That which I saw and that which was were interchangeable.
But then, one day, I learned that at a young age I had been given glasses.
This was an unsettling development.
As it turned out, I had worn these glasses every day of my life, but had apparently become so accustomed to them that I had forgotten they were there. Or more precisely, since I had no memory of seeing without them, I had no reason to suspect their existence.
It then dawned on me that in a sense the glasses were my vision, and always had been, for I had seen everything through them.
When I realized this something changed. I had been so sure of my perfect vision, so sure that if others saw something different than what I beheld, they were simply wrong. But now… Now I became obsessed with glasses.
I read all about glasses. My glasses, other people’s glasses, how glasses worked, what glasses were prevalent in my community, even the history of glasses.
I did this because I did not want to get fooled again, I was afraid to take off my glasses only to unwittingly put on another pair.
Unfettered vision, free of glasses of any sort, that was the only way to be sure of what I saw. And if I knew all about glasses, I would never be taken unaware if someone tried to slip new lenses over my eyes.
But what if I was wrong? More wrong than I had ever realized? What if I could have never not had glasses? What if the quest to see without my spectacles was always a fruitless endeavor? What if glasses were the only way anyone could ever see?
What if my community gave me their glasses not as way to exert power over me but as a gift, because I had to be taught to see?
Maybe it isn’t a matter of seeing without glasses after all, maybe we have to do our best to pick the right pair of thin wire frames or chunky hipster glasses and just embrace the view.