Sunday, January 17, 2010

Clarity of vision

What is going on today? During my morning toilette, I placed both contact lenses in the same eye. The same one. My left eye. Now you would think that might happen from time to time. No biggie, right? But it never has. Not to me. Not careful, coordinated, lucid me.

Vanity led me straight to the optometrist for contact lenses as soon as my vision declined from 20/20 and I was no longer able to thread a needle without a magnifying glass. Nope. No reading glasses for me. No need to stock up on generic $9.99 grocery store pairs for the kitchen, the drawer in my bedside table, the Volvo, my purse ... never at the place where needed. Got glasses too. Real ones. Bifocals. Top ground to zero. Training glasses for when I was too old and feeble to pop in the contacts. I was 45. Stepped gracefully onto the back nine.

Okay. I admit it. There have been a few early in the morning, eyes-half-shut, mistakes. Just the obvious ones. Unwittingly opening two brand new packets for the same eye, breaking the seal and wondering how to keep the redundant lens fresh for two weeks. Or more to the point: not losing it. And more than a few times, I have had to search for, then reapply a slipped lens which had slid into the deepest crevice under my lower lid as I blinked it in place. Not an easy recovery. Nor pretty. Of course, replacing ripped, crinkly lens is a frequent occurrence. But to place both in the same eye? Nope. Never have done that. I am not even sure how it occurred.

You see, the first lens always goes in the right eye. I wet my fingertip with the solution from Walmart and slide the lens out of its case and direct it to my right eye. Aiming dead center. Going cross-eyed in the process. I did that this morning. Or so I thought. So how the hell did I place the one for far-sightedness over my right iris ... and then again, the very same one, on my left eye? Puzzling really. But hey, I did. Then per my routinized method popped the left lens ... the short vision one ... over the other and looked up. Couldn't see a damn thing. Not a thing! Just a blurry greyed out image of myself staring through the looking glass. At me. Grainy. Unfocused.

Fumbling to find my glasses --the Italian tortoise shell frames transforming me into the intellectual Annie Hall I must envision my self to be -- so I can get the semblance of a view. Gently I slide the tip of my left forefinger onto my eyeball and slip the first contact off. Then the other. This deft maneuver took months of steely nerves to successfully and willingly poke myself in the eyes two times every day. Definitely not for the squeamish. Mastered after nearly a decade and a half.

What then? Early signs of senility? Random mistake? Pirate trainee? Message from the universe? Absentmindedness? Nor ready for the patch, parrot and 'aye matey' remarks from galpals and buddies, hope it an under-lubricated, sticky lens stuck to my finger. Or, perhaps a sign.

That's it. A shout out. A 'hey you' telling me to pay attention. Not to get lost. I get it now. Took a full day ruminating to clearly see. Sharpen the aperture. Mind the gap. Evaluate. Note to self: Observe issues/ideas/solutions from all angles. Peer inside, outside and around the box whether the box is on the shelf ... or not. Now it is clear. Imagine the possibilities.

Cheers! Until tomorrow.

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