Friday, July 31, 2009

the shape of your eyes

rene magritte
le faux miroir, 1928

the first eyes i would have seen would have been my mother's. crystal blue like her own mothers. with the sound of her voice would have come the first understanding of how comfort, security and the eyes are linked. a connection that extends through all other like circumstances, where the intimacy of connection that includes the considerations of need, have arisen in my life.

you have heard the phrase, "the eyes tell stories".

stories hover in and around the eyes, as paul eluard's 1926 poem "the shape of your eyes" attests . . .

the shape of your eyes goes round my heart,

a round of dance and sweetness.

halo of time, cradle nightly and sure

no longer do I know what I've lived,

your eyes have not always seen me.

leaves of day and moss of dew,

reeds of wind and scented smiles,

wings lighting up the world,

boats laden with sky and sea,

hunters of sound and sources of colour,

scents the echoes of a covey of dawns

recumbent on the straw of stars,

as the day depends on innocence

the world relies on your pure sight

all my blood courses in its glance.

there are even greater stories . . .

the eyes are like the waistline of an hourglass. at either end of the narrowing there is an infinite perceptual opening. each moment, each atom is similarly constructed.

though the worlds are eighteen thousand and more,
not every eye can see them.
every atom is indeed a place of the vision of God,
but so long as it is unopened,
who says, "there is a door"?
[I, 3756; 3766]

and so it is that other stories the eyes can tell are deeper, richer. in the telling of these stories, the eyes are like alice in wonderland's tunnel: "the rabbit hole went on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.

either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next."

when the mirror of your heart becomes clear and pure,
you'll behold images which are outside this world.
you will see the image and the image-maker,
both the carpet of the spiritual expanse
and the one who spreads it.
[II, 72-3]

kristine schomaker
"down the rabbit hole"

at the end of the tunnel, "alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw. how she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her head through the doorway;"

it is in being available to the moment, to the door that presents itself, to the intuition that unfurls into insight that awakening takes place.


  1. I love 'down the rabbit hole' what a wonderfully surreal imagination....

  2. Great post. You have managed to convey some of the wonder and the mystery of eyes - no easy thing to do, I have found. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

  3. hello crafty green poet!! lewis carroll was an amazing writer. just imagine what his friends and family thought when they read this!!! have a lovely day. steven

  4. hello dave, thanks for visiting and thankyou for the thoughtful compliment. have you noticed how hard it is to maintain really strong eye contact without making yourself or the person whose eyes you are engaged with uncomfortable? i wish it weren;t so because as you know, the eyes tell so much about the person and allow for a quality of connection that moves beyond the trivial. that's why it's so difficult. because for the most part people need a degree of space. have a lovely day. steven

  5. Steven:

    This post simply soothes my soul. I love how you take something that moves or intrigues you and weave poetry, art, your own thoughts into a peaceful, healing tapestry. You should compile posts like this one into a book. I would be first in line to purchase it.

    Have a good weekend. Thank you again for the sage advice you left for me on my blog.

  6. hi jennymac, thankyou very much. steven

  7. hi bonnie, it's surprising but writing this blog is very soothing. it's getting that way with the golden fish as well which leads me to think that the two blogs will likely merge at some point. thanks for the suggestion of a book. i've thought about books but not like this but then it's important to listen to the unbidden voice!!! have a lovely evening. steven

  8. I love all the imagery in Alice in Wonderland! At Columbia, they have a website called "Go Ask Alice!" I think that the marvels of the imagination give us freedom of spirit (or vive versa?). In French they have an expression about "going to the other side of the mirror" which shows that mystery draws us to wonders. That's what you've done here, STeven! Thank you!

  9. hi margaret, i was talking with my grade 10 son about alice the other day. he was intrigued about what lewis carroll was probably like and how people of that time would have seen him. i love magic and mystery that emerges from a simple twist or deepening of perception. we're surrounded by magic and mystery as lewis carroll so ably shared!!! thanks for your kind and insightful thoughts. steven

  10. "The Unbidden Voice" - well, there's a title and a half, if ever I saw one.
    I rather think I went down a rabbit hole myself this morning, but reached the same destination as you.

  11. hello jinksy - so that's who the other person was!!!! ha!! steven