Please Don’t Close Your Eyes, Because I Can’t See Your Soul

Photo: National Geographic

The eyes – the proverbial windows of the soul.  They reflect a myriad of emotions – fear, sadness, elation, excitement, confusion, anger.  Most novels have some reference to them. Regardless of what the rest of the face is doing, the eyes are what tell the truth.  “…he smiled, but it didn’t reach his eyes.”  “Her eyes flashed with passion.”

No, these are windows that can never be shut.

Photo: eyebrowtips.org

Covered, perhaps, but never shut.  They hold the light of our soul until we are no more.

Eye contact connects one soul to the other.  How comfortable are we when talking to someone who refuses to look in our eyes?  Or soothed when words are emphasized by a caring look?  Words are strengthened with simple eye-to-eye engagement.  Eye contact also helps us decipher what words can so cleverly conceal.

But not only do these fabulous, expressive orbs transmit emotions, they can transmit something more – the actual soul of a being.

Have you ever looked into someone’s eyes – a stranger’s – and just…known…them?  Were there, within those eyes, years, maybe lifetimes, of friendship?  Perhaps that is what seals the deal between Elena Aitken and her “Besties.”  I’m fairly certain that is what happened between my friend of 30 years, Marie, and I when we met in college.  We were picking roommates in our dorms and with just one look, one “Hi there!” and we’ve been best friends ever since.  Months will slip by without us speaking to each other, but we are always able to pick up where we left off without skipping a beat.  My neighbor, Jill, and I had met about five years ago, but from day one, I just knew her, almost like a sister.  And my cousin, Toria, and I are closer than most, though I didn’t meet her until I was 30 years old.  Same with Kathleen Mulroy.  We connect on so many different levels, I knew when we met six years ago, that our friendship was solid.

Now let me bump up the intensity.  Tell me about your lifemate/husband/wife.  Did you “just know” that he/she was the one?  Like you both knew the same dance, the same rhythm of life?  What was it when you first looked into each other’s eyes that told you that, yeah, I know you from somewhere?

For me, it was a volleyball player from UCLA.  The recognition was instantaneous and riveting. So much so, it scared me.  I bumbled my way through the few words that we exchanged, and I turned that meeting into one of those, “Damn! If only I had said…”  He ended up walking away, and me…I’ve been kicking myself ever since.

That was 24 years ago.  His face, more specifically, his eyes, are just as real today as they were all those years ago.  I still wonder who it was looking out at me.  Was it an angel who wanted to offer me encouragement or perhaps he was my twin flame who wanted to connect?  My nerves and/or shyness had taken over and I had blown it.  Or maybe the timing was off.  Kind of a ships-that-pass-in-the-night thing.  I’ll never know for certain, but that encounter had such an impact on me, I just had to include it in my first novel, Again.

Now here’s a kicker.  We have built such a strong social circle with our followers and those we follow through our blogging, commenting, and connecting through tweets …how would all of that change (if indeed it would) if we could Skype in blips of say, 10 or 15 seconds?  We hide behind our words and profile pictures now, but what if we actually showed our face and our eyes?  (Gasp!)  Not only would we have to make sure our hair is brushed and we are out of our pajamas and slippers (maybe), but we would have to make sure our intentions are cleaned up as well.  Would there really be a difference?  Our fingers type one thing, but is our soul saying another?  Do our words and eyes really corroborate with one another?  After all, there is no “delete” or backspace button and we can’t tweak our eyes.

Sure, there will always be exceptions, but overall, where do you stand?  Come on, be honest here…or perhaps we could have this conversation through Skype…

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About Diana Murdock

California-grown, writer of contemporary and YA paranormal with enough energy to write, raise two boys, run, and dream.

Posted on September 27, 2011, in Blogging, Friendships, Human, Personal, Relationships, Twitter, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I get upset when a reporter is interviewing a sports star after a game, and the star is looking everywhere except at the reporter. I always think, “What a jerk.” It’s like someone talking to you while they’re checking their smartphone. Not cool. Great post Diana.

  2. I loved it!! I agree the eyes are the mirror to somebody’s soul. But sometimes, what you think you saw in those eyes can be deceiving.

    I remember looking into my ex-husband’s eyes and think: i know him from somewhere and he will always be by my side. Well…. apparently my reading of his eyes was wrong!!!

    I like to look into somebody’s eyes, but most importantly, I like to see the person’s heart, and I can only do that by observing their behavior and paying attention to their actions.

    I got misled so many times. Thinking I’d have a great friendship that soon became a joke of a relationship.

    Life’s complex. Every human being’s different. Their eyes can reflect so much… and if I can’t get a good friendship out of it, at least it makes for great story-telling!!

  3. What a great post! I’ve always hated talking on the phone, and I think it’s because I can’t see the person I’m talking to. I’m so dependent on seeing their eyes to read the subtext of what they’re really thinking.

    That leads to a funny story. My brother has worn a beard for the last 20 years. A couple of months ago, he shaved it off (and told me he had, fortunately). When I saw him again, I honestly probably wouldn’t have noticed. I watch the eyes so intently, the presence/absence of beard barely registered.

    I’m not sure how our online communications might change if we could see each other. On one hand, if someone is deliberately trying to deceive, it’s probably easier to do in text. On the other hand, text allows a special type of honesty for those people who have a hard time expressing difficult thoughts and emotions face to face. A very interesting question!

  4. Ah, Diana, body language and eyes are key elements of communication. That is indeed a missing ingredient in the networking we love. But I’ll wager technology will ramp up and include the ability to do “skype” like stuff on our blogs. What a difference it will make. How will I come across as pleasant and interesting when i’d rather be elsewhere?

    Is this the reason emotive content is so important when only words are involved. Body language and eyes supply that element in direct communication, but we must master the connecting words without it.

    Great blog once again, Diana.

  5. I agree with Marion. Body language and eyes are a huge part of a conversation. How many times have we read the sentence, “Her smile didn’t reach her eyes.”?

    Call me a Luddite, but I prefer writing letters. I exchange letters with my best friend. There’s something about putting a pen to paper and it also gives me an excuse to buy beautiful stationery. When I’m having a party, I send out invitations. No eVites for moi.

  6. Another great post, Diana! Some editors try to tell writers not to make references to the eyes because it is over used. What a bunch of bunk. You are right– the eyes are windows to the soul and tell us so much. And when a writer uses the eyes so many words can be left out because the meaning is in the look.

    I think you have read my post about meeting my soul-mate but others might enjoy it. It is a true love-at-first-sight. 35 years later that look is still there. If anyone is interested- it’s a short piece and you might enjoy it. http://danniehill.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/a-writer-in-thailand-the-beginning/

    That picture of the young Afgan girl haunted me for years as a young man and as I got older. I finally wrote a book that had a girl with intense green eyes playing a small part and I used that girl as a model. It’s called In Seach of a Soul.

    I’m sorry to sound like a salesman– that’s is not my intent. Your post always touch me and make me think and for that I thank you.

    I’m a bit slow in commenting due to the floods in Thailand and slow internet, but I never miss your post, Diana!

  7. I was just telling my daughter this evening how important eye contact is. You can’t truly convey your meaning if you don’t meet a person’s eyes when you speak to them. The words may be the same, but its the non-verbal communication – especially with the eyes – that really sends your message home.

    Great post, Diana!

  8. Hi again, Diana! I love your blog, and since you’re on a roll with awards this week, I nominated you for the “Versatile Blogger” award, too.

    The explanation is here: http://wp.me/p1qrBV-a3. Feel free to ignore the rules as you see fit. I may joke about the award itself, but I hope you’ll accept the sincere compliment behind it.

  9. Hi Diana,

    What a great post! If I had “to skype blog”, I guess things would get a lot more professional and I would almost feel like Im back to work in a homely setting.

    Best
    Suma.

  10. What an interesting question. How would our online interactions change if we skyped them all? I don’t like skype and I’m not sure why. It feels invasive to me, which is strange because I love meeting people and talking on the phone.

    Would I be more distracted if I was trying to blog and skype at the same time? Hmmm. I know a few people who vlog (video blog) all the time and I can’t watch them. It’s uncomfortable for me.

    Probably because they are looking at a camera and not me. I like eye contact. Curiouser and curiouser.

  11. Interesting post! Honestly, I am an extrovert and love communicating one-on-one. Body language and eye contact are very important and tell me so much more than the words alone. That being said, I also love email and the written word for what it allows you to say that perhaps you may not be brave enough to say in the spoken word. Perhaps I can blog and be more “raw” there than I could if we were skyping. Sometimes the virtual world feels a bit more “free” although there’s nothing like that personal connection to take it to the next level.

  12. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with the Skype conjecture. It is exposing and requires more time. Thanks for the insight.

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