Glasses, you can’t live with them, can’t live without them

In 7th grade, on a particularly warm day in Wisconsin, I was walking to school with a friend. The world looked watery, as if everything was melting a bit in the unseasonal heat. I commented on the shimmery trees to my friend but she couldn’t see them. Then I turned to her. She, too, looked […]


When you put on the wrong glasses, you see confusion. Until now an abstract noun, in this blur it is clear. Remove the offending lenses and return to that other fuzziness, familiar to you since age ten when the world lost its straight lines. Find the right pair and get back to as good as […]

Better Up than Down the Staircase Pt. II

I make it about halfway down the first flight. I’m embarrassed, without the confidence to continue. Suddenly, one woman loudly exhales and whispers up the stairs, “Take your time, dear. I’m having a terrible time determining where to put my foot down. And with these heels, it’s even scarier. I never realized bifocals could not […]

Better Up than Down the Staircase Pt. I

“Please go on without me. I’ll see you down in front,” I tell my companions even though I don’t know how I’m going to safely make it. It’s either that or land on top of them. My bifocals are not the ideal accessory for this three-flight descent. And these shoes! A disastrous combination when trying […]

The First Pair

Looking for your glasses, I have become familiar with the floor of your classroom. Squatting by red and blue shelves, I find Scrabble tiles, mostly E’s, and pencils with broken tips. The room is dusty. I try to imagine what obscure spot would look inviting to a child sniffling because he must practice cursive T, […]

The Plight for Sight Pt. II

The following day I woke up early before school to give myself extra time for securing the contacts on my eyes. I laid out the cleaning fluid, the rinse, and the contact case. Reviewing what the eye specialist had said, I dipped my finger in the R side of the contact case and felt around […]

The Plight for Sight Pt. I

Myopia had ruled my life until I turned nine and sat in the ophthalmologist’s chair, only to proudly and boldly proclaim the first letter on the eye chart as “G”! My mother actually gasped, partly out of embarrassment and partly out of guilt for not realizing that her daughter was legally blind. My first pair […]

Lost at Sea

About ten years ago I joined my husband on a trip to the Greek Island of Rhodes where he was participating in a scientific convention. After a day of indoor lectures and meetings I suggested we go for a swim in the still warm waters of the Aegean Sea. It was close to dusk as […]

Glasses and Movement Don’t Mix

I’ve always had a love for performing, but only movement-based. I never liked listening to my own voice and always had difficultly memorizing lines. Dancing was always easier. Matching movement with music made memorization a simple matter. When I first started wearing glasses, I was more concerned about the social stigma than any improved functioning. […]

On Learning to Wear Glasses

ON LEARNING TO WEAR GLASSES I However it happened, eventually my eyesight waned, lost the crisp and let the world blur. Edges of objects grew a certain fur. Details erased easily as chalk. And in this slack process of loss, focus stepped away from specifics, vision relying on bits of internal reckoning, the stilts of […]