To close out Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I would like to take a minute to share something I have been thinking a lot about.
What if eyes didn’t exist? What if where the slimy white spheres should be everyone was left with deep hollow caverns? Think about it, I mean really think about it. What if sight never existed? Meaning, you had no memory of what it was like to wake up and see yourself in the mirror. You had no memory of turning on the light, or looking out the window, or picking out clothes to wear. But it wasn’t just you, but everyone. No one has eyes. It is different than being blind because you wouldn’t wonder what sight was like. You wouldn’t be missing out. No one knows what sight even is and they never did.
A Day in the Life of Someone in a World Without Eyes.
You wake up. But waking up doesn’t involve rubbing your eyes or squinting at the brightness of the sun. Instead, it means stirring from a powerful dream, a dream deeply rooted in warm sensations of love and comfort and seeped in human touch, in human voice, in delicious smells. You were with someone you loved, sharing a meal perhaps, holding hands, laughing. Sound, smell, touch, taste. Images were irrelevant.
You wake form the dream. You get up, but own no lights because lights are aren’t necessary when you have no eyes. You run your hands along your bedspread, soft and ruffled, as you make you way to the door. At the door you jump at the coldness of the handle. In this world, you are more sensitive to touch. Not because you have more nerves responding, but because you are more present to the action. You are not distracted.
In the kitchen you stop for a moment. You center your mind on your stomach. What do you want? What would taste good this morning? Pancakes? French toast? Oatmeal? Eggs? The possibilities cause your mouth to salivate. You blindly, but with confidence open the refrigerator and seek out the ingredients for your favorite meal. You know what the containers feel like. You know the weight of the egg carton. You know the smell of the bread. You know these things because you pay attention to them.
You make the French toast without any fear or insecurity. You have no thought about the calories in this meal. You have no thought about the amount of butter you used on the bottom of the pan. You have no thought about your thighs and what the meal will do to them. Because in this world nutrition labels don’t exist. Mirror don’t exist. Scales don’t exist. Comparisons don’t exist. They don’t exist because in order to exist you would need the slimy white spheres back where you just have deep caverns. You would need sight. Eyes. Images. But in this world, those things don’t exist.
I have been thinking a lot about this idea because I have been reflecting on the brokenness of my eyes and, quite frankly, society’s eyes. I have been asking myself the question, how did I come to see they way I see? How did I come to flinch when I looked in a mirror because of the size of my thighs? How did I come to have an intense fear of the grocery store because of the thousands of nutrition labels staring back at me? How did come to see everyone around me in such a glamorized and beautiful light while I was just a “piece of shit”? How did my eyes come to be so broken? When eyes were meant for the same pleasure as the other senses. For connection and beauty. For love and form.
Without my eyes would my existence be less solid, less definite? Would I be able to experience the world in a four dimensional way? Would I finally become liquid, separate from the solid existence I once knew? I am just searching for a fantasy away from the pain that my eyes bring me. I am searching for another mindset that offers insight into a different way of seeing the world. I am searching and hoping that in imagining a world without eyes, I will start to understand the true function of sight. Not for obsession or vanity or fueling self hatred, but to see, to truly see. That is what I want.