Sunday, May 15, 2016

Lights On

Last night was the school play. I entered what seemed like a pitch black gym a few minutes after the play started. I tried to find my way to a chair, but knew it was hopeless. So I stood for a few minutes looking towards the light, recognizing my students, enjoying their acting.

It didn't take too long for my eyes to adjust enough that I could see an empty row of chairs in the back. As the play progressed and my eyes adjusted, I could see the director, other students sitting here and there. My eyes had eventually adjusted to the dark, and I felt at ease in the gym--enough to stand when my legs needed to be stretched, enough to be aware of the actors entering and exiting from the back of the gym.

How quickly I had adjusted comfortably to the dark.

For a few years, Tony and I have enjoyed a television comedy. We've smiled, laughed, and enjoyed the characters. At the beginning of the new season, one of my favorite character's thoughts and consequent language had changed. A once kind character spoke raunchy, demeaning words. I didn't like it but it was out of character, and I assumed it was a fluke. The next show, the subtle changes in his language were still apparent; it made me uncomfortable, but I kept watching, willing my eyes to adjust to the dark. A third show proved to have the same trend, but I'd already adjusted to the dark. It wasn't until the next day, when I realized I was no longer comfortable. I told Tony I was finished watching the show.

The lights were on, the decision I needed to make was clear.