Strange thoughts occur during the waking moments of the day. This morning, various pairs of eyes paraded across the blank screen of my mind, as if awaiting assessment (or were they assessing?) – inviting, daring, willing me to read them. Here is a sampling – the dream state eyes are replicated by some cropped images.
Each set of eyes carries its own silent language. Is it a soul language? Contemplate the different pairs of eyes and you receive something different from each – innocence, beauty, wisdom, hope, trust, discernment – and stereotyping not withstanding , it is possible to attribute these characteristics across generation and gender.
What a gift we give each other if we use our eyes when communicating. When in teaching or mentoring mode, I will sometimes say in good humour, “Show me the colour of your eyes!” Such a startling demand banishes coy, deferential or defiant avoidance of eye contact and paves the way for some good locking of rapport.
This is why I am often bemused by those, who, from behind dark eye-shades, lobby for the banning of the hijab “because it hides the ability to communicate.” Try reading a face hidden by a pair of Gucci sunshades! Far easier to communicate with eyes peeking over a veil.
The language of the eyes is no new discovery – it has been around a long time.
Cicero (106-43 B.C.) is believed to have said, Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi – ‘The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter.’
Jesus, in Matthew’s version of the Sermon on the Mount, declares, Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!
Matthew 6:22-23 (Eugene Peterson, The Message)
It was the French, however, who coined the phrase, Les yeux sont le miroir de l’âme. ‘The eyes are the mirror of the soul.’
So, ain’t it a pity that this blog can’t show you a pair of eyes so you can read its soul! But then it could read yours – and you may not be ready or willing for that!