I wrote yesterday about Joshua’s winning smile, well staying on that theme, let me tell you about the twinkle in his eyes too: The say that the eyes are the window to the soul and I am a strong believer in the eyes giving away what people are really feeling or thinking. Joshua, when he is on form, has such a glint in his eyes that shows his true sense of fun and mischief. You can almost see what he is thinking or planning, through his beautiful blue eyes.
But after a seizure or when he is unwell, his eyes lose that twinkle. His eyes very quickly go blood shot after seizures or bad nights sleep and they go flat and dull somehow, no sense of mischief but a staring, emptiness which is heartbreaking to see. Often Joshua’s eyes, staring but not seeing or rolling up inside his head, are the first indication that a seizure is on its way. When people first meet him they do not appreciate that indicator, but most people who know him well, soon start to read his eyes too.
So perhaps I spend more time than most, trying to read eyes, not just in Joshua but in others too : I know from personal experience that when peope are feeling low or down, they lose the sparkle in their eyes; their eyes go flat and lifeless somehow and I have recognised that ‘dead’ expression in myself many times in the mirror and I hate it. The eyes can rarely betray the truth, so somebody may well say that they are fine or happy, but often their eyes tell another story.I have known friends ,and clients even, who have bravely fought off and worked through their depression, but that their sparkling eyes have shown me when they are really back to feeling better again, regardless of what they actually say.
Similarly, eyes that look away can often be a sign of deception and again, the eyes can giveaway somebody’s true feelings. Joshua has always been great at eye contact, possibly too in your face at times, but I feel for the autistic children at school who cannot handle it, and their friends and family who may struggle to engage with them as a result. I had the privilege of speaking to several mothers of autistic 5 year olds at our school yesterday and that was a real eye-opener for me as to what they were facing on a daily basis.
At the opposite extreme, I have good friends who I just need to make eye contact with and they make me giggle. They know what I am thinking and I know the same, so the eyes are an invaluable source of non-verbal connection, which can occasionally get me into trouble.
Due to my reliance on reading eyes, I get uncomfortable when somebody I am speaking to wears dark sunglasses, or even worse, mirrored ones. I find it very unsettling, probably because it makes them into private eyes. Having that twinkle in the eyes is a very attractive trait and it is certainly something that draws me more to some people, than others.