Irish eyes are smiling more than ever at the moment as we are learning to live with masks and face coverings.
Eyes can say so much. They undoubtedly are windows to the heart.
More than ever, we need to work at the coming together of gentle gazes, filled with empathy and kindness. Also, the gaze needs to be a collective one in which we all look at what we can do as individuals, families, communities, counties, countries … to help reduce the conditions in which Covid spreads and also the extent to which lives and livelihoods are impacted.
If ever there was a time when each individual’s every action counts, this is it.
The extent to which people can read each other is a source of constant interest and fascination to me.
I think the time I was most dumbstruck by someone’s ability to read me was this day five years ago when I visited my 88 year-old mother in the Emergency Room in hospital where she had been on a trolley for several hours.
I put on my brightest smile and she beamed back at me. Before I had time to utter, she asked me how Iwas. Fine, I said, but what about you?
She certainly wasn’t going to move on to my question without letting me know that she knew damn well I wasn’t ‘fine.’ Have you looked at yourself in the mirror today, she asked very calmly. Why? I asked. You look exhausted, your eyes can’t cod me, she replied very calmly. She was right, of course!
I wonder if everyone has giveaways that those closest to them can read as if they were booming headlines. I can think of a few giveaways alright: an almost inaudible sniff; a gentle little clearing of the throat; a lightening flick of the head; a gaze held for a trillionth of a second longer than usual …..
Thing is, I reckon my late mother could have read my eyes even if I was wearing big, dark sunglasses!