Where we wrestle with the sublime, mysterious, powerful and often frustrating paradox of God's necessary grace.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Grace of Myopia

I'm near-sighted, and not by a little bit. Without my glasses, the world more than 3" away from my eyes is a soft blur. Lights are round, glowing blobs. People's faces are vaguely pinkish or darkish ellipses with occasional light-colored bits quickly appearing and disappearing as they speak or blink.

Normally this is no advantage. Me driving without glasses is driving blind. But there is one situation where my myopia is a blessing in disguise.

I walk and swim in the pool at a local gym. Because I am quite overweight, I attract attention, none of it favorable. (How odd no one's come up to me and said, "You have the most marvelous physique! I'd love to look as good as you. How *do* you do it?" I'd smile, look down humbly and say, "Lack of exercise and too many calories.")

To some extent I'm used to the gawks and the whispered comments and the grinning asides. But at the gym, fat people are a rarity, it's mostly hardbodies and fitness Nazis. When I walk the length of the pool, there are floor-ceiling glass windows between the pool and the exercise machine areas. So, I'm very much "KenWritez on Parade!" (cue music!)

I remove my glasses and place them on the concrete at the end of the pool in front of my lane. Suddenly the natatorium resolves into a muted blur of soft colors: Creamy white for the walls, blues of various shades for the pool, dark and bright areas for the fitness machines beyond the glass.

For a time, I am free of being a public spectacle, at least as far as me seeing it goes. It's as if a heavy pack slipped off my shoulders. I can't even see the faces of those people in adjacent lanes. So I walk, feeling the cool water slide over and past my body, the currents tug at my legs, the big exhaust fans roaring far overhead as they move out the humid air for fresh.

Intellectually, I know people are still staring, but I can't see them and for now, today, that's enough.

For now, today, that's grace.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.


Rozenkraai said...

this is beautiful. thank you for posting it.

Mindy said...

I never wear my glasses.
Ignorance is bliss.

Alice said...