in my humble opinion

The eyes have it

By JONATHAN CHARLES FOX
Posted 12/30/20

“The eyes are the mirror of the soul.”

Up until today, I was under the impression that prolific playwright William Shakespeare had penned those words, but when I began fact-checking, I …

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in my humble opinion

The eyes have it

Posted

“The eyes are the mirror of the soul.”

Up until today, I was under the impression that prolific playwright William Shakespeare had penned those words, but when I began fact-checking, I found multiple sources, including the Holy Bible (Eyes are the window to the soul: Matthew 6:22-23).

I also stumbled across some random dude named Paul Coelho, who wrote this: “The eyes are the mirror of the soul and reflect everything that seems to be hidden; and like a mirror, they also reflect the person looking into them.” I guess that would be me.

My internet search for quotes regarding eyes was triggered by looking at photos taken over the last several months. Shortly, it will have been a year since I’ve seen many faces since, when I do venture out, I’m wearing a mask, as are most of the folks I encounter. Therefore, it’s become (IMHO) all about the eyes and how expressive they really can be. As for being “mirrors of the soul,” that proverb has been around for a long, long time and has been attributed to Cicero (106-43 B.C.) who is quoted as saying, “Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi” which translates to, “The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter.” Yeah, it’s Latin.

The French say, “Les yeux sont le miroir de l’âme.” In Spanish, it’s “Los ojos son el espejo del alma.” But regardless of how you say it, the meaning remains the same.

There are poems about eyes. “Drink to me only with thine eyes,” penned by Ben Jonson. There are books about eyes—like “The Eyes of Darkness” by Dean Koontz. And of course, there are hundreds of songs. Don’t worry, I won’t name them all, but “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Frankie Valli, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “Lost in Your Eyes” by Debbie Gibson and “Lyin’ Eyes” by The Eagles are but a few that spring to mind.

That said, my traditional photographic year-in-review is different this time around. And yes, it’s all about the eyes and my perception of what lies behind those “mirrors of the soul.”

Some of these eyes reflect joy, some have a faraway gaze and others evoke sadness, or even anger, depending on the light. As the random dude mentioned, I’m “the person looking into them” and, as such, I have to admit that, personally, it’s been a rough road. I want to wish you all a “Happy New Year,” but I’m fairly superstitious and afraid to write the words down, much less say them out loud. How ‘bout this instead? Novus Annus. Yeah, it’s Latin.

Fun Fact: Yes, the title of today’s column is, in fact, a play on words: Definition of “the ayes have it,” as in, “We have six nays and 12 ayes, so the ayes have it.” Make of that what you will.

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