This is a rewrite of a blog I published a few months ago.
I just wanted to share a simple song I was listening to on Apple Music;
Billie Eilish – Ocean Eyes.
I vaguely remember the song but never really knew the artist. A beautiful song that reminds me of the incredible power and connection you can experience when you stare into someone’s eyes.
For some strange reason I began to make a connection with this song and the compulsory wearing of face masks in public places, a sight that I still have serious issues dealing with.
The facemask seems to compliment the social distancing policy perfectly because the masks acts like a visible barrier. It’s very hard to know what two people who cross each other’s paths are feeling at that moment due to their full facial expression being blocked from view. It seems as if we are being denied the daily pleasures of observing natural beauty, and the ablity to respond in like to friendly expressions or a beaming smile. It just seems to be nurturing an already pre-existing anti-social climate that radically reduces normal forms of social contact, connection and simple acknowledgment and merely increasing the plaque of loneliness in general worldwide.
But is that really true? Does a mask really hide the expression of what a person is feeling or thinking at that moment? Does a mask completely hide someone’s beauty, facial expression or smile? Is it still possible to be drawn to someone or feel acknowledged by them despite the fact that half their face is covered by a mask?
Maybe an expression used amongst members of a Zulu tribe in South Africa can help us find the answers (although I think you know it already).
When they meet each other on the road they greet each other with the word
the equivalent of our word ‘hallo’
but when translated literally means
“I see you”
“Until you see me – I do not exist”
Maybe that was the source of inspiration behind the tribal greeting In the blockbuster movie ‘Avatar’ where they used that very same expression,
“I see you”
When Na’vi greeted you in this way they would look deep into your eyes,
seeing the love & your feelings & your soul &
and reassuring you,
that you mean everything to them.
Even before I fully realised the deep meaning behind this expression the words in themselves give a very powerful message of acknowledgement.
I am also reasonably sure that we have all experienced moments like this from either a fleeting glance from a stranger or a deep long stare from a good friend, despite the fact that they were wearing face masks when doing so. When prompted by good motives eye contact conveys a range of feelings and emotions from acknowledgement to empathy to love.
Our eyes are the windows to our soul.
That’s how resilient we humans are;
seperate us with social distancing and we will still socialise with our eyes.
cover our mouths and we will still smile through our eyes,
Take away our touch and we will embrace each other with our eyes,
So lets make a concerted effort to do just that, with as many people as possible, sending out a signal of community spirit and connection in these very strange social distancing times.
A disclaimer. This post is not meant to either promote, discourage or call into question certain measures being taken worldwide to fight this pandemic.