The Eyes Have It

The eyes offer a unique glimpse into the human psyche. Sadly, it’s a glimpse we often take for granted, or ignore entirely.

#Create365 – January 4, 2019

I have to admit, I have a thing for eyes.

Now relax dear reader, this isn’t some weird serial killer body part fixation. I just find the eyes to be often the most striking part of a person.

They’re the first thing I notice when I meet someone, though it must be said that many people do not believe me when I tell them this. Considering the sometimes obsessive and always-annoying male fixation with other… areas of the female body – namely those of the gluteal and mammary variety – I can understand the skepticism.

However, I speak with total sincerity when I say that I am invariably drawn to the eyes of a person when I meet them.

Indeed, when I met my late fiancée Raven, they were the second thing I noticed. I say second because at 6 foot 3 inches and 250 pounds of muscle, she was… rather difficult to miss. Her eyes were the deepest shade of green I had ever seen. In fact they were so green, she was constantly being accused of wearing coloured contacts.

While it may seem novel at first, evidence shows that I am not alone in this fascination for a being’s ocular apparatus.

Our literature is replete with references to eyes. Don’t believe me? With just a cursory amount of research, I was able to dig up over a hundred different phrases used in our everyday parlance, all surrounding the eyes.

To provide some examples:

We can be up to one’s eyeballs with work.

When wronged, we sometimes demand an eye for an eye.

An easy task can be done with one’s eyes closed.

It’s said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

One might tell someone that they are easy on the eyes, or even that they are eye candy, though in the blink of an eye one could end up with a black eye.

The apple of my eye, keep one’s eyes peeled, eyes are bigger than one’s stomach and scales falling from one’s eyes makes me think that the creator(s) of these phrases have a knowledge of human physiology that can charitably be described as… thin.

When imagining something, we say that we can see it in our mind’s eye.

People can be in the public eye. (Though one hopes the public has more than one.)

If we meet someone new we might say that we caught someone’s eye, which, it must be said, is quite disturbing.

A mysterious person may be described as more than meets the eye. (Note: Anyone over a certain age is incapable of reading that phrase in anything but a robot voice.)

When we wish someone to be forthright with us, we demand that they look us in the eye. (Was there another option? The spleen perhaps? The elbow?)

There are also times when one might be tempted to give someone the stink eye, though… the less said about that, the better methinks.

We have jaundiced eyes and red eyes, roving eyes and bedroom eyes. There are big eyes, evil eyes, naked eyes and private eyes. Hell, there are even eyes in the sky!

The obsession with all things optical is not limited to humans. Animals often appear in these phrases as well, from those with eyes like a hawk, or eagle-eyes, to the poor unfortunate soul with raccoon eyes, or the always lamented snake eyes. Is this the end of the eye references? In a pig’s eye!

Waxing philosophical for a moment, we’re all familiar with the idea that the eyes are the windows of the soul. I’d have to agree, though it does make one wonder where “the basement door of the soul” is located. Upon further reflection, it’s probably a query best left unanswered.

Ladies and gentlebeings, I could go on like this for days without batting an eye, drawing up a list of recondite references and obscure idioms as far as the eye can see, but I have a feeling that before long, you’d be ready to roll your eyes and turn a blind eye to such nonsense. After all, it’s all fun and games until someone loses and eye. Then it’s a sport.

The importance we place upon the eyes is not an accident, nor is it incidental. The eyes truly are windows to the soul. They reveal a great deal when we take the time to study them closely.

Within a person’s eyes you can truly see love, hate, fear, courage and even the spark of life. Those who have been unfortunate enough to have witnessed the death of another have often spoken of a dimming of the eyes as the end comes. The change is so subtle that it barely registers on a conscious level, but the effect is immediate.

The light of life has faded, the brief candle extinguished.

The eyes tell us so much, and yet we focus ours on everything but the eye’s of another person, preferring the artificial optics of a mobile device or computer screen.

Raven was a very quiet person and not terribly demonstrative as a rule. However when we were together, I could read her every mood, and almost her thoughts, just from her eyes. We could have entire conversations across a room, just with our eyes. It became a fun game for us to play when we were out with friends. From those green jewels I could see the depths of love she felt for me, for her family, and her friends. I could see the pain that filled her heart whenever she saw suffering or tragedy. More than once I found myself moved to tears by what I saw in those eyes.

Dear reader, forgive me for suddenly turning serious on you, but I would ask a favour if I may be so bold:

When you spend time with the special people in your life, particularly if you’ve been blessed with a partner-in-love, take the time to study their eyes. See what they reveal about their moods and their feelings. Make a game out of it, trying to guess what the other is thinking, just from their eyes.

You might just discover a special kind of magic, right before your eyes.

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