When I was about 12, I got my first pair of glasses. I distinctly remember sitting in our living room and staring at the wallpaper - the flocked wallpaper (well, it was 1970) and realizing I could see the gold flocking. I could actually see the furry swirls raised from the rest of the wallpaper. It seems so obvious, but at the time it was new and exciting. I would sit on the chesterfield and bob my head up and down to see the difference in my improved eyesight. And I'm not even that blind. For more than 30 years I had the exact same prescription. The frames changed. The size of the lenses certainly changed. But the prescription, not a bit. I only needed the glasses for distance and even then, not all the time. I was always losing them at school. So I eventually stopped wearing them unless absolutely necessary. As a result, when I did wear them I was amazed all over again at the clarity and detail.
This all changed about 6 years ago, coincidentally just in time for our provincial health plan to delist vision care. I started having trouble reading those big signs in the middle of the grocery aisles to say what was in each aisle. Worse, I realized that I would be holding the boxes of cereal at varying distances to get the right angle to be able to read the information that is so vital to be included that it is in the tiniest font size available. It turned out my regular prescription needed to be stronger. AND, I needed reading glasses. Bifocals were recommended. I bit the inside of my cheek and tried not to shed any tears. I went home with new, stronger, prescription distance glasses and a pair of invisible bifocals. I sat on the chesterfield and bobbed my head up and down (I was told to do this, to get used to them) to watch television and read a book at the same time. This time, it wasn't so exciting. It was more dizzying than anything else. Then, the invisible line bifocals were almost the same style as the distance ones and within a matter of weeks I had trouble knowing which were which.
I ended up later getting another pair of reading glasses. I keep magnifying glasses in every room because that is so much easier. Except for reading books. I still need to work on that. And now I need another, stronger, prescription. I get headaches whenever I try to read the newspaper or a magazine. I find I check out the print before I even consider buying or reading a book. I can't get away with not wearing the glasses any more. All those blurry letters make my head spin, my eyes water, and scare me even a little. I hate to see anything out of focus. When I upload my photos I spend hours scrutinizing each one to determine the one that is the most in focus.
My mother had macular degeneration and for the longest time she struggled with doing the crossword and knitting as her eyesight deteriorated. I have no idea how she did it. Sheer determination and pig-headedness, most likely. Instead of biting my cheek, I had to bite my tongue to stop from complaining about my needing new reading glasses after 30 years. I maybe don't like anything to be out of focus, but I still have the opportunity to fix that. For the time being.
In the meantime, I have to take a blurry, out of focus photo for my new team blog lens.us.together. It is an unbelievably difficult challenge. I could just take an out of focus shot, but there would be no meaning to that. I need to find one that has a reason for being.