Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

–Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz


I had cataract surgery on my right eye yesterday. I’ll have my left eye done in a couple of weeks. They replaced my cloudy lens with a multi-focal lens that also corrects my vision. This morning, I took off the plastic shield and stepped onto my patio and said, “Wow! I don’t believe it. Toby, (my puppy) I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, my world changed almost as dramatically as hers did when she landed in Oz. Everything is brighter, sharper, more vivid. I know I’ll get used to it and it will go back to seeming “normal” soon. I wish it didn’t. I wish I could maintain this sense of wonder, clarity, vividness.

I often use the metaphor of seeing clearly to describe the transformation we go through when we see ourselves, others, and our circumstances in new ways. When we look through a window at something, we focus on the something and not the glass of the window. We assume we’re seeing the something just as it is. But what if the window is dirty, distorted, or streaked with rain. We don’t notice the window because we’re focusing on the something. But if we take the time to step away and focus on the window, everything may change. We may Windex the window, find a pane that’s not distorted, or wait till a sunny day. Suddenly, the something looks different.

We live our lives not realizing that we’re looking at ourselves and the world through a window (or a lens) that may or may not be accurate. When we develop the ability to change “how” we see, “what” we see changes also. And therein lies infinite possibilities.