July 15, 2018

new glasses

I went to get new glasses on Friday, the first new ones in four years, so long due.  This time I was assisted promptly and discovered two pairs of frames, one regular and one for sunglasses, that simply weren't there last time and that I love and adore and have always wanted all my life.

I picked them up today.  The gentleman fitted the arms and cleaned them for me, and I left happily wearing my new shades.

Twenty minutes later, I returned and explained that the left lens seemed weird, and the man took them and examined them closely using several different instruments, and then spat, "Stupid idiots."  They didn't align the polarization orientation aspect properly, whatever that means, so he kept them and I have to go back a third time on Tuesday to retrieve version two.

For all that annoyance, they fit like a dream, and it was good to walk out of the store and look around and see tree leaves that I hadn't realized looked muddled and merged when I wore my old glasses.  Now there were distinct lines of green separating them, each leaf individually blown in the gentle breeze even as they swayed together as clumps on branches.  I could see more about what was there.  I could see keenly.

My new regular glasses are perfect, too, so no surprise I held them up to my current pair and saw that they were identical in shape and size, just blue instead of purple.  No wonder I selected them.  We get set in our ways.

Our ways.

I want one more pair of new glasses, though I don't know how they would possibly come to exist.  I want glasses that help me see myself more clearly.  Not the back of my hand or my face in a mirror.  I want glasses that would let my gaze pierce defenses and constructs and perceive my hypocrisies and shortcomings, opportunities and hidden gemstones. 

I think we all turn inside and see blurry clumps of tree leaves, and we tell ourselves that yes, those are trees, and it is enough to know that.  They look like trees have always looked.

I have spent the past several days looking inward and straining, squinting, trying to make out the shapes of my own prejudices, my areas of complacency.  I want to believe that I am kind, empathetic, a good person; that I am not racist, not sexist, not swayed by the socio-economic status of another; that I do enough good in the world to justify what I consume and take from it. 

I can't tell.  I see blurry clumps of leaves.  We try to see inside, but straining to see is uncomfortable and difficult, and our eyes cross, so we stop.  Yes, those are trees, we say, and it is enough to know that.  They look like trees have always looked.

We get set in our ways.


I do not wish to say this.  It is not enough.  I want to see crisp leaves.  I want new glasses.

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