I used to have what optometrists call 20/15 vision. It’s twenty-five percent better than 20/20. Maybe it was because I didn’t read as much as my glasses-wearing pals, or our TV was smaller, or I was just lucky. I was surprised to learn I had better than average vision and as a sports fan, vision always interested me and I gravitated towards athletes who were famous for their vision.
Legendary Red Sox slugger, Ted Williams, could tell you how many seams the bat made contact with. No one believed him until they loaded up the barrel of the bat with pine tar and tested it. And at 90 mph, he was right every time. Or so the legend went. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were two of the best passers in NBA history. They were each too slow and each too big to fit the profile but they had the will and the best vision of many generations. I wasn’t the quickest or strongest basketball player or hockey player but I could see the court or rink better than most, and it helped.
Some of us learn more visually than others. Painters, photographers, musicians, athletes. I sat in front of a computer too often and worked in the dark too long and so my once great vision deteriorated eventually. I wore cheap drugstore glasses for years, too lazy or uninsured to take care of my eyes carefully. But it’s been a few months now since I invested in proper eye-care and I am still adjusting. I think they’re called progressives or something like that. Not important to look it up. But I look at my feet, at another’s face, and at the sky differently. Where I am going, who is in the mirror and where I aspire to be. Just by moving my eyes.
In a real and in a metaphorical sense, I have finally learned to take care of my vision. In a sense, it fills all of the senses. They are expensive, but the cost of not doing so would cost me more.