Many people pursuing vision improvement concentrate on seeing details more and more clearly, in order to know they’re progressing. Is that line on the eye chart clearer than it was yesterday? Is my eyesight really getting better? Healthy vision includes other types of seeing too, in particular light and shadow, depth or texture, movement, and color.
The human eye has 2 types of photo-receptors which are responsible for our vision, namely rods and cones. The job of the cones is to provide clarity, and to allow us to see color. The cones need a certain amount of light to function, so you can’t see sharp detail at night if it’s too dark, and all colors will seem like shades of gray then. My point here is that the exact same biological structure which is responsible for seeing those little letters on the eye chart or the iPhone clearly, is also responsible for seeing vivid colors. So I often encourage my students to play with noticing color differences, as part of their vision practice.
This time of year in NY where I live is so good for this! I can get lost examining a fallen leaf in my hand, scanning the dark red or vivid orange or bright yellow shades as they blend into one another. Or I’ll gaze at the trees nearby or on top of that distant hill, letting my vision wander over the contrasting hues which are always a perfect blend, never garish, like an elaborate tapestry. On a clear day the sky seems even bluer and more vibrant than it does in summer, since there’s always a slight haze of humidity here in the warmer weather. All this color seems like food for my eyes, a luscious banquet everywhere I turn when I am outdoors.
A frequent comment from people talking off their glasses is that the colors appear brighter. I also hear this after a short palming session, when a student’s eyes are more relaxed. Glasses will mute the colors you look at, as will even a clean window. So spend some time out-of-doors every day if you can, without your glasses, letting your eyes drink in the full richness of the colors of Nature. No technicolor movie can compare!
Another thing I like about looking at colors as vision practice is that it seems much more like play than work. Scanning the eye chart for too long, even when I am getting increasing clarity and clear flashes, can feel like sitting in a sterile schoolroom doing a lesson. This is not much fun, even though I liked school. Playing is how children learn, and I should have learned better how to see clearly when I was a child, so it’s high time. Wow, I just realized my mother often dressed me in browns and tans when I was little, as if brightly colored clothes would attract too much attention to me! Now I’m drawn to bright colors in my clothes. As I sit here in my vivid red jeans, I also wish vibrant colorful relaxed joyful vision for you.
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