Although sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, looking through the lense of life as if everything is a sign, lesson, or message makes ordinary events extraordinary. A week passed before a possible explanation emerged, like the pause in a breath, awaiting the flow of exhalation that breathes out answers. Yet finally a sigh released my understanding of a prior event, its significance coming to light defined by my imagination.

My eyes fluttered open last week to pain and an awareness that something was amiss within my left eye. Sharp ache, blurred vision, and an unmistakable knowing caught my undivided attention. Holding my eye with a hand-covered patch, I hobbled to the bathroom. Aided by the mirror, peaking through the fingers for an explanation, I saw a reddened eye in need of care. Removing my extended wear contact lense, the culprit confessed without coercing. The left lense sat in my hand dry, lacking its normal, supple flexibility. I placed it in a case and removed the other, glancing in the mirror with a self-pitied expression.

“I’ve done it now,” I thought, knowing. Guilty of over-wearing my lenses, injuring my vision, suffering the sore sensation, and dire consequences steering me in the face, I cried with immediate regret. Forewarned repeatedly in the past decade of potential hazards of wearing contact lenses overnight, I ignored the warnings, and walked haphazardly, finally tripping a wire to one of the roadside bombs. The ache dulled as the explosion settled, and I surrendered to my eye doctor for exploration, diagnosis, and a solution.

He appeased my self critic when my ears heard words and phrases as, “an abrasion, eventually heal, and vision will return.” Relief filled my senses and my breath returned to normal frequency. Tension tightly wound released when diagnosis and treatment transferred from his mouth to my ears. My elation celebrated the eventual healing, halted my pity party, and added gratitude for the gift of a second chance. Changing my ways to protect my eyesight’s assets remains vital and present for my future.

In retrospect with the gift of time, I am reevaluating the meaning behind the eyelid. Losing focus, lacking clarity, taking senses for granted, ignoring the rules, dry eye – unrealized emotions, squandering vision, and seeking support for deficiency (eyeglasses). Tampering with these metaphoric explanations, numerous thoughts reveal themselves. Am I losing my vision of my life purpose, taking for granted my talents and valuable senses including intuition? Ignoring any rules subconsciously with my food lifestyle, blocking emotions from reaching the surface, or losing focus in various areas of my life, I ask myself? In an area of limitations, have I sought help plentifully when needed? Am I seeing clearly through the lense of my life or have I blurred my vision from obstinence, recklessness, and/or laziness?

The good news while answering these quandaries is I am healing, experiencing jubilation by the opportunity to receive a do-over, and reestablishing goals within a slew of personal and professional pursuits. Given the chance to evaluate the metaphoric meanings behind experiences is an uncertain venture, but adds a key element to growth, learning, and improvement in life. Yet sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Freud would have had a field day with my lost vision and how to regain it. Looking through life’s lense contains valuable insights.