Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Eyes Have It

The other day I day I drove past a hiker who had just emerged from a segment of the Appalachian Trail. For the briefest of moments I caught his eye, or he caught mine. I will never see this gentleman again, I don't even remember what he looked like, but I do remember connecting with him through that glance. Call me crazy (you won't be the first) but connection is possible, even for seconds, as we pass our fellow travelers on this journey we might call life. We hear that the eyes are the window to the soul or that some guy or gal caught your eye. There is something about looking someone directly in the eye (don't try this with dogs or just-released convicts however.) G.K. Chesterton said, "There is a road from the eye to heart that does not go through the intellect." We consult our third eye, we create in our mind's eyes and we live in a visual culture, a culture that champions what can be seen, or what can be proved. Even what cannot be seen, has to be translated into a picture, a God with flowing white beard, Krishna with a flute or Buddha with a belly. We even relate our Selves with our eyes. Our ego, the "I" in English is a homonym of this gateway to the soul. In Italian, "I" or "Io" is found at the end of the word for eye, "occhio." Yes that argument is a little far reaching and no I am not going to hang out with Google translate all day to prove a point (is there a point at all?) There is the eye of the beholder, the eye of the tiger, or an eye for detail. We have a vision for our futures and we look back on our past. The ayes have it, "aye aye Captain," look that problem straight in the eye. So I looked, or rather glanced at that hiker, right in the eye, I connected for that moment with someone, who knows what would happen if I did that more in my daily life. What would it look like, if I, say looked at the cashier as I said thank you? Would it mean more than an automatic polite response? Or am I inviting trouble? As James Hetfield said, "It's all fun and games 'till someone loses an eye, then it's just fun you can't see." Made no sense? Well I will try to end this short essay with another quote by Wordsworth. "With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things." May your day be filled with harmony, joy and beautiful things. Take time to pay attention to the beauty and connect with another, after all, there is more to life than meets the eye.

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