May I look into your eyes for two minutes?
I sat down with a complete stranger and looked into her eyes for a full two minutes. Here’s what happened.
There was immediately a conversation in my head but it wasn’t clear to me if it was just me or was it her or was it the both of us? How were we communicating if we weren’t using words? Sure, there are hand gestures and nods and signals, but we were just sitting there, staring into each other’s eyes.
In her eyes, I saw streaming wiggly rays of light heading back into a vortex deep at the back of her eyes. Something between a bolt of lightning and one of those glass balls with the bolts of electrical charge swarming around in them.
With our eyes mostly looking at our screens, we don’t even see other people’s eyes.
When is the last time you stared into someone’s eyes? Not to help them find a stray eyelash or a staring contest with your 6-year old boy, but to truly look deep into the eyes of someone for a period longer than it takes to read this sentence?
Can you communicate without words?What if, before someone opened their mouth and uttered a single word, you looked into their eyes for two minutes? It’s not a staring contest of a battle of will, it’s just looking.
“Just don’t look directly into their eyes. They take that as a threat, as aggression.”
— The local in Borneo when talking about how to keep safe near the macaque monkeys.
No words, no language. No accents, no prejudices. No guessing their origin based on accents or word choice. No words. No sounds. Just eyes. Is there a connection?
Within the first 30 seconds, I let down my guard. I allowed her into my eyes. My eyes became an open book and she was welcome to read the whole thing. I offered up whatever I had to give and sent up thoughts of giving and joy and clarity.
In hers I watched the dazzling electrical light show dance around in browns and jagged lines of white and yellow. There was a peace, a quiet, an openness that was disarming. I forgot where I was, what I was doing and if time was passing.
I only knew that two minutes had gone by because her timer went off. Otherwise, if I had had to guess, I would have thought closer to ten minutes. Or zero minutes. Or maybe an hour.
Time stood still and something happened.
I’m not sure what and I don’t even need to know. What I do know is that my world stopped and I connected with another person using nothing but our eyes.
I didn’t know her. Imagine what might happen if you spent just two minutes looking into the eyes of someone you know? How about someone you love? How about looking into your own eyes for two minutes? Try it, it’s not as easy as it may seem.