gypsyanna: (Default)
I am an insomniac. According to my mother, I’ve been one since I was a child. Generally, it’s not a case of being unable to stay asleep that’s the problem Getting the mind to calm enough to allow for sleep is the issue. Taking night classes that are interesting is a guarantee that midnight will no longer be my ‘oh, crap’ bedtime. It’s going to become 1:00 a.m., or later. Earlier?

Last night, however, I did try to force myself to go to bed by 12:30 a.m. I should know better. If my brain hasn’t slowed down enough to sleep, all I end up doing is tossing and turning and following the meandering paths of whatever thoughts pop into my head. One of last night’s thoughts was: if I have lasik surgery, I won’t see the beauty in the blindness anymore.

I am not blind, as it is traditionally defined. I can see. My vision is easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses. But without that assistance, I would be deemed legally blind. When I was sixteen, I asked my optometrist, “How bad am I?” His response was a little startling. “You don’t want to know.” Without glasses or contacts, I could generally manage to live in my own home, unassisted. I wouldn’t be able to watch television. Reading would be manageable, even if my nose would almost be touching the page. I would not be able to cross the street, or drive. My job options would be limited.

But I still hesitate over getting lasik surgery. Why? Because there is a beauty in blindness that would be lost. Perhaps someone who was completely blind and did not know color or shape as perceived by those who are visually unimpaired would miss the extra depth their other senses provide to compensate for the lack of sight. Music may be beautiful for them since they have to concentrate on sound so much, and they hear more in the music than those of us distracted by the visual stimulation. Is Tim McGraw as talented to a blind person as he is to a sighted person, when they can’t see the appeal of his physical appearance?

For me, the beauty I think I would miss would be the lights. With corrected vision, a street lamp is just a street lamp. A point of brightness on a dark night, that sheds light. When I take off my glasses, however, that street light becomes a thing of beauty. It becomes a living entity, a being of crystalline and delicate wonder. It expands and contracts, fine lines of light radiating out, surrounded by the background darkness. It’s outer edge is spiked, and curving looks connect each radiating spoke. It’s magical and mystical and utterly beautiful – well beyond my skill to describe accurately. Christmas time and the lights on the tree make a far more festive gathering of these fairy globes.

Without my glasses I cannot see the stars. The moon is a vague, roundish blur to me. A person’s face is a smudge, and oncoming cars blend with the background until they’re almost fatally close. Peripheral vision is non-existent, and applying make-up is awkward, if not impossible. Contacts correct the weaknesses of glasses, but bring their own host of problems. They get dry. God help you if you have an eyelash or dust get into your eye. Rewetting drops wash away eyeshadow and can cause mascara to smear.

Without my glasses, or contacts, I see the beauty in a street light.

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gypsyanna

June 2012

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