Slice of Life Challenge day 2 #sol18

A new chapter of life has begun

EyeglassesA New Chapter

The day had finally arrived.  Raindrops intermittently plopped onto my windshield, descending from gray clouds above.  Reaching behind the driver’s seat of my 2003 Honda Element, I pulled a manila folder from my bag.  Inside this folder was the “New Patient” form I had been asked to complete before arriving.  Oddly, part of me remained in denial, even as I pulled the glass door open and entered Dr. David Sobel’s office.  Looking around, I forced myself to remain calm as I cast my gaze upon the multitude of eyeglasses adorning the walls, backlit in high-tech displays.  Beautiful people wearing glasses stared back at me from strategically placed posters.  Yes, this dreaded day had come.

“Can I help you?” came the voice.  It was then I knew for certain a new chapter of my life had started.  Previous chapters included a protagonist with vibrant eyesight, able to read easily, even the smallest print from miles away. However, that protagonist – me – had noticed in recent months that…well, things had changed.  Suddenly, reading a simple email on an iPhone, or a book with perhaps 10-point New Times Roman font, had become much more difficult, a far more laborious task than in previous decades.  “You’re going to run out of arm!” a colleague joked at work one day, as she watched me holding my phone away from my face and squinting.

“Um, yes, I have a 4:30 appointment?” I replied to the woman standing behind the mahogany-colored table in Dr. Sobel’s foyer.  After the obligatory exchange of pleasantries and insurance information, the woman led me to the back of the office and directed me to have a seat.  The eye doctor would be right with me.  He was.

Dr. Sobel invited me into his office.  “Have a seat here in this red chair,” he said.  Behind the red chair, I noticed a small Picasso painting positioned next to a colorful collage of John Lennon’s visage.  Hidden speakers piped in smooth jazz- I recognized Spyro Gyra’s 1970’s hit “Morning Dance.”  “Do you like this music?” I queried.  “Oh yes, I’ve been a jazz fan my whole life,” the doctor replied.  Wow, a jazz fan.  I’m a jazz musician.  Maybe this would be okay, I thought.

From this point forward, Dr. Sobel and I connected.  He taught me amazing details about my eyes.  He showed me what it will look like to be able to see again.  He took incredibly detailed digital pictures of my eyeballs.  And suddenly, I felt part of an adventure, instead of a victimized character enduring a dreaded ordeal.  We exchanged stories of parents deceased too early.  We talked of favorite musicians.  We discussed our children.  And, as it turns out, I still have incredible eyes – 20/10 vision!  I just need some reading glasses.

Okay, not so bad.

Exiting the office that day, I felt struck by the turnaround.  This was supposed to be terrible, this whole eye appointment thing.  And yet, it had been anything but.  In thinking about the new lenses I would soon be wearing to read print, I suddenly considered the perceptive lenses I brought with me as I arrived at the office.  Those are lenses I can change anytime.  Gotta remember that.


Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

18 thoughts on “Slice of Life Challenge day 2 #sol18”

  1. Love the dialog and vibrant choice of words the Monty Python tune that goes something like “always look on the bright side of life (and then the humming bit that I can’t replicate by typing).”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked how you used this line to set the stage of what you thought your experience would be like. “Raindrops intermittently plopped onto my windshield, descending from gray clouds above.” I notice how you weave the details of your surrounding into your narrative. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It always amazes me that people can get away with not needing glasses until adulthood. I’ve been wearing them since 8th grade and probably needed them before that. But I loved your realization at the end–the perceptive lenses you can change any time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your writing is always a pleasure to read. I was worried for a moment at the beginning of this slice… until I realized what was happening and that it was your eyes. Welcome to middle age- except you are so young!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I, too, was concerned by your anxiety-tinged opening. When I realized it was about getting eyeglasses for reading, I tried to remember how I felt at the time. That was 30 years ago, and now I have had cataract surgery. We are fortunate to have so many options for eye care. I’ve been reading the recent Op-Ed pieces in the NY Times by Frank Bruni, one of my favorite political commentators…who has lost nearly all his sight in one eye due to damage to an optic nerve, which literally happened overnight. Let us all be grateful for our small challenges.


  6. I enjoy reading your writing. You captured my attention from the beginning. So pleased it was nothing more serious then reading glasses. I hate to say it, but this getting older stuff isn’t always so nice. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautifully written, Lanny! I spotted the picture of the glasses at the top of your post, so I thought maybe … but your language and word choice and descriptions throughout … Welcome to another year of the challenge! Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

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