Sunday, October 16, 2005

through a glass, darkly

I’m not finding the time to write much about my life. I’ll try again.

I’ve been getting up quite early, always before eight, usually after a spot of morning reading. I didn’t read this morning though.

On reading, I’ve been doing a lot less of it lately, since I got my new specs, about two years ago. I think the optometrist got it wrong when he tested my eyes and prescribed the new lenses. I find the old lenses better for reading, but the other night in bed, when as usual I tried unsuccessfully to stay awake and alert for a spot of reading (Proust, which doesn’t always help), I tried reading without glasses at all. I had to hold the book closer to my eyes, but it worked. I could see much more clearly than with glasses. For a while anyway, before I went cross-eyed.

I was moved by this experience. It took me back to my teen years, back before I wore specs, which I’ve been doing now for thirty years or more. The intimate contact between my eyes and the page, unmediated by glass or plastic lenses, was my first, or almost my first, since I read Thomas Hardy novels, back to back, morning to night, as a sixteen-year-old. Instead of earning an honest living. Or going out and living, with girls.

So I should stop wearing glasses, for reading. The idea of doing eye-strengthening exercises also occurred to me, but no, I should know I’d never have the motivation to keep that up. So why do these things keep occurring to me?


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