"Those true eyes/Too pure and too honest in aught to disguise/The sweet soul shining through them” ~ Owen Meredith.
When I was a little girl, my grandma, my aunts and pretty much most of my family would tell me I was "the apple of my dad's eye."
Let me back this up by describing my dad in a general sense ... he's introverted, wise, an "old soul," intelligent, peaceful, grounded, frugal, reserved (except to those he's closest to), quietly loving, eccentric, patient and calm. So when I was younger, the above words never quite penetrated. I wasn't sure what my family meant when they uttered such things. I didn't know how to "look."
As I grew older, I paid closer attention, which spurred an observation I began to make with every other significant person that has entered my life. I can't remember where I was, but it was a family function. My dad was talking with someone and I walked into the room and happened to spot him right away. I watched him look up at me and saw his entire face transform. His light green irises softened and his smile reached the corners of his eyes in a way only the most genuine of emotion can elicit. It was as though my mere presence, to him, lit up the entire room. I had to look away.
It was then I realized how significant someone's eyes were. Perhaps we could all do better with knowing how to "look" at the people important to us. Over the years, I've gotten skilled at masking things, whether out of protection or not wanting to draw attention to something I was battling inside me. I got through most of high school in this way -- during the later years in particular -- slithering in the shadows, hiding in the corners of the room. Some of this, I'm sure, ties to my anxiety. The main focus in my mind is not to solicit unwanted attention, so naturally, instincts forced me to cover things up. But, as few people have discovered over the years, there is a part of me I have no control over. I'm much like my father in that way.
Everything is betrayed by my eyes. Everything.
And I still look away.
~ C ~