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"Eyesight To The Blind"


If you've always had perfect vision, 
you may not understand some of this. 

My parents were told that I was nearsighted 
and bought me my first pair of glasses when I was about six years old. 
Maybe younger...I'm not sure. 

The opticians said that new prescriptions were needed every six months, 
which was an early version of planned obsolescence... 
a way to sell more glasses. 
So, twice a year, stronger glasses were put on me. 
The walls looked curved, the universe was distorted, 
and my eyesight weakened with each new pair. 
They usually made me dizzy and nauseated, 
and I now realize they were too strong. 

I did well as an athlete in school sports, 
even though I had to wear a heavy metal and foam shield 
that was hard to keep in place. 
It was like peering out a prison window. 
I'm not sure contact lenses had been invented back in the stone age. 

In high school I couldn't always read what was written on the board, 
but I didn't want to admit it, 
so I dazzled them my personality. 
Hey...maybe that's when I became an entertainer! 

Later, when I went into show business, 
I wore cool prescription shades, contact lenses, or granny glasses, 
turning the specs into an image. 
I never really liked them, 
but without them I was legally blind. 

To me, looking through glasses was like being inside, 
looking at the world through a window. 
Not really being out in it. 
Sometimes I'd go outside and take the glasses off, 
and even though things were a just a blur, 
it felt more real with the breeze on my eyes, 
and no barrier between. 

So, I faked my way through school, 
struggled through football, baseball, 
and even a season of pro hockey. 
I performed on stages for thousands of people, 
with those dreaded eye-crutches, 
and after all that... suddenly I can see perfectly! 
It seems like a miracle. 

My doctor performed two brief surgeries in the past month, 
and I now have 20-20 Ben Franklins. 
I can see like a mink! 

I've been walking around the neighborhood 
looking at the highest leaves on trees, 
the textures of flowers and grass, 
and especially the colors, 
which are a lot brighter than I thought. 

I took a good look at Misty, 
and she's still beautiful. 

Today I drove the car for the first time in about a month, 
and didn't hit nearly as many people as I used to. 

It may be a screwed-up world, 
but I'm glad to be in it. 

Copyright  June 15, 2006, Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.


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