Do you have dreams that occur again and again? I've had one particular one on and off for around thirty five years - if that sounds a long time to you, it sounds almost unbelievable to me. First a little preamble, of course...
I needed glasses almost overnight when I was about 10. One day, I could see the blackboard, the next I could not. I kept quiet about it for quite a long time - I didn't want glasses, so I tried to avoid copying from the board as much as possible, but after one parents' evening, I had to confess that the reason I never could do 'moon times' (working out how long the moon was visible in the sky each night) was because our teacher wrote it in very small writing at the top corner of the board and I simply couldn't see it.
I got some awful glasses soon after that and although I wore them at home to watch the television, I never wore them at school - they were too hideous and I was awfully shy, embarrassed and self-conscious. (Apparently very vain as well!) For two years at Junior High School, I 'managed' to do my work without drawing attention to the fact that I couldn't see properly. Then, before starting High School, I got some new frames - fine, gold, hexagonal frames - and I could bear to be seen in them. As well as to see in them!
I still hated wearing glasses though and felt invisible behind them. As soon as I was allowed and the optician would prescribe them, I got some contact lenses - the hard, rather uncomfortable type - I was just 16 and wore them for my very last 'O' level exam; it was Biology. And from being a shy, awkward teenager with glasses, I became a rather extroverted individual as I started sixth form - new-born, myself, no longer shy, confident....shades of who I am now, rather than what I had been for most of my childhood. This radical change I felt around the age of 16 may have been connected to wearing contact lenses, rather than glasses, or it could be just a complete coincidence, but for me, my contact lenses became a crucial part of living a normal life. I don't feel properly human til I've got them in my eyes each day.
I went through a very brief phase where I felt I ought to wear glasses from time to time - I had heard of people not being able to wear their lenses as they got older. I was concerned by this so thought I should 'prepare'. The day I went out in the car wearing glasses, I drove into the back of someone in a carpark and burst the radiator on my car! It meant something. Glasses are not for me!
My recurrent dream is about my contact lenses. I don't know if it's a typical lens-wearer's dream or just my own paranoia. I dream that one or both of my lenses break into pieces (they are hard lenses still, though gas-permeable now - I can't do with soft ones at all) but I keep on wearing the little bits, trying really hard to see through them. I honestly can't count the number of times I've had this dream but it is regular, recurring and always vivid - and over many, many years.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I contact the optician who last supplied my with my lenses to see if I could have another pair, same prescription, but an extra, spare, just-in-case pair. They said no, my prescription had expired and I couldn't have more without visiting them - in Huddersfield. So I went to get my eyes checked at our hospital here and was told they were absolutely fine, no problems - just go to an optician here if I need any more. I decided I'd continue as I was for the time being. Why worry, all is well.
Last night, at around 9pm, we had a power failure. It was just us, the rest of the street was fine. Our landlord said he'd come in the morning but not before, so we hunted out candles and rather enjoyed the peace and calm that being without the television or computer brought about. It brought back memories of a lovely party we once had in the UK - our last Christmas there, though we didn't know it at the time - when, just ten minutes before our guests were due to arrive, all the lights went out! Again, we found candles, managed to get them lit and the table laid before anyone arrived. And we went on to have a brilliant evening - the children playing games in the darkness, with lots of squeals and screams - so much so that it was quite a disappointment when the lights suddenly came back on after a couple of hours!
Anyhow, last night, we went to bed quite early, groping around to find nightclothes and me, fire-conscious, blowing candles out a little previously, so that bathroom ablutions were done in the dark - including putting my lenses in their case - no problem, been doing it for years! And my dreams during the long, dark night were wild and totally unrelated to putting broken lenses in my eye.
Until the memory suddenly came back to me as I struggled to understand why my left lens wasn't fitting properly this morning - seriously uncomfortable and no light to see what was wrong! I called FR in some distress and he came running with a torch - then inadvisably touched my lower eyelid, where upon I felt a tremendous pain. With the torch and a mirror, I managed to extract my lens.... or just over half of it!
I can only imagine I must have caught the lens badly in its case last night and cracked it. No amount of looking has located the missing bits!
What a shame I have no other, more exciting recurrent dreams that may materialise in the same way.
What are yours?