it was cheap. I could pick up a pair most anywhere; the bookstore, pharmacy, or sometimes even the grocery.  But cheap and common means I could sit on a pair with no remorse, drop a pair while standing up and step on them with no concern, could forget them in a restaurant and feel no guilt. Sometime the arm might fall off or a lens pop out. I was perpetually destroying or losing my reading glasses.  I spent a minor fortune on them.

Then, in Venice for the Biennale, I was looking for a recommended restaurant when I saw a small eye glass shop with round glasses on display. That day my life changed. I have that same pair of blue glasses and many more all purchased from Lorenzo Urbani. I'll see what color he has for me this year.

I read like a demon as I once did. But, now that I can see, I have also learned to write.  At least I call what I do writing.

You wouldn't be reading this if I didn't have glasses.

Sandy Kinnee

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