When I was 13, I was thrilled to get contact lenses. I could see both forward and to the sides. I’d worn glasses since fourth grade and now the world opened. Each time my eyes were checked, I stayed with hard contacts because they worked for me. At some point, my prescription was changed to one contact for distance, and one for near, so I could see all ways: books, computer, far. Wonderful!! Habit entrenched. No need for change in sixty years.
Yesterday I saw the opthamologist. I already knew from my optometrist that I had a cataract in the right eye so I was prepared for surgery. I learned though that I had cataracts in both eyes and 60 years of wearing hard contacts had shaped my eyes, and therefore I had to wait three months for the eyes to adjust to their natural form. After three months and an evaluation, I could then schedule surgery for one eye, and two weeks later the other would follow. That meant six weeks of healing, so lifting nothing over 20 pounds or getting the eye wet. That sounded okay since I would be able to see without glasses or contacts. One eye would be set up for close and the other far, just as I was used to. Great!! No ruts in my road.
I put the hard contacts back in to drive home, feeling happy and a little off-kilter from the dilating. I took the contacts out for the last time and sadly put them away. I put on my not up-to-date prescription glasses that I never wear. Why would I? Contacts work great.
Then I went to the computer. It was a blur. I strained this way and that to make out the words. Hmmm! Not so fun. I knew I could call my optometrist to order some soft contacts but for now I felt a little uneasy. I went to bed early and rose in the night to meditate.
Now, this morning, I can see the words on the computer so my eyes seem to be adjusting to these glasses, and I will investigate and order soft lenses. I’m in the curious exploration of what it is to see, and not taking seeing for granted.
These words of Sogyal Rinpoche comfort me:
Samsara is the mind turned outwardly, lost in its projections. Nirvana is the mind turned inwardly, recognizing its true nature.