I was standing on 14th Street in Manhattan waiting for the M-15 to take me home on June 26th, 2006. It was a warm day, there was no bus in sight, so I headed to a newsstand and scanned the covers of all the magazines. A New Yorker grabbed my eye, on the cover an article by Oliver Sacks about vision. I absolutely love Oliver Sacks, so I bought it and jumped on the bus.
Isn't life so amazing? Tracing back from extraordinary events, we see it was nothing more than a moment that started it all. For me it was a summer day standing on a dirty sidewalk waiting for a bus and deciding to look at magazines.
Dr. Sacks wrote about a woman named Dr. Sue Barry who had discovered a wonderful visual world unbeknownst to her one day while walking out of her optometrist, Dr. Theresa Ruggerio's office in Northampton, Ma.
I remember the day perfectly. I hopped off the bus, and continued reading on my couch that afternoon until my husband came home from work and found me exploding with the story I had just read.
Oh my God Sean, how was your day, but wait, wait, before you tell me, I have got to tell you about this article I just read in the New Yorker... This woman... Oh my God, I just can't believe, it... she, she, well she is like me... I had no idea there was even others out there who had no depth perception... and she GOT IT BACK! I mean, she, she actually got it back and supposedly it is totally different. It is just the most amazing thing I have EVER read.
I could barely contain myself. The opthamologist told my mum and dad when I was a child that I would not miss much, perhaps have some difficulty with depth in sports, but that was it, and here I just read about this woman who had this experience of seeing in a way that seemed incredible, magical, spectacular, unbelievable. I wasn't even sure if I believed it. I thought, how could things really look that different? I can see, and function in the world just fine. Ok, maybe I slam glasses down on tables misjudging the distance or I miss when trying to pour things, but otherwise I see just like everyone else, right?
I cried that night in the dark bedroom of our East Village apartment. I had no idea I was ever missing anything... Somewhere in the blur of my tears I decided that I was going to find out if I could see this way, I was going to find this magical visual world that Dr. Sue Barry found.