Seeing Clearly

Several things happened this past week that got me thinking.

It seems my vision is not what it used to be.

My optometrist sent me for a “glaucoma work up”. One of the tests—a field vision test—required me to focus on a central spot and use a clicker to register quick flashes whenever they randomly appeared in my peripheral field. In exuberance, I was wildly clicking—apparently seeing sparks that were not there!

Life is like that. It is easy to get sidetracked by the flashy, shiny diversions that detract from the central focus—even to the point of pursuing distractions of no substance!

The Parapan Am Games in Toronto are coming to a close. Yesterday, I attended one of the medal games for 5-a-side football (soccer).

The fascinating aspect of this sport is that the players are visually-impaired; they wear eyeshades—blinders—to even the playing field. Only the goalie is sighted. The football is fitted with bells. Spectators watch in silence, enabling players to focus on the sound of the tumbling bells within the moving ball.

A sighted guide, confined to an area behind the net, directs his team by shouting directions. During a shoot-out, he also bangs on the goal posts. In the seeming chaos, goals are scored!


It takes intense concentration, timing, and coordination to detect the ball’s ever-changing location by its sound. Above all, the athletes are fearless.

The pain of stubbing my toe in the dark or walking into walls reminds me to move slowly when I don’t see well. These athletes run at full speed during play. Running into obstacles, including each other, is a normal part of the game. They simply get up and keep playing.

Following Mexico’s bronze win, my husband and I celebrated over quesadillas at a downtown restaurant. On the subway ride home, he was remarking on various aspects of the transit system. He normally drives, so he was riding the Bombardier-made trains for the first time.

As he was commenting on the train’s single-car articulated design, the lighted subway map, announcements about station stops and door location exits, I was seeing my daily commute with fresh eyes.

This week’s incidents have me adjusting my lenses to stay my most creative self.

  1. Flashy distractions are just that—or not! Stayed focused.
  2. Fearless concentration. Never mind the obstacles—keep playing.
  3. Flags and sign-posts. Ball bells, coaching, and goalpost thumping—don’t see the goal? Listen up.
  4. Fresh eyes on the world around me. My travelling companions see the same world I see, but with different eyes. Check out their viewpoint.

“The true voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having fresh eyes.” Marcel Proust

Yes, it seems my vision is not what it used to be…


About DesignQuest

Artist. Communicator. Word nerd. Motivated by curiosity and dark chocolate.
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