The easiest way to change the world … by not wearing glasses

philip barlow
A painting by Philip Barlow, an artist who finds the world seen by short-sighted people inspirational

My eyesight started decreasing when I was 10. Before, I could see every petal, every butterfly on grass, every pebble as clear as it is only possible for me now if wearing glasses. I also remember the moment when I realised the objects on the far background became of a smoother shape, blending with each other, as if somebody just covered them with semi-transparent glass. My short-sight was earned by reading almost non-stop, often in the dark with a small torch, in other words, it was inevitable. By the age of 14 it went down to -4.5 and by 20 – to as low as -5. My mother desperately tried to improve my eyesight, paying doctors for various physiotherapy treatments. How could I disappoint her? Instead, I cheated – learnt all the letters and signs on the opticians’ test board (fortunately for me, it was a standard board, used by all opticians in the country) to amaze them with the results of the “improvement”. Bet, they did not expect such miraculous results.

philip barlow
A painting by Philip Barlow, an artist who finds the world seen by short-sighted people inspirational

Without glasses, objects farther than 30 metres away turn into colourful spots, their edges dissolve in the air, making shapes softer. Feels a lot like an impressionist painting which easily can be turned into a clear image simply by putting glasses on. Technology of the modern age gives a helping hand to those uncomfortable with glasses. Laser surgery and contact lenses provide perfect eyesight but, at the same time, deprive of the chance to see the world of glints and merging lights at a distance, the world in which passers-by look younger and more mysterious.

I got used to walking without glasses so much that I do not feel an urge to see better, I see enough. Sometimes, it leads to funny incidents and adventures, like taking a wrong bus and ending up in the other side of the city, or not recognising a friend or, on the contrary, waving at a stranger, confusing him with a friend, or saying hello to a mannequin. Once I tried to pass through a door without realizing there was glass, but it only made a day funnier. Otherwise, I love the idea of having a choice between the world of abstract shapes and the world of well-defined lines. The easiest way to change the world around is to take your glasses off. Try it!

N.B. I certainly see far clearer pictures then those the paintings depict. No suicide intended.

4 thoughts on “The easiest way to change the world … by not wearing glasses

  1. Raisa, I so enjoy reading your blogs !!! and your use of the
    English language is amazing. Ahh, that is why I bumped into u on Thursday morning, (touched your arm also) and you did not notice me. I let you go because I knew you were heading to work !!

    1. Thanks for your kind comments, Doreen! Wait, trying to remember where I was on Thursday morning… As you know, I also walk very fast, so, yes, bump into friends without noticing once in a while 🙂

    1. Works of Greenhill and Barlow are quite alike, cannot judge, however, whose idea was original. Short-sighted people see the world similar, it might be an answer. Thank you for sharing the links.

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