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Dec 12

Written by: Jennifer Kumar, LMSW, Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor
Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Exercise. Meditation. Eat a tasty meal. Go on a vacation. Hobbies. Writing. Not doing anything.


These and many more ideas are answers to the question, “What helps you see the world more clearly?”


In addition to these remedies, a much more practical solution is required for me every single day. Waking from slumber my hand instinctively moves like a magnet through the darkness to locate, pick up and put on my glasses.


If I did not have glasses, I know I couldn’t see the world clearly. Everything would be a blur. I couldn’t see farther than this computer screen. I suppose if I experimented and did not wear my glasses for a day, I may improve some of my other senses like touch, smell, hearing and tasting.


But, none the less, since the third grade the habit of reaching for the glasses in the early hours of dawn continues. That being said, yes, I have had countless pairs of glasses, frames changing with the fashion trends. And, must I say, I am so glad the 80s are over! Covering my eyes to see better needs to be done, but hiding my face behind those monster frames was more a barrier between me and the world than I needed.


So, I dug out three of my most recently used frames to give over to a local writer who collects old frames. These frames had been hanging around for some unknown purpose, and now they have a home with Preserving Vision glasses from other people, each with a story to tell.


The story of my specs is one of increasing strength and thickness. Being nearsighted and being unable to be torn away from reading or writing, the glasses became outdated on a yearly basis until I was about 23 or so, out of undergraduate college. Then, I went to study in India, joined the working world and, most recently, the world of marriage. Through these last transitions the thickness of my glasses continued to increase and finally level out. I am happy about that because, as you can see by the frameless frames, the thickness of the lenses leaves you gasping for air, and the frames gasping for more infrastructure. Incidentally, they collapsed only hours after I began to wear them. Maybe luckily for me, they totaled a whopping $20 in an optical bar in India. The frames to follow from Kanchipuram, India- the rounder pinker ones were the most amazing find of my spectacles wearing history. The frames, lenses and appointment totaling less than US$40 were prescribed by a German trained Indian optician. Upon entering, he eased my urgency for a sturdier pair by proudly proclaiming, “I was trained abroad, and I know what you foreigners like!” No offense taken, especially since he prescribed me the best pair of specs I had ever worn. This is because of the small faucet handle-like protrusions from the sides of the frames. This fashion detail set this pair of glasses apart from all others I ever owned. People would approach me gasping the style of the frames to be most amazing, but were equally perturbed when they came to know the frames were from India. Like those ‘Malaysian glasses’ Elaine wore on Seinfeld, once people came to know about the origin of the frames, people began to pine for them and even ask me to forgo them for their benefits!


Yes, I need my glasses to see the world more clearly. I hope one day, if I practice my alternative eye exercises and do some of the other activities to see my world a bit more clearly, the frames of glasses past will no longer need to be part of my collection of personal artifacts.


Related posts/sites: The local writer, Anne Panning  |  Seeing Things from a Different Perspective: A Holistic Approach to Eye Care More photos of this shoot by Krishna.


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Copyright ©2007 Jennifer Jayanthi Kumar


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