Saturday, August 30, 2008

Eyes... them..

One of the most honest barometers for a lifetime lived is/are the eyes. I’ve been asked why I never wear sunglasses. My sly answer is “I want you to see the real me…” but the truth is, I just got used to not wearing any over the years. There was a time when I would make my once every three month pilgrimage down to Venice Beach and buy a pair of cheap sunglasses. I used to love wearing the ones that were all silver. They would wear out after a few months and the cheap silver tinted lens would fade. I’d have dark holes in the center of each lens where my pupil was.. It looked funny. Made me think my eyes were burning holes in my lens… Piercing reflection… But anyway, the eyes are amazing.. I’m someone that makes eye contact most of the time, whenever possible. I don’t look away unless I sense a feeling that I could be intruding or causing discomfort in another or unless I have one of those shy moments where I feel like my own protective barrier is being invaded. Someone special to me has those curious moments when she asks me “why you looking like that?” The sly answer first; “what you see is a reflection of the life I’ve lived..” The true answer is; “I dunno..” Then when I think deeply about it during my moments of quiet combined with nothing really to do but think, my initial answer seems more fact than an attempt to be sly and brilliant. Look deeply into the eyes of another and you can see a great deal. The best reflection is when you look into the eyes of an elderly person whose path has taken them through many different experiences, good and bad. A life experienced person who has traveled a great deal; physically, emotionally, spiritually, professionally, etc.; those eyes will say a lot. Imagine looking into the eyes of those famous names who seemingly have accomplished stuff that many of us wish we could. Pick a name and imagine sitting across from them as they tell you their story… I think about that some times just as much as I think, dream, wish and imagine sitting with my grandfather who passed away when I was a kid. I would love for my grandfather to look into my eyes and tell me what he sees, feels, or could sense about my journey thus far. But if I could sit across from a few so-called famous folks and talk about life in a non-chalant, non-pretentious way, it would be folks like Martin Luther King, Marvin Gaye, Prince, Isaac Hayes, Muddy Waters, Johnny Cash, Spike Lee, Malcolm X, Denzel Washington, Billie Holiday, Muhammed Ali, Minnie Riperton, Bruce Lee, Barack Obama, Curtis Mayfield, Gordon Parks, Paul Williams(Temptations), Jimi Hendrix, Sammy Davis Jr.; the list goes on for a long time but those folks fascinate me when it comes to what it would be like to make personal eye contact combined with deep or even not so deep conversation about life and not in an interview sort of way but as two people kicking it, so to speak… Still, with all due respct to the famous folks, if I could trade them in for people like General, Solomon, Senora, Palestine, Virgil Sr. & Jr., Charlie, George, Oscar, Jean, Saddie Mae, Moriah, Peter, Mama Julia, Frank, Alzata etc. who are all family of mine that lived their journey and passed on; I would in a heartbeat… Some of them I have photographs of but most I don’t. I wish I had close up shots of everyone, capturing the spirit reflected in their eyes… That to me is the beautiful gift of photography; capturing the spirit… The eyes; windows of the soul that mirror the reflection of your journey…

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