When I was born, I was cross-eyed. My left eye turned all the way into the center and my right eye was nearly the same. Growing up I didn't know the difference. I had my first pair of glasses at 1 1/2 years old, that was the age the kind and gentle Dr. Welty thought I could keep them on. I never looked at others and wondered why I had glasses and they did not. I never noticed that something was wrong.
I loved going to the eye doc. Dr. Welty was a tall Mennonite man, who spoke in hushed tones. When he put the black spoon over my eye, resting his hand on my cheek, I leaned into its warmth. I always felt cared for and loved going to the eye appointments.
Sometime in 3rd grade, I began to understand that others had been having conversations about me and my eyes. That something made me a concern. And thus began the hyper focus on "fixing" Amy. Every day we put a string on the nose bridge of my glasses, Mom would hold it taught and put a finger on one end slowing moving it up toward my face. The objective, I think, was to see at what point I stopped seeing double. I always felt like a failure. I didn't know I had been seeing double. I hadn't known that my sight was not right. And now I had no context for success and didn't know what was normal. We added a patch. A skin toned patch that adhered to my right eye lid. My left eye was my weak eye, so the objective of this was to make it do all the work. I received lots of looks from strangers about my patch. i recall suggesting we draw an eye on the patch so people wouldn't know it was there. It was a sweaty thing, and I can still bring back the smell of the glue.
Finally, we had corrective surgery when I was in 4th grade. A very nice nurse oriented me to my room. She told me I could have whatever I wanted day or night. Orange sherbet was the thing I wanted. We never had it at home. And I wanted it at odd times. It always arrived. I was hungry not for the frozen sweet goodness, but for the focus to be on what I wanted, instead of strings and sweaty glued on eye patches.
After the surgery, my eyes were straightened. No one looked at me and saw anything amiss. The magnification needed for my left eye made me look like I had a "big eye" and in high school, I stopped wearing my glasses.
Now, in my 50s, I wear my glasses on top of my head because I need bifocals, yet they can never get the prescription right for balance, and I can read and see close up more clearly without them. But I need them for distance.
Funny story: I recently led worship for my denomination's conference. I looked out over a see of 2500 people. I always have to choose when in the pulpit to either be able to see my words and not the people or see the people and not the words. The words win every time, naturally. But as I looked out at this crowd, I saw through my unique eye sight a mosaic of color. Each person was like a tiny piece of colored glass, and the lights from above added the affect of magic. I saw both my words to speak and the art of the gathering.
I do wonder about what my physical eye reality reflected in my emotions and my spirit. Was I just a little off center? Or was a physical telling of how one day I would no longer look outward for awareness of worth but inward to my own true source? I am a whole system, with one part reflecting the parts of the other. I do not believe that my crossed eyes were a signal of a crossed Amy. I believe I had to grow into my inner sight.
to your full self,