Reality is something that interests me. We each have our own realities for every event. For instance, you may remember a certain fight with a friend or lover in one way, while they remember it differently. Your beliefs about various things create your own reality in which the world works differently from how my world works, for we are all weird in our own ways, and so is the world around us. But one thing that makes me feel a change in reality or a shift from natural and real to developed and unreal, is spectacles. Wearing and removing them changes my reality.
There is a lot of discussion about the reality we perceive. Many philosophies claim reality is just an illusion. Recent scientific discoveries have found that our perception of atoms and matter around us is misinformed, that these are bundles of energy without mass existing in many places at once. It’s only when we observe them that they appear to be something and take a form. Still with me? It’s alright, this is the end of the scientific jargon.
The physical reality we create is largely influenced by our sensory perceptions, and our eyes play their part. Problems with the eyeball can alter our vision and therefore our reality in a certain way, depending on how bad your eyes become. A radioactive spider might have bit you recently. Who knows?
But no one can deny that when you wear spectacles for the first time, it’s a new reality. We may not see it as a new reality but more like a forgotten, half-remembered dream that’s suddenly jumped from the subconscious to the conscious, but the change in vision is a bit disconcerting at first. I’ve heard people with myopic vision say “Wow, everything looks so significant and real!”
You notice pimples on faces. You identify a friend from a long way off having a good time with your sworn enemy. You are able to see the license plates of the car that nudged you on the side and sped away. It helps you see more, there’s no doubt about it.
But look at a tree, a big one that’s spreading its arms in a Maria-esque fashion from The Sound of Music, showing off its lush leaf cover. This will only work when you’ve just started wearing glasses. First, look at it while wearing your glasses. Such detail. Now, take them off. Such grace, almost like a beautiful painting. Yet, the latter image looks more natural. The former is just an enhanced version. It’s like the focussing through a camera, but it’s different at the same time. Yet, a dividing line between your old reality and the new one has been created.
While we most often choose the new reality over the old one, do we lose something in the process? Choosing either is easy but has its consequences. The old reality will be like a fast ageing human, growing frail and disoriented as time goes by. The new one is a machine that needs a little maintenance every now and then but works well in general. But it is a machine at the end of the day, so there’s something lacking.
Perhaps flirting with the boundary of both realities would be fun.
Use not wearing glasses as an excuse when seeing an annoying acquaintance but giving them a snub.
Wear glasses to see the social media handle of the cute person a few chairs away.
Don’t wear glasses if you’re a Stormtrooper so Lord Vader knows why your aim sucks.
The possibilities are endless.
I know I’m exploiting that request of bearing with me in the first instalment of these musings. Don’t ask me how I ended up writing this.
First posted on Agyani’s Stories
Photo by Nonsap Visuals on Unsplash