When I remove my new specs – which I must do every time I change from looking at something within arm’s reach to looking at something further off – I notice a very obvious effect. The world gets a great deal smaller.
Long-sight is something that happens to us with old age, as the elasticity of our lens reduces. It’s quite natural. It happens to us all, leaving us gurning at the small print on food labels in the supermarket, head cocked back and to one side, the mysterious jar held as far from our face as we can get it. The gurning isn’t optional. It somehow goes with the territory, as if society demands that we flag up our disabilities for others, and the internationally accepted sign of poor eyesight is the gurn.
Small world. Big world. Small world.
And yet before I had glasses, I was unaware of the world having shrunk. It seemed a perfectly normal size to me, but since I have received the gift of reality from Specsavers, I marvel at how much smaller the world is now than it was when I was a child. It’s tiny. I can prove it.
Look at Wagon Wheels. Go back and look at your primary school assembly hall. Hyde Park used to be colossal, but these days you can fire a Strepsil clean across it if you sneeze unexpectedly.
Things are shrinking fast. It’s a fact.
I pondered the scientific roots of this phenomenon. Astronomy and physics tell us that the universe is flying apart. The red shift, all that stuff – it proves the speed and direction of objects in the universe. It tells us that things are, unquestionably, getting further away from one another. Clearly that is also what happens to humans. As we age, our souls and reality fly further and further apart. Behind the lenses of our eyes, each person is flying away from reality at an astonishing speed. And so the world looks smaller and smaller in our short span of years.
Eventually we will merely be bright dots to one another. At that point, even the really big jars of Marmite will look small. And I suppose that what we call “dying” is when someone stops peering through their eye lenses, and wanders off to find something bigger to look at.