The Eyes Speak - writercize #80

It has been said, more than once, that the eyes are the windows to the soul.  I would imagine that even if we all wore straight jackets masking our body language, our eyes would deepen and confirm our truths and betray our lies.  We lock them in love, avert them in fear, wink them in flirtation, roll them out of disrespect and blink them to expose nerves.  

writing exercise:  Describe the eyes of a character in your story or those of a real person you have strong feelings towards - feelings of love or hate.  What do those eyes look like, and what do they tell you?

Click "read more" to see writercizer sample response(s) on her daughters' eyes.
writercizer reponse:

My YaYa's big brown eyes display a trust like one I've never seen before.  She looks directly into me and tells my heart that she believes in what I say and knows that she was born a part of me.  

At two weeks, she would hold her hand to my cheek and stare, unblinking, into my eyes, that deep stare that makes one quiver with naked exposure of the self, that makes one aware of every thought that passes by.  That stare would make me turn and run from anyone else, but bonds me to her, my first born, my fighter, and connects our hearts to one another.  

It is her eyes that tell me when she is disappointed in herself or others; it is her eyes that tell me that her biggest fear is disappointing people or losing love.  It is her eyes that show that despite this fear, she extends love to all she trusts, and is fiercely loyal and protective of all she deems worthy of her care.

Several times a day, something takes over her eyes, and the lovely big brown eyes cover with a steely reserve as she creates competitions with others and declares herself the winner.  When that happens, she is hidden behind the steely curtain for a few moments, but a smile and a glance directly into her pupils bring back the big, trusting brown I love.

Olga's eyes turn up a little on the outside, indicating a playful nature and unmistakably sly demeanor. 

The pupils are the same deep brown as her identical twin sister, but they bounce between infancy and the wisdom that comes from old souls, never quite touching on her real preschool age.  She does not look people in the eye; she is prone to averting them at all times, even when deep in conversation or when needing a hug.  She looks at a person's cheeks and mouth, and as an infant she would stare at the space just above their heads as if searching for halos.  

When she was two, Olga looked deep into my eyes one day and saw that they were blue.  She looked at a photo of herself and saw that hers were brown.  This was devastating to her, and the first realization that she was not me, that she was her own person and had different characteristics than her Mamma.  She would tell everyone that she had blue eyes, and if she was the only brown-eyed girl in the room, she would fall into a heap on the floor and cry out, "I want them to be blue."   So we renamed them chocolate, a deep dark gooey chocolate that looks so delicious we want to eat her up.  And it worked; she has chocolate eyes and is proud.  

Olga's eyes tell us that she feels death deeply; at a wake during her first months of life, she entered the funeral parlor and dripped silent tears.  At the Natural History Museum when she saw the taxidermied birds and animals, before she could speak, she clutched to me with her entire body while her chocolate eyes told us what her soul was feeling.  Again they dripped silent tears heavy with the sad loss of life, the immobile birds and butterflies and prairie animals that she instinctively knew had once lived and loved and moved, but were now no more than a hollow core of skin and bones.  

Even when her words forsake her, one look at Olga's eyes, even though they won't look directly back at you, tell us all her moods.


  1. You described your girls so completely & beautifully, even though you were technically talking just about their eyes. I wish we got to know them better...

    As for me, now I'm contemplating people's eyes... not sure what to write yet, but will keep you posted if I get around to this one. :)

  2. Love this post. I can vividly imagine your daughters' eyes through your description--that and I think you might have a picture of them somewhere on our meetup page. haha. :P Seriously though, great post! Perfect for me, as I'm nearing the end of my plotting session and about to jump into my first draft.

  3. I love this exercise! I'm bookmarking it to do at a later date.

    After reading your response, I'm too emotional and must take a break to go hug my little chocolate-eyed girl. *cries*

  4. wow! So powerful and moving...


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