The year I was in the fourth grade, my grandparents came to Chicago to stay with my sister and me while Mom and Dad went to Florida for a meeting. When my folks came home, Granny pointed to me and proclaimed, “This child can’t see!”
It seems she had noticed that I sat close to the TV and squinted a lot, especially when I was reading, which was most of the time. Apparently a conversation with my teacher confirmed Granny’s diagnosis. This being ages before one-hour opticians, it took about two weeks before I had my first glasses.
Honestly, while all the fitting and fine tuning happened, I wasn’t feeling too thrilled. They were heavy black plastic. Not quite cat eyes, but tending in that direction. Favored, lately, by millennials, but a bit of a shock on my 10-year old face.
And then, we walked out into the parking lot. You probably know the story. Bill remembers the same thing, as do many others I’ve met. The tall, fuzzy, green things beside the building had turned into trees. With actual, individual leaves!
Now, as you may suspect, it’s been a long time since I was in fourth grade. Astoundingly, just a bit older than my girls are now! And, for most of those years, I’ve worn glasses. A serious astigmatism, dry eyes, and a “sensitivity” to something called thimerosal–which used to be used as a preservative in saline solution and is actually a heavy metal called mercury–limited my options in terms of contact lenses.
It’s ok, though. For the last few years, I’ve had frames I like! (Though it’s time to get the prescription adjusted. Again.)
But, let’s leave the actual frames and lenses for a moment and contemplate the metaphorical ones. We all have our own set of frames and lenses through which we view the world. And there’s no single set that would work for everyone.
My metaphorical lenses are still smudgy and speckled. They leave me squinting at street signs and wondering where I’m going. A lot.
The frame has become clearer, though. It will take some practice, I suspect, but I am choosing to see the world through a frame of compassion. It certainly seems like a good time for that!
In a sense, my girls have taught me this. Or at least brought it into greater focus. Fierce compassion.
Or, as Jimi Hendrix taught us, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
Let’s start with Hope!
Check out Grandmothers Are In Charge Of Hope at :
The art piece pictured above is from my collection and was purchased at Wild Oats and Billy Goats in Decatur, GA. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop on by. We need all the art we can get!