Experiences are the stones beneath a stream; lines of a sketch; pieces of a puzzle; the threads of identity. That is what I believe in.
One of these puzzle pieces, for me, was just an accident; a mere fight between children that led to a measly amount of blood leaking from my eyes. My mother ended up brushing off. Months pass, and I’d look into the sunlight with tears leaking out instead of blood. I’d have my pictures taken with my eyes closed because I couldn’t handle the flash. Why were my eyes so sensitive? Different doctors kept saying the same thing:
“It will pass.”
And thus, another year passes before the truth is revealed – there was a scar tissue on my eye’s cornea, most likely from that mere fight between children that I had before I even entered school. One cornea transplant and laser eye correction later, I was diagnosed with what’s called a lazy eye; my brain no longer uses my left eye and focuses on controlling my right eye to see… It was an adaptation of some kind. The doctor said that the only issue I will have is in perceiving distance, especially when driving at night.
“It will pass”, they once said.
Now, here I am – fully unaware of how much distance is in between two people’s hearts; two people’s perspectives; two people’s beliefs. Here I am – talking less, observing more, simply passing by. It was as if by looking harder, I can make up for the loss of my left eye. I listen and pass by, pretending that I am driving in the dark (just as they said I couldn’t) on a stretch of blacktop, a meandering arm of mortar and macadam, illuminated by the pale ivory of a one unseeing moon, and a tired eye. Dilating and contracting. But still, I will see and I will pass by, driving endlessly, headlights picking holes in shadows, navigating around words, with a suitcase in hand, stuffed with expectations and drama and tears, barely patched together with shriveled bright stickers. Names of people, of feelings. Loss. Joy. Sorrow. Fatigue.
I am just passing by.
Perhaps on that fateful day, when the blood leaked from my eye, it dripped and funneled down through the cracks of the asphalt road. It was soaked into the dark and silent earth below – wildflowers grow from it. And they peer, fragile and new, rooted between the cracks. Always observing, always listening, always contorting in chilly winds, wilting in withering heats and curling up in stinging snow storms. It extrudes, expands, winces, and shrivels back into itself, only to expand once more, travelling forward as if along a leaf, avid for vision; travelling forward as if it was just passing by. But I believe that no matter how much you drive forward, roots are roots, and identity is threaded together by it. After all, experience is but a mere puzzle piece; both small and big at the same time. You can’t leave it behind.
They told me it would pass, but what if it doesn’t?
Dooley, Kevin. Puzzle. Digital image. Flicker, 29 June 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2015. <https://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/14555354976/in/photolist-obcZW9-bz9nwE-921hgP-fy7kRK-rSUCZf-95DzWo-rRaVNr-bz9PHJ-jxSHMc-ypFzW-5JTESj-92pY1d-nE5NVE-5zQF6x-CVtE-bdE9ct-59BFCr-oyKtAq-5T78KJ-pgzLLJ-iJFH-okRo1S-4EEuP8-5jAiHB-eyWQpq-phE16P-C9EbG-4esZsL-rDMQSn-53St2-bNWQBR-qSQLRn-59ktec-59koGM-qTrayC-dWU7bQ-7CUhWp-cFnmdQ-4jp5ok-672PA1-5SfK7D-oCVWxd-ngrwAX-mt92xK-bAsFiE-4rAM9f-7jdFM-8TeL5r-8ipJdL-aCTM4a>.
Bouyssou, Anne Marie. Puzzle Ou Jeux De Patience… Digital image. Flicker, 19 Dec. 2007. Web. 15 Sept. 2015. <://www.flickr.com/photos/-noisette-/2123007234/in/photolist-4eAY61-9kcKfs-7WC4C-vc1QKf-dD9hAn-mbpbLN-pDXtuz-azsdFu-4WPqNz-tVKuTq-oWK76C-5p9vc6-h82ub-q1SdhF-4xBTtF-5sLeBJ-4qQmek-6y2jMX-5Gtgia-5wbcDw-7xpuQd-5ZLAaQ-pkQNGa-qcVdzR-5RjunV-6cczkB-rmEYc4-9mNt8V-6LNRzg-J76dz-aSj57v-7dUg1s-5BYgYa-4dk3ii-4uVXvH-a71fcL-oUiPeA-8HuQLa-ouRLQW-jV9zY-5g6PTY-bbSdx4-oUCHN4-b2R6ft-9eLDjr-dP9ecw-nLtYsi-99nUt3-dRfcba-9DEGov>.