I have good news and bad news.
The bad news: it’s taken way longer than I would have guessed to improve my eyesight to the degree I sought (i.e., good enough for driving, seeing signs, etc.) Let’s call this the goal of greater visual acuity.
The good news – the rewilding of my vision started right away, and has only gotten more and more fascinating. I continue to discover endless depths and frontiers to the visual world. And my wide-angle vision has become an unforeseeably magnificent animal – like running across a wolverine in the mountains, when you’re just out for a walk.
I can honestly say, with sufficient light, I never feel bored – ever! I always take advantage of the opportunity to just watch the world, and explore what I can do today, in this moment, with my eyesight.
With how rich my visual experience has become, it has only increased my awareness of and passion for exploring the potential rich depths of my other senses – hearing, smell, taste, touch (and others?)
This flavor of vision improvement has its costs.
Rewilding my vision has yoked my wide-angle vision to my visual acuity. Meaning, my progress in clearing my vision continues only as I improve my wide-angle visual perception. I know of methods that don’t create this connection at all – such as Brian Severson’s Vision Freedom method that I ran across a decade and a half ago – and participants seem to progress much more quickly.
This understanding has given me much more patience – I could have clearer vision more quickly, but by doing it this way, I improve my peripheral, wide-angle vision too. And that has made all the difference!
Already, early on in rewilding my vision, playing perception games (like flipping through a Where’s Waldo book), I found myself in a class all my own. Usually it only took a few seconds to solve such puzzles – and outside observer would just see me flipping one page after another.
Now, scavenger hunts in the real world also feel much easier. I have a much deeper sense of the “pattern search” nature of tracking. Like a blood-hound smelling a pair of shoes before a search, I just need to know accurately what my sought-after object looks like, and I can find it rapidly.
How do I know I’ve made progress?
I now regularly, all day long, experience a phenomenon, where I can, at will, clear up my visual field. I go from blurry to almost painfully clear with just a thought.
This bounces back and forth – I usually need time to go for a walk in the morning light to set the tone for the day, and computer use acts as one factor “blunting” my vision.
I also can intensely feel the muscles lining the socket of my eye working – like after an intense workout, you can feel muscles you didn’t even know you had. I didn’t even know some of these eye muscles had anything to do with my vision!
I’ve discovered that they seem to hold the eye taut, like the people holding the sides of a trampoline. Though my eye can clear up without this extra effort, this “tautness” of the muscles around the eye make for the most extended clearing-up.
And it just feels amazing.
Another odd side-effect of improved wide-angle vision: when I start nearing a jump in my peripheral vision, objects and colors to the sides of me feel “wiped on my cheeks”, I have an almost physical sense of them to my sides. Very cool!
So give it a shot.
In Rewilding Your Vision Part II, I gave some specific instructions on trying this out.
As my friend, and fellow tracker, Billy says: “There are 11 kinds of Wide-Angle Vision”. I may have my own number (and want to learn more about his!), but without a doubt this unfinished journey has felt worth every step. I have every confidence that my vision as I age will only get better; perhaps at age 80 I’ll have the best vision of my life!
Thanks again to one of my mentors, Tom Brown, Jr., who shared this possibility with me.