Monday, October 25, 2010

Look Me In The Eye

It's pretty powerful to look someone right in the eyes. Imagine having to do it for an indefinite amount of time. To sit, in quiet, is a difficult task on it's own. To look at someone while you're doing it...well, it adds a challenge.

We don't often think about looking people in the eye:  The guy that isn't your waiter, but brings the water to your table, the person that holds a door open for you as you're entering the bank,  the neighbor who's walking their dog, the cashier of anywhere you go, and that little kid that's staring at you in wonder as she gets dragged past you in the crosswalk.  As a collective, we tend to avoid eye contact, opting for the easier look down, by, past or over someone.  That head on connection can feel overly-intimate for some people,

as evidenced by the portraits from the recent show at MOMA.  People that sit and stare in the artist's face for whatever amount of time they're comfortable, or uncomfortable with, and appear to be quite moved (extremely, in some cases), with absolutely no words involved.

Watching Dennis Hopper stare into the lens, saying nothing, changing expression, looking away.  You could practically write the script for that inner dialogue.

good video find, thanks

I've always liked that phrase "they shared a look between them". 
And I like to practice some form of meaningful eye contact in reality at least once a day.


Marion Williams-Bennett said...

"meaningful eye contact" - I love that term. I find it's easy to share a smile, eye contact, laughter with those we care for.

It's the strangers you mention, the water guy, the woman who holds the door, the Barista at Starbucks...these are the people who I find it difficult to make eye contact with, yet when I do, I feel a connection that wouldn't have happened without that contact. It's what connects us as humans.

looking you in the eye and saying.."great post"

Bonbon Oiseau said...

i. love. this. and you know you get in trouble in europe if you don't look whoever your clinking glasses with in the eye. it's just bad form. coming to sf in january where i will look you in the eye so much you will feel weird.

paige said...

I love the quick moments, like when you are driving in a car and you catch the eye of someone standing on a corner, and for a moment your eyes lock, but then the vehicle whisks you on past, and that look just lingers, imprinted in your brain.

Anonymous said...

I like looking people in the eye and making them talk!