Eyes are those magnificent instruments that let most humans see the world. I seem to have an obsession with eyes, because I find myself drawing eyes constantly, especially in class. Recently, I found this really interesting quote:
“The eye is like a mirror, and the visible object is like the thing reflected in the mirror.” – Avicenna, early 11th century
Despite its ancient origins, I find it relevant, because it made me think that maybe the reason I don’t make eye contact with people is because I don’t like what I see in the mirror. Or in other words, that I don’t like myself. I know that doesn’t make sense because the quote says that the eye is the mirror, not the person. Nonetheless, I wonder if the reason why I don’t look at people in the eyes is because I’m afraid of making connections. Uncertainty scares me. Not knowing whether I can trust a person, or if my feelings will only lead to sadness. By avoiding eye contact, I can think of my interactions simply as two voices without any need for feelings or connection.
In an old video from my childhood, I say “Shut up your eyes!” This is a direct translation of “Callate los ojos!” In my mind, this was a kinder way of saying, “Shut your mouth” [“Callate la boca”]. I was too young at the moment for that to mean anything, but if I analyze myself as an outsider, it’s like I was telling them to close their eyes. My theory is that it was my way of telling others to stop talking so that I could be heard. That wasn’t the best way to handle it, but it was a way to make myself be seen. These days, I wouldn’t think of saying that. In fact, I find it hard to have a conversation, because I never know when to talk, and I don’t want to interrupt anyone.
When I think of closing my eyes, I think of relief and escapism. The simple act of closing my eyes makes me feel like I can disappear for a moment in time.