Tag Archives: wear your glasses

five great things someone else said, vol. 8

It is late at night and someone across the way is playing La Vie En Rose. It is the French way of saying, I am looking at the world through rose-colored glasses.Sabrina, 1954

I was in the midst of reading the menu on the restaurant wall when my little cousin looked at me and asked why I was making a face. I had no idea what he meant until he did a startling impression of me looking across the room at the sign. Small children are nothing if not honest. He was squinting. Really squinting.

I realized in that moment that years of wearing glasses casually were over. I had to admit I’d crossed the line from kind of needing them sometimes to kind of needing them often most of the time. All of those fun frames I’d amassed over the years were no longer a mere option. It was obviously affecting my ability to read and upping the potential for serious crow’s feet.

So, I wear them because I can see clearly. Plus, I’m kind of vain.

At twelve, I was absolutely giddy when I was told I could get my first pair. Everyone else in my family had them. My mother accessorized with them in the same way she did earrings or bracelets. And, as any child of the eighties can attest, accessories make the outfit. So, I gleefully picked out a pair, which I wore almost practically never. Which is more than I wore my retainer. The glittery plastic retainer that replaced the one I broke, the one that I also never wore.

For years, I loved shopping for frames like shopping for shoes. Or shopping for pretty much anything. I’m a child of the eighties, remember?

I love glasses. But, like the retainer, I just don’t like being told what to do. Having to rely on them. Accept the things we cannot change – and maybe get a pair of contacts to mix it up a little?

On that note, five great things someone else said about acceptance. 

For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I have accepted fear as part of life – specifically the fear of change… I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back…. – Erica Jong

It’s a very funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it. – W. Somerset Maugham

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master. – Elizabeth Bishop

The moment you accept what troubles you’ve been given the door with open. – Rumi

xo a.
P.S. File this under ONLY CONNECT: I normally write my posts day of, but I wrote this last week knowing I’d be a bit busy with the Alex project through yesterday. There must be glasses on the brain in the blogosphere – check out this great post on BlogHer about a woman and her hunt for the perfect frames. Small, small internet. Lots of us in need of glasses. 

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placebo effect

Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications,

offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.
– Ansel Adams

 

I drove by the sign almost every night, passing quickly on my way downtown. The massive neon art piece lit up the gallery in the darkness – eight, ten feet of rarefied air seeming to float along a high wall in the black space. I always gave it a quick glance. And it always made me smile. Some nights, whisking by at dusk, that sign was like an electric hug. If it spoke, I thought it would sound like Wilford Brimley. Each night I told myself that tomorrow I had to stop. Stop and take it in. Take a photo.

As the months passed, the nights grew colder and rainier and there was always some reason to get home quickly. But even in those few seconds as I passed by, a glimpse at the sign was uplifting. One freezing night in December I got out of the car quickly and snapped a few pictures, satisfied that I had finally (finally!) taken a photo of that glorious sign, those six wonderful words. Soon enough I would be back in Los Angeles, and I would have a print made, something big and bold. Something to look at and smile.

Cut to my desk a few weeks after I returned home. I missed that sign. So I took a break from writing to take a look at the photos from that freezing night. Scrolling through the images I stopped at one of the dark window lit by the neon glow. I took about a dozen shots, hoping that in that quick dash in and out of traffic I was able to get something in focus. And I had. More than half the shots came out beautifully. And I looked at that sign, that evening pick-me-up that always seemed to put a smile on my face, and I did a double take. It wasn’t six words in that string of cursive. It was seven.

 

I look at the photo every day now, and I can’t help but smile. Can’t help but laugh at myself. There were days when that sign really did make me light up, made that slump that sometimes hits in the early evening, as night falls, just drift away. And it still does. Because, most of the time, I still see this:

xo a.