I used to wear glasses –
For fifteen years I wore glasses for long distance, and for reading.
I even had prescription lenses made for my sunglasses.
I couldn’t see without my glasses.
Then I walked the Camino – and I noticed that gradually, I didn’t need my glasses anymore.
While I was walking I was always taking them off whenever I took a photo, and putting them back on after the shot – and after a while it just became bothersome, so I left my glasses off altogether.
And I kept them off.
When I finished the Camino and got back home I was all prepared to start wearing my glasses again, but I found I didn’t really need them.
Today I went to renew my driver’s license.
I needed to take an eyesight test. I decided to give the test a shot without my glasses. And I was surprised to find that I passed!
So I now officially don’t need glasses anymore!
Here’s what I used to look like with glasses…
nice photo of you,Bill….must be captured by a professional….
I can’t remember who took the shot Hilde. It was so long ago my hair was dark!
What a wonderfully cheeky remark!! 🙂
Good news! This is one of your “curious” experiences that I actually fully identify with. When I was in my 40s, I experienced an apparent improvement quite suddenly and had to get a weaker prescription. My THEORY (totally unproven or supported by any knowledgeable person) is that my glasses had been too strong for years but my eyes could do the necessary accommodation (between far and close focus) until they started to get old and tired. Then they balked suddenly and refused to do it any longer. I could not wear my glasses without nausea.
When you were on the camino you were doing mostly distance-viewing that allowed your eyes to relax their bad habit (encouraged by wrong eyeglass prescription) of too much focus. Close focus requires scrunching up the eyes, whereas distance vision is relaxed. That’s why it is recommended to look out the window frequently when you are doing close work for long periods.
I am going on a bit, but no one else has ever been interested in discussing this with me!
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Hi Clare – yes, you can look at this two ways; from a purely physiological viewpoint you’re right – that extended period using your eyes to ease into a particular typing of “seeing” can be rejuvenating. The other way to look at it is to say that it’s the energy of the Camino that has rectified the eyesight. But no matter which way you look at it, it’s still a miracle! 🙂 Bill
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You know, the explanations are compatible.
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I didn’t doubt it Bill.
We still need to have that private talk about it … 🙂
In personal news, well, seems either I’ll need to delay my Fatima > Santiago > SJPP > Lourdes gig ’til 2016, or I’ll start a Winter pilgrimage in November from Portugal.
Would certainly be an efficient means to rid myself of calories. And already own a basic Winter kit (except boots, and lol socks).
it’s an important one, that I cannot delay unless forced — but delay is in fact currently forced. Wanted to get going next month, but that’s now utterly unfeasible.
A few days ago I found out about your book The Way, My Way through a Camino website and yesterday I devoured it. I loved it so much I blogged about it to my readers.
Here is the link if you would like to see it: http://www.lifeoutofbounds.com/2015/07/06/the-way-my-way-by-bill-bennett-book-review/
I will now be enjoying your blog. Keep walking! All the best, Monica
Dear Monica –
this is so very kind of you, thank you!
I will do another Camino book, but it will be when I do what I call my “front door” pilgrimage, when I just walk out my front door in Mudgee Australia, and walk to Santiago.
Planning that one now!
Again my sincerest thanks for the wonderful review.
Wow! So you are planning to actually walk/swim from Australia to Santiago? 😉
And you are welcome! Looking forward to the next one.
Haha – yes Monica, this is one of the issues – how would a pilgrim do it? Ideally I’d love to walk up through Australia to Darwin, catch a ferry across to Timor, walk up thru the Malay Peninsula and then thru India etc – but I have to be practical.
This would be less an endurance / adventure walk but more a pilgrimage in the spirit of those original pilgrims.
So I’m thinking either I walk 300kms from my home in Mudgee to Sydney airport, then catch a flight to either Paris and start from the Notre Dame, or to Heathrow and make my way to the hospital at Wimbledon, which is where I was born, and start from there.
Time though is the issue because I need to block off sufficient time, and I’m very busy at the moment making my film on intuition.
The accompany book wil not on,y be able the walk, but about when I have learnt spiritually since embarking on that first Camino.
By the way I’m looking forward to exploring your website!
Well, if you were to do the Darwin-ferry-Timor-Malaya etc. plan you would have to set aside a few years. Haha!
If you were born in Wimbledon, walking from there to Santiago would already be a nice stretch of the leg. 🙂
I will watch out for announcements!
Thanks for wanting to explore my website. I hope you will enjoy it.
Wimbledon might be fun — BTW it’s an easy one day stage from Heathrow to Wimbledon, though of course you’d have travel fatigue.
My grandmother lived in Wimbledon with her children for a long time, though she moved out before you were born, I think.
Hi Julian – sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you. I owe you a reply on your previous comment about your pilgrimage, and your delay. That’s a shame, but often these things work out for your highest good. Once I get a clear space of time for this walk, I’d like to go over it with you in detail – particularly the route through France. My feeling, if I were to do Wimbledon, would be to get to Dover then go to Calais and walk to Paris, then down through the Dordogne to Lourdes, then to SJPP and so forth. But I will need probably at least four months, and I really can’t lock off that amount of time until I finish my PGS film. And yes, I do very much look forward to us meeting and talking all things esoteric and spiritual – and possibly even religious, if you insist!!
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Y and the walk from Heathrow, except the beginning of it through the ghastly Hounslow, would take you through Kew Gardens to the lovely Richmond ; then Richmond Park, Wimbledon Common, Wimbledon — then some very green suburbia ’til you reach the Countryside.
Lots of commuter-landia ’til Dover or Portsmouth, but you’ll have gotten used to that on the walk into Sydney 🙂 … and there ARE some very nice spots down there along the way, whichever direction you take.
I’d probably do the > Sevenoaks > Aylesford route, then hit that green belt of farmland through tiny villages to Canterbury, then either follow the traditional Way of St James down from there to Dover, or keep well south of the A2 on little lanes through villages again.