Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Eye see you

When I was younger, I was a pirate. Granted I lived in Jackson, Tenn., which – while rhyming with it – is hardly part of the open sea. And I never hijacked anything, except maybe my little sister’s toys. But I was a pirate – I had the eye patch to prove it.

A few months after I was born, I was diagnosed with amblyopia with strabismus – gigantic words for “a lazy eye and muscle problems.” I had surgery on my eyes at 6 months and began wearing a patch on my left eye (my good eye) in order that its sluggard partner would begin to pull its share of weight.

I remember makings lots of trips to the eye doctor – one in particular who did not appreciate shy, terrified 4-year-olds and would send me out into the waiting room until I was ready to” show him some respect” (speak in his presence).

It’s all part of a world I don’t think about often. But, yesterday during a chat with a friend, I realized it is a world that impacts my life daily.

As a result of my pirate days, my eyes don’t quite work together. My dominant left eye still carries a larger percentage of the seeing burden and, as a result, depth perception is apparently not one of my strong suits. I say apparently, because as someone who doesn’t know any different, I don’t know exactly what kind of depth perception I’m supposed to have.

My friend Jennifer (yes, ANOTHER Jennifer) mentioned that she thinks this causes issues for her with things like parallel parking. I really like that excuse.

As I drove home, I found myself wondering what kind of adaptations I’ve made without ever knowing it. Or what insecurities have always had a medical reason behind it (my feeling the need to be extra-cautious while going down flights of stairs or inclines in the dark, for instance).

I see the world differently, in ways I may not ever comprehend; in ways I never would have known if someone hadn’t pointed it out.

Perhaps there is something metaphorical in there, too. Jesus spoke of those who see. Those who thought they could see were always the ones stumbling at the (lack of) sight of his words. How much do we miss that we never know about? Just what can’t we see?

PS: my new FaithLab post is up