Eyes that tell a story

A friend told me recently that when they see photos of children from countries like Cambodia, they cannot help but see the difference between their eyes and the eyes of western raised children.

This is so true. And what is it about eyes? They are the first thing we meet normally in a person, the first thing we seek to connect to when we want to know someone. They seem to be a doorway or gateway of some kind.

Love needs the eyes to pass its messages. Most of us remember getting chills when we looked into the eyes of someone we loved for the first time and held their gaze. We often say we felt something pass between our eyes and our loved one’s eyes.

The eyes hold power and can transfer that power to another person quite easily. They can do what the voice cannot. Their message is deeper and much more subtle.

You can tell so much about a person from the way their eyes “act”. If you watch the show “lie to me”, you may be fascinated by the stories eyes can reveal. Eyes that shy away from yours, eyes that stare you down with determination, shifty eyes, blinking eyes, eyes that don’t blink, piercing eyes, shallow eyes…

And yes, there is a huge difference between the look and power in the eyes of the children I met in Cambodia or in Congo and the eyes of our western children. The stories this girl’s eyes told me went soul deep and were desperate to be told. Eyes that saw too much and want to tell it because it is just too much to bear.

This is a little girl that has to sell to survive, has to learn a few words of English to be able to communicate with the strange “rich” tourists, hoping to charm them into buying so she  and her parents can have rice for the week. Her play time is cut short. Her innocence is hijacked. Of course her eyes are not the same. How could they be?

6 thoughts on “Eyes that tell a story

  1. Brilliant. I keep thinking about the Cambodian girl I taught one summer in a migrant workers’ program in Boston. She had so many stories, terrible stories, but she told them with a sense of humor and held her head high despite her challenges. This is great work.

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