My life has been transformed by a new pair of glasses. The first day I wore them felt like I was living in a 3D movie - everything was too sharp, too close, and really difficult to keep in focus. The information overload hurt my head (quite literally), and made me a bit motion-sick, but I persevered with encouragement from fellow eye-glass wearers. Being nearsighted, I’ve grown accustomed to fuzzy edges along the horizon, and in the middle distance, and have only recently had to rely on glasses to see up close. At some point during the past seven years I had simply accepted the world’s blurry lines, come to prefer them in many cases. Preoccupied with whatever has been right in front of my face, literally and figuratively, these past many years, I failed to notice that I was losing perspective. Driving south today on the 101, a stretch that I do everyday, I noticed the jagged treeline running along the horizon line where before there had only been a grey blur. Where my brain once made-do with the information from my eyes to deduce “forest,” now it exploded at the sight of individual trees along that ridge.
Wes Anderson’s masterpiece "Moonrise Kingdom," features a young heroine, Suzy Bishop, who is rarely seen without her binoculars. My newfound farsight (is that a thing?) reminded me of my favorite scene in the film when Sam, our young hero, asks her about them. “It helps me see things closer,” she says, “Even if they're not very far away. I pretend it's my magic power.” What a magic power, to suddenly be able to see clearly the things that are far away, what’s ahead, what’s coming? I mean, this is something I understand on a metaphorical level, but sheesh - how can I practice “seeing the forest for the trees” when I LITERALLY CAN’T MAKE OUT THE TREES!?
I must admit that I feel like a bit of an idiot in all of this, and can't believe that it took me so long to a) realize that I needed new lenses, and b) go out and get them, but I’ll resist the shame-game. Instead, I’m freaking out about this whole new perspective-thing! I had no idea how myopic I had become, literally and probably figuratively as well. I’ve suffered from clumsiness since childhood, and my share of scraped knees has got me in the habit of looking down at my feet whenever I walk. Today, upon discovering this newfound magic power, I decided to look up a bit more on my walk to the Bay with the dogs, and what do you know?! By looking ahead I could actually see the bumps in the path coming my way - was even able to jog around or over them as they approached, because I could see them, you see.