Sunday, March 16, 2014

Becoming Visible/Seeing Clearly

A little over a year ago, an astrologer shook her head in wonder. She was looking at my chart and said, “I just don’t see this kind of thing. Not for someone who’s turning 70. It looks like you’re going to become visible.” She paused and looked up at me. “You know you were born invisible, don’t you?”

I nodded and laughed. Twenty-five years ago she had told me I could take off my carrot costume. In response to my puzzled look, she had said, “You don’t have to be how other people see you.”

Now she was saying that other people would see the real me.

She also validated my then-pending move from Oregon to California. I’m now comfortably settled in a small apartment complex in San Luis Obispo.

One tiny step at a time, I am becoming visible in my new community. I’m hooked into a group of people who would normally not mix, but accept each other with love and humor. I feel as though I have a whole new set of littermates. We’re like eager puppies happily bounding up to greet each other.

And I’ve gotten involved with groups of writers and poets. I’ve read some of my poetry at open mic. My submission to the State of the Bay Haiku contest won the adult division last month and will be published in the report from the Morro Bay National Estuary Program. Dark trails ebb and flow/through cracks in seaweed cushion:/rusty brown on blue.

My most recent poem – Invisible Connection - is based on an incident on one of my morning walks. The poem says, in part:

I trudge along the fence-lined path, lean forward and begin the climb.
From near the crest he ambles down, limbs and torso bare and brown.

We met last week and briefly spoke of wind sprints, distance, time,
his manner easy, a runner in his prime.

Today, dark eyes capture me, smile welcome into mine.
I ask his schedule, nodding to ‘not every’ and ‘sometimes.’

His speech gives hint of distant lands, his youth sharp contrast to my years.
Yet he says, “I think we have . . . an invisible connection here.”

I’ve submitted the whole poem to a contest sponsored by The Tribune. And I’ll read it at the next meeting of Poets on the Edge in April.

But now I’m struggling to see clearly. Before leaving Eugene, I filled a new prescription for glasses. They never felt quite right, but returning to Eugene for adjustment wasn’t an option.

In January, I found an eye clinic here and scheduled an exam. The doctor said the Eugene prescription was wrong and gave me a new one. I didn’t fill it for a month, waiting for my eye/dental insurance to kick in.

When my new glasses came in, I was almost giddy with anticipation. I slid them on, expecting the world to become bright and sharp.

Not so! The left eye particularly was out of focus, a problem for me because that’s my dominant eye. The optician suggested I try them for a day or so to be sure my eyes wouldn’t adjust.

Stubborn little orbs, they just refused! Back to the optician. After a test with a small lens, she agreed the prescription was off and ‘bounced’ me back to the doctor.

Two days later, the doctor and his assistant struggled to find the right lens setting. He said he didn’t see how the slight change was worth re-doing the glasses, but it was my decision. Was he saying I was old and simply needed to accept bad vision? Not yet!

Now, I wait and hope when I slide this next pair on that I will burst into song: “I can see clearly now, the blur is gone.”