Taking off my lenses

A blog entry by Florence Borshy-Desroches

A blog entry by Florence Borshy-Desroches

Sunday night.

I am sitting on the couch after a very full weekend. My partner is tidying up the kitchen.

Our hearts and heads are full, too - of all the things that happened that day. We both welcome the silence as we feel the 'busy-ness' subside - making way for a time of rest.

I take off my glasses.

Being severely far-sighted, this is not something I do often.

(So far-sighted that if in fact my partner were standing 4 feet away from me in a line-up and wasn't talking, I probably wouldn't recognize him.) I spend most of my life wearing contact lenses - and when comes time for sleep, I trade them for thick glasses I need to find my way to bed.

But tonight, I keep my glasses off. I usually don't pay much attention to this _in-between_ time.

It is usually not a time I enjoy or relish - the world is blurry, confusing, and I am looking for the structure and comfort I am used to. Give me my glasses, give me my contacts! Oh thank goodness world, you are still there.

But tonight, for some reason, this _in-between_ time is enticing.

The world is dark and blurry...but I am still breathing.

I see blobs of colours and vague shapes where familiar objects used to lay. Nothing makes sense to me.

And yet, I am filled with a sense of relief. Immense relief. *I* am still here!

I spend my life wanting to label, organize, categorize, analyze and dissect the world. Trying to keep it together, trying to make sense of it. Feeling like the survival of this *I* is intimately tied to this fixed, solid universe.

And yet here I am.

The fridge is not a fridge, the table is not a table, the sky could be the earth for all I know! I start to develop a curiosity about my surroundings which I do not usually have.

Why don't I see this fridge as a fridge? I am the same person, with or without glasses - and yet, this fridge doesn't seem to be the same fridge! I cannot see "fridge" anymore - only "beige rectangular-blob"! Where did "fridge" go?

And more importantly - where did it come from?

Certainly it is not my eyes who see the fridge - for they have not changed.
Certainly the fridge doesn't come from my contact lenses or my glasses, either -
Then it must be my mind that sees the fridge.
That labels fridge "fridge". Partner "partner". Table "table".

But these things that my mind labels must be much more fluid than I take them to be... because if they were totally fixed, wouldn't I see "fridge" as "fridge" all the time, with or without glasses, blurry or not?

And what about events or concepts or ideas? And the opinions I have of them ? They surely are fluid as well.

One second a joke is funny and the next it is not. (One second a fridge is a fridge and the next it is not.)
One second a flower is in full bloom and the next it is... not. (One second a fridge is a fridge and the next it is not.)
One second summer is here and the next it is not. (One second a fridge is a fridge and the next it is not.)

" We often think that bodhicitta – awakened mind – means compassion. But what it means is that the world is an unresolvable situation because it is changing and dynamic and yet we must respond with all our might! " - Elizabeth Mattis Nmagyel

Appreciating the world without my glasses reconciled me with its fluid, changing nature - and mine, by extension.

May we be curious about how our minds see.

May we come to appreciate the _in-between_ moments as much as the ones that feel solid. May we come to find delight in this uncertainty, this not-knowing, this source of limitless curiosity and creativity.

May our lenses come off a little more often, and stay off a little while longer.



Florence Borshy-Desroches loves the wind, the trees, the sea.
She loves giggles, serious discussions, oriental patterns, almost all the colour, cats, the sky and fluffy clouds.
In her day-to-day life, she is an arts administration consultant.
She just completed a Certificate in Applied Mindfulness Meditation at the University of Toronto.