E Is for Eye

5 years ago

“Eye” is not only the essential human organ of sight: “one of a pair of spherical bodies contained in an orbit of the skull” (Dictionary.com). It is also a superb metaphor for the visionary skill of the poet; and, at times, of focus for the spiritual life as well.

“The eye altering alters all,” wrote the poet William Blake. 

And in Matthew 6:22, Jesus said that “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.”

We might speak of certain people having an “eye” for paintings or antiques—or pretty women/attractive men.

You can have an “eye” toward a certain subject matter or purpose or set of human actions.

The poet Emily Dickinson, through whose eye we are privileged to see the layered world in unmatched, unique perspective, wrote enigmatically:

Before I got my eye put out—

I liked as well to see

As other creatures, that have eyes—

And know no other way. ...

But she concludes (read the whole poem at) http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/182805

that, contemplating “having” the sky for her own through such vision:

The Meadows—mine

The Mountains—mine ...

sends her back to press instead “with just my soul/Upon the window pane”—to relate to us her vision in the locally perceived, yet eternally resonant terms of her poetic art:

Finite to fail, but infinite to venture ...

E Is for Eye. Each of us has this amazing, multi-layered gift through which to probe the world around us. It is so taken for granted that we don’t often point it out: that one person’s eye sees one thing; and the person right next to her sees something else.

This realization prompts us to ask ourselves: What do we see? What are we looking to find? And how does the experience play out for us?

As bloggers we ask: What if anything today, from my eye’s perspective, my unique experience, can be of value to my readers (and well as to those people close to me)?

Thus a fresh look at the ordinariness and complexity of our HAVING an eye (actually two), opens out to a deeper understanding of the amazing gift of human seeing.


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