Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Eyes Have It!

Little Jase came to visit us last weekend... and Jennie captured images of him for me to keep. He's grown so much since Christmas! He's not a baby anymore. His eyes are still full of wonder and they are a piercing baby blue! He loves cars and trucks, his wagon, and his Daddy!

Jennie did such a great job on these photos! How has she just learned this on her own? She amazes me. She really caught the little boy inside. Check out Jennie's blog - Ampersand photography!!

We all "caught" something else from him....a yucky virus!! It was wicked and everyone this little guy had contact with seemed to get it. (10 people at least!) It was pretty nasty and I must say after that I was first in line to get my flu shot on Tuesday! I want no repeats of what was ravaging our house as well as that of my extended family. Needless to say we've gone through lots of Gatorade, saltine crackers and soup. Yeah for "real" food!

Looking at Jase's blue eyes it makes me think how our eyes are such a reflection of who we are inside. Wasn't it William Shakespeare who wrote, "The eyes are the windows to the soul
."? With those words he reminded us that by looking into the eyes of a person we can see their hidden emotions and feelings.

Language is filled with metaphors referring to eye contact.... He/she had a "cold stare", their eyes were "steely and hard," she had a "penetrating look," shame faced, the child "stared at his shoes," "he and I came to see eye to eye." There are thousands of such metaphors referring to our eyes! And it's the eyes that play a big part in a book I finished this week called Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

From the website:

"Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.

She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone."

Debut author Kristin Cashore marked those who carried a Grace with two different color of eyes and eye contact is the subtle way the author communicates tensions, aggression, and power. Direct eye contact can be mis-perceived in our encounters with others as a challenge to a fight. Those in Katsa's world look on her two eyes and know that they are encountering one Graced with an extraordinary ability - her ability to fight and kill.

In our society, it is often said that, much like in the animal world, when two men who are strangers stare at each other, they are sending the challenging and dangerous message about being willing to fight. This is sometimes expressed as "get outta my face" or "whatcha staring at?" This is said in a loud and aggressive tone. On the other hand, when a man and woman stare at one another, they can be communicating an interest in one another and sparks can fly. Cashore used this psychological truth and melded her character around it.

Cashore's writing further enhanced her metaphor of the eyes. I loved her phrasing:

"Oll wasn't foolish; he knew to fear the quiet girl with one eye blue and one eye green." p.11

This was just an ordinary sentence that flowed with careful wording. The whole book felt that way - there was no accidental writing here. Each word was carefully chosen and crafted; placed in just the right space. I read the book slowly and savored this author's work!

p. 340 "The storm had been building all afternoon. The clouds knitted together. The snowflakes swelled and sharpened."

What word choice!! That sentence alone was a picture in my mind.

Kristin Cashore wrote a story of survival; a story of conquering self. Her characters take their weaknesses and hone them, develop them. Katsa battles her natural inclinations and strives to live on a higher plane. She conquers self to do it and the story soars as she does it!

The eyes have it - in more ways than one!!

1 comment:

Susan said...

Aw, cute boy. Beautiful eyes.

Will you email me? I have a publisher that would like to get in touch with you :) My email is blogginboutbooks[AT]gmail[DOT][COM] - Thanks!