Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Glance I'll Never Forget

"I love you". "So long". "Promise me we'll meet again". "Don't go"...
The most meaningful sentences of a lifetime are always accompanied by a look, a glance without which words wouldn't mean the same. We might have not given it some serious thought so far, but those looks remain in our memory, no matter what.
How many times have we said something like, "I'll never forget the way he/she looked at me"?

Some of my most meaningful memories regard the way some persons looked at me while saying something important, or while a unique event was taking place.
For some reason, though, my eye memories all have a sad backtaste in common.
I will never forget my little friend's look - we were kindergarten kids - when I told her: "We're no longer friends"; the kind of things we say when we're kids (and when we're adults too). I must have been six, so she was five. She kept looking at me, but her eyes had changed and had become sad; I felt so sorry and guilty I took back what I had said and apologized.
I will never forget my father's look when he saw me off at the airport, leaving for America.
I will never forget when a friend said bye and I corrected her saying, "No, farewell forever is more appropriate"; I don't think I can ever forget the way she looked at me while replying, "Oh, Jacopo...".
I will never forget my dog's eyes the times he bit me. He would pull his ears back, coming again close to me but very slowly, like asking me for permission to approach me; his eyes, round and regretful as if to say, "I'm so sorry, I just couldn't control myself", conveyed the most sincere and genuine apologies I have ever received; so, I was never able to punish him.  

I deeply believe that our eyes enclose the meaning of who we are, and reveal it in a subtle way. What I learned from life - and also through my acting experience - is that the eyes and the eyes only can guarantee a complete and profound emotional connection with the person standing before us.

Has anybody ever looked at you in a way you will never forget?



  1. What a cool concept! So true that you can tell a lot about a person by looking in their eyes... Certain people just have a light, or a spark--where you know there's something extra about them and vice versa. Fun post :D

  2. Again I totally agree with you. I think the eyes are the mirrors of the soul and sometimes the connection between eyes is so strong you needn't words, the eyes speak for themselves.

    I can confirm that statement even more when it comes to stage, how important eye contact is. Yesterday I had acting class and I did a scene from the play "Crystal Clear" by Phil Young about 2 bling people falling in love and breaking up. I did the splitting scene with my partner and I can tell you it was so hard to get something out of it! Not only the writing was redundant (it proves how important it is for the actor to deal with beautiful texts to put his craft in light) but it was hard to get the emotions I wanted because I couldn't simply see him! I desperately wanted to look at him in the eye and I knew it would come... But my eyes shut trapped me in my mind where I got the impression my thoughts and feelings would go round and round and won't come out because of no eye contact.
    The eyes are the most beautiful/genuine/powerful means of connection of our soul to the world.

  3. This makes me want to remember someone's most wonderfully happy look...

  4. This is a wonderful post. I have no memory of eyes so lyrical. Mine are just small and watchful. Nothing lyrical there. And I can't remember anyone else's. Bummer. : (

  5. Jay—
    No specific personal memories, though I have experienced many of those heartbreaking looks, over the years.
    My favorite eyes are in this favorite painting by Pierre Bonnard, which I saw in Switzerland: http://www.elibron.com/english/other/img_detail.phtml?msg_id=159136
    I know them exactly from the lovely Black Lab I used to get to dog-sit.
    My favorite quote on eyes (sorry it’s so long) is from the end of Claude Levi-Strauss’s Tristes Tropiques, “Just as the individual is not alone in the group, nor any one society alone among the others, so man is not alone in the universe. When the spectrum or rainbow of human cultures has finally sunk into the void created by our frenzy; as long as we continue to exist and there is a world, that tenuous arch linking us to the inaccessible will still remain, to show us the opposite course to that leading to enslavement; man may be unable to follow it, but its contemplation affords him the only privilege of which he can make himself worthy; that of arresting the process, of controlling the impulse which forces him to block up the cracks in the wall of necessity one by one and to complete his work at the same time as he shuts himself up within his prison; this is a privilege coveted by every society, whatever its beliefs, its political system or its level of civilization; a privilege to which it attaches its leisure, its pleasures, its peace of mind and its freedom; the possibility, vital for life, of unhitching, which consists—Oh! fond farewell to savages and explorations!—in grasping, during the brief intervals in which our species can bring itself to interrupt its hive-like activity, the essence of what it was and continues to be, below the threshold of thought and over and above society: in the contemplation of a mineral more beautiful than all our creations; in the scent that can be smelt at the heart of a lily and is more imbued with learning than all our books; or in the brief glance, heavy with patience, serenity and mutual forgiveness, that, through some involuntary understanding, one can sometimes exchange with a cat.” (This ties back also to your post on deplorable holiday frenzy.)

  6. Make sure you turn your haiku in at foamy's by Mon. Midnight. I can't wait to see it.

  7. Aloha Jay,

    I;m a new follower, and thanks for joining in with my "Got Green?" Blog O'hop:)

    Looking forward to reading your post... Cheers!

  8. Hi Jay,

    I just read your comment on my blog. It's been a tad hectic, and I haven't gotten a chance to be diligent in my writing. I'm glad you found my blog, and enjoy it! I will follow you too - I like this little commentary on looks, very thoughtful and meaningful.

    Thanks for posting!

    1. Amber,
      I'm glad you liked my post. Please, come visit any time you wish. There's a virtual cup of tea for you. Care for a butter cookie?
      See you soon!

  9. This is very intense. There are definitely some meaningful looks, both happy and sad that will be with me forever. Some of my memories are so old that I no longer remember the words associated with the look.

    I a hopping around trying to visit all of the entries in my "Get Fired Up" blogfest. I hope to announce all of the winners on Monday. I enjoyed reading your post.

  10. Thank you, Morgan!
    In fact, I think we all have that spark; for some of us, though, it only comes out during very emotional moments...

    I think playing blind is the only instance where you can't rely on your eyes or someone else's. I think I'd blindfold myself, at least during character preparation. I suppose the thing I'd do would be relying on touch, smell, and taste. That can also bring you very close to the other characters and people in general, and it can be just as emotionally involving!
    You're lucky to have tried that!
    Thanks for commenting!

    Remembering is so important! Proust used to say "Reality takes place in the memory alone"...
    Have a great weekend!

    I guess your eyes are just as lyrical as everybody else's eyes. It's what they convey that is lyrical, despite their shape, size, and color. I guess if your eyes are small, it's just a bit more difficult to read into them! That can be an asset: some women like mysterious men!
    Thanks for posting a comment, Mike!

    Thanks for sharing the painting with me. Well, I could get only a glimpse of the girl's eyes, but they're definitely there.
    And thanks for sharing the quote, I just loved it!
    You gave my post some further insight :)
    Thank you!!

    I definitely will, but I'd like to think up a new one for the occasion. I'll do my best!
    Thanks for stopping by!

    Aloha Mark,
    Welcome to my blog!
    Hope you'll be visiting often!
    Take a look around and make yourself at home!
    Thank you for having me as a guest in your Blog O'Hop :)

  11. Melissa,
    I'm glad you liked my post!
    Personally, I remember all the words associated to certain important looks, but I don't think the words are the most important part of that; the feeling and the emotion that produced that eye-spark is what I would like to remember before anything else.
    Thank you for stopping by, and welcome to my blog!

  12. Awwww must never punish pets!! :-)

    I tend to go by first impressions and if the person fails to give me eye contact and hold my gaze then I immediately see red flags everywhere!

    Oh I think my favourite eye contact has been with my neice! Eyes that bore into you like no other - so innocently and yet so world weary and wise at the same time! Amazing!

    Take care

  13. You're so right, Old Kitty. Well, my way of punishing my dog was of not talking to him, but I could never do it for more than two minutes because of the way he'd look at me.

    Infants and kids really seem to establish powerful eye connection. I usually notice that on buses and subway trains.

    Have a nice, quiet and slow beginning of the week.

  14. Hi Jay,
    I tend to trust people's eyes more than what they say. For me, they are the windows to the soul. There is nothing like the feeling of looking into the eyes of someone you love and the whole world stops for a moment. Nothing else exists.
    Thanks for a great post.