Life has been moving slowly for me since I started vision therapy. I sleep a lot more. But now I spend a lot of time staring at trees and not only smelling the proverbial roses, but admiring them in real life from all angles. As I move slowly, other aspects of my personal and professional life move at an equally slow pace. It’s as though I inhabit some other planet where time moves slower than on planet earth.

Yesterday, I was on my regular Saturday hike with my Brazilian hiking group (in Silicon Valley) and while the group stopped for a rest by the reservoir, I was staring at the birds flying above the water. I stopped paying attention to both the English and Portuguese conversations and admired the birds. The birds seemed closer to me than how they would usually look so far away. Because the sky was clear blue, the birds were distinct. As the group was ready to move on, I just wanted to stare at the aviary splendor. But I didn’t know how to explain my wonder to the group as no one knew about my VT. (The topic came up about an hour later and I told them why I was so intent on looking at the birds. They were all very supportive and surprised.)

I can’t describe exactly what it is, but there’s something different about several things I look at. Tree branches seem to move towards me when I walk. The carpet at the gym (ok, not as pretty as the roses, but intriguing nonetheless) fascinates me as I look down when I am doing my leg stretches. (Susan Barry suggested my brain may do less suppression when I look down at objects and when either I or the object are in motion and she’s right.) In the case of the birds, both I and the flock were moving and they really stood out to me. I recently remarked that my parents’ refrigerator is not a matte surface. When I retold my discovery with awe to my mom, she looked at me funny and said, “You just realized that now?”

It’s as though I’m looking at the world anew, as though I’m a visitor from another planet whose sense of time is much slower. However, my go-getter self is not keen on the slowness of my VT (15 months plus) and how everything else in my life seems to be moving at a snails pace. Media pieces I was interviewed for months ago, are only published months later, people take forever to return my calls and emails, etc.

This alien is happy to see trees for the first time and admire roses. Good thing many of my neighbors have beautiful rose bushes and there’s a rose garden not far from my home.

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